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How to leave a toxic relationship

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by Wagram, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Wagram

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    so ive been seeing a guy for about 2 years and a half. I'm 23 he's 47.
    Last 18months we havent had sex. He's "depressed" and too busy to be decent to anyone around him.
    I moved with him in february. He was supposed to go to rehab. But there was always things to deal with;he never went. felt even less close to him than before. Moved back now.
    Most of the time hell text me, its when he needs money ( and he already owes me about 3weeks of pay).

    I'm in a kinda toxic relationship. How do you leave it ? Do you just stop talking and forego a months pay (and I'm a broke student, that's alot for me)

    I don't want to leave because, then it means i've wasted 2years of my life. And I keep hoping for our relation to be as it was in the beggining.
    How do you move on from a toxic entraping relationship ?
     
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    Better to waste two years of your life than ten, right? Staying won’t make things better and it sounds like he’s just using you for money.

    And you’ve not wasted two years, you’ve learnt things about relationships, and particularly, what they shouldn’t look like. By leaving you’re showing that what you want matters, that you matter and that’s an important thing to learn to priorities. You’ll reflect on this experience and be better placed to express your wants/needs/boundaries in future relationships.

    Do you have any proof that he owes you money? Could you pursue it through small claims court?

    It’s hard to write money off, but it’s likely that you won’t get it back even if you keep asking. If I’ve read your OP correctly and you’re no longer living together, I would block him on everything, change locks and anything else you need to do, and then never look back. You are worth much more than this.
     
    #2 LostInDaydreams, Apr 5, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  3. Chip

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    Kind of toxic? How about unbelievably toxic. There are about a half dozen red flags just in what you've described, and this is something you should get out of, like, immediately.

    Unfortunately, I don't think you're going to want to hear any of this, but you probably need to.

    So the first challenge here is to realize that you deserve better. You deserve better than someone with a substance use disorder, who is old enough to be your dad, who is asking you for money, and who, most likely, is principally staying with you because he knows he can sucker you into giving him money. This person is completely taking advantage of you, and the reason you're sticking with him (and, most likely, the reason you got with him in the first place) is that somewhere, deep down, you don't believe you are worthy of someone who is emotionally healthy, of similar age, genuinely interested in you and your needs and desires, and who wants to better himself.

    First rule of people with substance use disorders: the drug will always come in front of relationships. Someone with an SUD cannot be in a healthy relationship because their first love is their drug of choice. Depending on the drug and the duration and severity of the SUD, his brain is likely completely hijacked by the drug.

    Second rule: People with substance use disorders who ask for money... won't pay it back. While there are exceptions to this, for the most part, it's pretty much always the case, especially if he owes you 3 weeks worth of your pay and is still asking for money rather than making arrangements to pay you back.

    Third rule: Even if he went to rehab next week, this will not be a healthy relationship, and was not a healthy relationship when it started. The use of the drug or alcohol is a symptom of a deeper problem, and that deeper problem generally takes years to fully resolve. You'd be waiting a very long time, and there's a high likelihood, statistically that you'll never get to the healthy relationship you want.

    So, as much as this sucks, I would suggest writing off the money he owes you, and ending the relationship immediately. Like today. Call or text and tell him it's over and you're done. You can ask him to make payment arrangements but, honestly, it's a lost cause. I would block him on all social media and on your phone. Otherwise, given your self-esteem issues, and his behavior, I can guarantee he will pull out every stop to convince you to stay... promises to change, promises to go to rehab tomorrow, promises to pay you back, promises to have sex more regularly. And he might even mean some of those things. But he won't be able to follow through.

    Once you've ended the relationship, I'd suggest getting into therapy yourself. You probably aren't even fully aware of whatever the issues are that are leading to your own self-esteem problems, and so you're likely to repeat the pattern unless and until you do the self-work to get yourself in a better place. One way to start is by getting Brené Brown's wonderful book "The Gifts of Imperfection" and watching her three TED talks, "Power of Vulnerability", "Price of Invulnerability" and "Listening to Shame."

    As for the two years you've put into this relationship: Yes, that absolutely sucks. And unfortunately, there's no way around that. At the same time, there are many who spend decades rather than years before figuring out the problems and doing their self-work, so you're way ahead of the game. And if you use this opportunity to learn about yourself and work on the issues that got you here in the first place, then you'll actually be quite a ways ahead of where most guys your age are.

    I hope this helps, feel free to share what happens going forward.
     
  4. Chiroptera

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    In addition to what Chip said (and I completely agree with him):

    You can't control the past. But you can make a choice now, for your future. Staying a relationship because you hope it will become something it is not isn't healthy. Staying because you fear you have wasted time also isn't, because you are simply wasting more and more time in hope things will change, when all signs point to a strong no, it won't change.

    I also agree you could benefit from therapy, after you end this toxic relationship. Maybe this will be a new opportunity for you to work on your self-steem and that you deserve something better.

    It may sound harsh, but if he truly wants to change (many say this, in empty promises, only to end up back in the toxic cycle - like Chip said), then he will need to work on this himself. You can't change him. After almost 2 years, it is clear that you are only hurting yourself and nothing is changing. You deserve better and you have no obligation to sacrifice yourself and your happiness trying without success to change another person. Get out of this, as soon as you can.
     
  5. Rin311

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    I’ve been through this cycle, several times, with several different men. All were old enough to be my father, and many of them had all kinds of issues. I can’t put myself in your place, but I’ve been through similar experiences, and I know you’re in a tough spot.

    The way I see it, this kind of relationship is a form of self-injury. Yes, we get a lot out of it, but for me it was also a confirmation that my feelings about myself are right - I felt like I don’t deserve any better and I should be extremely grateful that anyone even looked my way, never mind entered a relationship with me. After some time, it becomes like a fixed reality.

    You leave by cutting off contact. Tell him you’re out - or don’t - and then block him on your phone and social media and don’t contact him on your own initiative. It’s easier said than done, I know, especially when you look back and feel foolish for spending all that time with him. I think it’s time we’ll spent, though - there’s something here for us to learn.

    I hope you’ll be able to leave quickly and smoothly, and I would really encourage you to go to counseling - not because there’s anything wrong with you, but because it would benefit you to sit down and look through what happened, figure out what type of relationship you want and what type you don’t want, and how to find someone who is a better match. Someone who would lift you up rather than drag you down. Take care.
     
    Chip likes this.