Author Topic: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic  (Read 17488 times)

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artk2002

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2012, 01:42:01 PM »


Sadly, I don't think that she will take the six weeks of silence for the clear sign that it is. They have gone through 'gaps' in the past, though I'm not sure that they have ever been quite this long. She just harps on the idea that he is afraid of the strength of his feeling for her.

A very sad situation. The bold is such a deep pile of excrement that hip waders are necessary to get through it. Unfortunately, this plays directly to her desire to be wanted. Sadly, this is one of those lessons that she will have to learn on her own. There's nothing you can say that can divert her.

Also, another detail that I had forgotten is that he owes her getting on for 500!

Color me unsurprised.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Fleur

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2012, 02:02:12 PM »


Sadly, I don't think that she will take the six weeks of silence for the clear sign that it is. They have gone through 'gaps' in the past, though I'm not sure that they have ever been quite this long. She just harps on the idea that he is afraid of the strength of his feeling for her.

A very sad situation. The bold is such a deep pile of excrement that hip waders are necessary to get through it. Unfortunately, this plays directly to her desire to be wanted. Sadly, this is one of those lessons that she will have to learn on her own. There's nothing you can say that can divert her.

Also, another detail that I had forgotten is that he owes her getting on for 500!

Color me unsurprised.

Sadly, I fear you are quite right, especially about her desire to be wanted. When she told me all about his alleged fear of his feelings for her, I just wanted to groan out loud. It is as you say utter bull waste, but it is astonishing how many otherwise brilliant people, both male and female, fall for such lines.

Deetee

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2012, 02:05:17 PM »
She is not getting that money back.

People who care about someone do not show it by  borrowing large sums of money, not seeing them and dating other people. That is about the oppisite of caring about someone that I can imagine.

There may be a polite way to tell her stuff, but she is not listening.

Drawberry

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2012, 03:43:57 PM »
Your friend needs help because she's in an emotionally abusive relationship. As far as I am concerned it's no long 'etiquette' but a deep relationship issue. This is a man who's openly discussed using women, having issues of his own in forming lasting connections, and is plying on your friends insecurities as a way into her life.

When people are in a relationship like that they become too delusioned by the 'sales pitch' these people put forward that they cannot possibly imagine them any way else. They're too insecure to want to stand up for themselves and very likely never will without serious help.

I do not know what you could personally do for your friend because she needs help beyond what you can provide and I am very sure she's unwilling to speak with a counselor. This situation seems to be beyond your scope of control or help and may be simply out of your hands.

TurtleDove

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2012, 03:52:31 PM »
Your friend needs help because she's in an emotionally abusive relationship.

I don't think she is in any relationship at all!  She is emotionally abusing herself.  The man is certainly not leading her on or trying to get into her life.  He has made it clear he is not interested in her.

Amara

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2012, 04:03:13 PM »
She seems to be using him to beat herself up, and he is using her to prop himself up.

Venus193

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2012, 04:08:05 PM »
The friend needs to read this discussion:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=16099.0

Just Lori

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2012, 05:30:35 PM »
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a similar story.  Tom* (not his real name) and I dated for a couple of months before he had to leave town for a work assignment. During his absence, he'd occasionally call and drop the "love" word.  When he returned, we saw each other once and he disappeared.  A few months went by and he'd show up again, oozing with charm.  This went on for a few years.

I remember when his grandfather died and he asked me to come over and spend the evening.  His father and brother were there as well and his dad made a remark about how, "But even with all the girls he sees, you're the one he always goes back to, and you're the one he calls when something like this happens."

Those are not good words for a lovesick, stupid young woman.

It took me another couple of years to realize that even if that were true (and I think in a way, he loved me as much as he was capable of loving anyone at the time), it was still not enough.   Life isn't what it's like in love songs, movies and romance novels. 

Boy, that was cathartic.  :)

blarg314

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2012, 10:08:53 PM »
The problem is that she's constructed a story in her head, and no matter what he does, she'll interpret his behaviour to match her story.

The story is that he loves her, and is so in love with her that the strength of his feelings scares him.

So he doesn't call for six weeks?  He's scared of the depth of his love and needs space.  He won't be seen in public with her?  She's special, and he wants to keep her from the threat of alcohol. He's actively dating multiple women?  She's special - none of those women mean anything, he's just trying to recapture experiences he missed in his youth. He owes her money?  He's in a tough spot right now, and will pay her back as soon as he can.

He could send her to the hospital with multiple contusions, and she'd still find a way to justify it.

You, me and the rest of the board know very well that he's using her, and his main emotion is probably "Woo-hoo!  I can sleep around on her, ignore her for weeks on end, borrow money from her and not pay it back, and refuse to bee seen with her in public, and she'll not only put up with it, she'll make the excuses up for me!"

Unfortunately, as the friend there's not much you can do about it. You can try leading questions and comments, but it sounds like she's ignoring those nicely. You could try being blunt about it *once* to see if it gets through to her. You can refuse to listen to her talk about her pseudo-boyfriend.

But nothing you can do will make her break up with the jerk until she wants to. When/if she reaches that point, you can be there to help her pick up the pieces.

nonesuch4

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2012, 10:48:29 PM »
She kept on saying that 'he has feelings for me, he is just afraid of them'.

My stepdaughter once whinged about a boy friend who seemed unable to make a commitment.  I said,"He may never be ready.  That is a problem, but it doesn't have to be your problem.  Move on".

I never was real popular with the stepdaughter.

Anyway,  "chasing the cat" would be a deal-breaker.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2012, 10:58:31 PM »
Am I the only one thinking he might be married?

Calypso

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2012, 12:48:04 AM »
I think she has delusions of Bella-dom.

rashea

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2012, 10:26:42 AM »
The problem is that she's constructed a story in her head, and no matter what he does, she'll interpret his behaviour to match her story.

The story is that he loves her, and is so in love with her that the strength of his feelings scares him.

So he doesn't call for six weeks?  He's scared of the depth of his love and needs space.  He won't be seen in public with her?  She's special, and he wants to keep her from the threat of alcohol. He's actively dating multiple women?  She's special - none of those women mean anything, he's just trying to recapture experiences he missed in his youth. He owes her money?  He's in a tough spot right now, and will pay her back as soon as he can.

That's why I recommend not trying to challenge her beliefs, yet. Find a restaurant that doesn't have a liquor licence, and remove that excuse. Decide that if he's that afraid of his "love" then going to counseling would be good for him.

If you go with the delusion for a while, and see what you can do to "problem solve" then after a while the delusion starts to break down.

It also works if for some reason he really is just that screwed up and needs help. I won't get rid of a relationship because the other person has issues, but I will if they refuse to work on those issues. That's my dealbreaker. It maybe that the friend can handle that.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Emmy

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2012, 12:41:37 PM »
It's hard when friends are so caught up in delusions that they can't see the truth when it punches them in the face.  A friend of mine was deciding whether to break up with her boyfriend and made a pros and cons list.  The cons list was 3 times longer than the pros.  The sad things was the pros were just what you would expect from a normal person, such as 'not losing his temper in public'.  If you have to stretch that far for a pro, the relationship is in a sad state.

You can't change somebody's mind and part of the reason your friend may believe this guy is 'the one' is she may feel she doesn't deserve or can't get anybody better (or is so afraid of being along that anybody will do).  You can tell her that her boyfriend is using her, that she deserves better, ect., but as plain as the facts are, she won't see them if she doesn't want to do so.  I don't think it would be polite to keep harping on her about the relationship unless she brings it up, then you can give your opinion.

Bethalize

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2012, 12:56:32 PM »
My most effective way of dealing with people like this woman is to say nothing (do not engage in sympathy) but stick to the line that you choose this, this is your lot. For ever and ever. That's your choice. It doesn't bother me but I'm not going to help you manage it or cope with it because you should be able to do that one your own. With your choice comes these advantages and disadvantages. You chose them all when you choose this. It's good that you like this because it's not going to change.

Eventually I'll suggest that perhaps it's time they took a long hard look at what they are getting out of this relationship. What is about them that makes them up for this? Therapy might help...

Worst case scenario, I don't have to hear the moaning any more.