Author Topic: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic  (Read 18625 times)

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Petticoats

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2012, 01:59:39 PM »
No kidding! Yes, what really gets me about this whole sorry situation is my friend's age and that of her 'boyfriend'. They are both in their early forties! Also, another detail that I had forgotten is that he owes her getting on for 500! For that reason alone, she should really chase him down, as he shows no signs of feeling obliged to pay. Really he is a prize all around. I hope he does move away, but not before he pays her what he owes.

No, actually, that makes perfect sense to me. I'm the same age, and it can be a bleak place to be as a single woman in search of love. The odds are against us. She actually may not have any better prospects than this piece of work. Not because of any shortcoming in her, but because the dating field doesn't favor us. She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

That said, I very much like a PP's earlier suggestion of asking her questions to help her get some perspective. "If this is all that's ever going to be between you, is it enough? If you had a friend who was in a relationship like this, what would you think?"

Fleur

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2012, 02:11:36 PM »
No kidding! Yes, what really gets me about this whole sorry situation is my friend's age and that of her 'boyfriend'. They are both in their early forties! Also, another detail that I had forgotten is that he owes her getting on for 500! For that reason alone, she should really chase him down, as he shows no signs of feeling obliged to pay. Really he is a prize all around. I hope he does move away, but not before he pays her what he owes.

No, actually, that makes perfect sense to me. I'm the same age, and it can be a bleak place to be as a single woman in search of love. The odds are against us. She actually may not have any better prospects than this piece of work. Not because of any shortcoming in her, but because the dating field doesn't favor us. She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

That said, I very much like a PP's earlier suggestion of asking her questions to help her get some perspective. "If this is all that's ever going to be between you, is it enough? If you had a friend who was in a relationship like this, what would you think?"

Wow, that is really bleak  :(I'm sorry, I hope my comment didn't offend you, I actually hadn't thought of it that way. I meant more that her take on things seemed a bit highschoolish, if that makes sense. Plus his behaviour is just really immature.  A depressing situation all around.

TurtleDove

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2012, 02:23:14 PM »
She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

Being in this "relationship" is keeping her from finding a real one.  She has a third option of finding a real relationship.

Petticoats

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2012, 03:51:22 PM »
No kidding! Yes, what really gets me about this whole sorry situation is my friend's age and that of her 'boyfriend'. They are both in their early forties! Also, another detail that I had forgotten is that he owes her getting on for 500! For that reason alone, she should really chase him down, as he shows no signs of feeling obliged to pay. Really he is a prize all around. I hope he does move away, but not before he pays her what he owes.

No, actually, that makes perfect sense to me. I'm the same age, and it can be a bleak place to be as a single woman in search of love. The odds are against us. She actually may not have any better prospects than this piece of work. Not because of any shortcoming in her, but because the dating field doesn't favor us. She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

That said, I very much like a PP's earlier suggestion of asking her questions to help her get some perspective. "If this is all that's ever going to be between you, is it enough? If you had a friend who was in a relationship like this, what would you think?"

Wow, that is really bleak  :(I'm sorry, I hope my comment didn't offend you, I actually hadn't thought of it that way. I meant more that her take on things seemed a bit highschoolish, if that makes sense. Plus his behaviour is just really immature.  A depressing situation all around.

Please don't worry, I didn't see anything offensive about your comment--I was just trying to shed some light on why what can seem like an immature perspective may be in place even at an age when one might think a woman would have learned better sense. (Did that sentence make sense?)

She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

Being in this "relationship" is keeping her from finding a real one.  She has a third option of finding a real relationship.

She may not believe that option is available to her. And maybe it isn't.

TurtleDove

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2012, 04:03:16 PM »
She may not believe that option is available to her. And maybe it isn't.
The "current" BF isn't an option either, and is preventing her from finding out!  I guess I agree with the posters who say focus on the fact the friend is choosing this.  No sympathy, no advice, just statements of, "It must make you happy since you are continuing to be in the relationship."

onyonryngs

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2012, 04:19:12 PM »
She may not believe that option is available to her. And maybe it isn't.
The "current" BF isn't an option either, and is preventing her from finding out!  I guess I agree with the posters who say focus on the fact the friend is choosing this.  No sympathy, no advice, just statements of, "It must make you happy since you are continuing to be in the relationship."

I get what Petticoats is saying.  In order to get out of the current relationship you do have to be be willing to be "lonely by yourself."  Unless you have another guy already lined up before you jump ship, you're going to be alone for at least a little while.  The friend has to make the decision - you can't guarantee she's going to find someone else.

TurtleDove

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2012, 04:35:41 PM »
I get what Petticoats is saying.  In order to get out of the current relationship you do have to be be willing to be "lonely by yourself."  Unless you have another guy already lined up before you jump ship, you're going to be alone for at least a little while.  The friend has to make the decision - you can't guarantee she's going to find someone else.

If an actual relationship existed, I would understand.  Here, she hasn't seen or even heard from her "boyfriend" in SIX WEEKS!  She IS by herself!

onyonryngs

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2012, 04:37:00 PM »
I get what Petticoats is saying.  In order to get out of the current relationship you do have to be be willing to be "lonely by yourself."  Unless you have another guy already lined up before you jump ship, you're going to be alone for at least a little while.  The friend has to make the decision - you can't guarantee she's going to find someone else.

If an actual relationship existed, I would understand.  Here, she hasn't seen or even heard from her "boyfriend" in SIX WEEKS!  She IS by herself!

Would you prefer if I worded it "In order to let go of what she thinks is her current relationship"?  Until she is willing to be alone, she's not going to let this go.  It's not any healthier to need to jump immediately into a new relationship right after the last one ends.  You should be comfortable with yourself.  She doesn't need to jump into anything new for awhile, she has issues to work out first.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 04:39:49 PM by onyonryngs »

Fleur

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2012, 05:12:42 PM »
No kidding! Yes, what really gets me about this whole sorry situation is my friend's age and that of her 'boyfriend'. They are both in their early forties! Also, another detail that I had forgotten is that he owes her getting on for 500! For that reason alone, she should really chase him down, as he shows no signs of feeling obliged to pay. Really he is a prize all around. I hope he does move away, but not before he pays her what he owes.

No, actually, that makes perfect sense to me. I'm the same age, and it can be a bleak place to be as a single woman in search of love. The odds are against us. She actually may not have any better prospects than this piece of work. Not because of any shortcoming in her, but because the dating field doesn't favor us. She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

That said, I very much like a PP's earlier suggestion of asking her questions to help her get some perspective. "If this is all that's ever going to be between you, is it enough? If you had a friend who was in a relationship like this, what would you think?"

Wow, that is really bleak  :(I'm sorry, I hope my comment didn't offend you, I actually hadn't thought of it that way. I meant more that her take on things seemed a bit highschoolish, if that makes sense. Plus his behaviour is just really immature.  A depressing situation all around.

Please don't worry, I didn't see anything offensive about your comment--I was just trying to shed some light on why what can seem like an immature perspective may be in place even at an age when one might think a woman would have learned better sense. (Did that sentence make sense?)

She may know on some level that this is the best she's likely to find, as rotten as he is, so she can choose whether to be lonely in this "relationship" <cough> or lonely by herself.

Being in this "relationship" is keeping her from finding a real one.  She has a third option of finding a real relationship.

She may not believe that option is available to her. And maybe it isn't.

Oh, yes, that sentence made perfect sense! And I see what you mean. I hope that nobody thinks that I am judging my friend, I am just really sorry for her. He sounds awful, though I do take TurtleDove's point, of course. That said, she really doesn't see his being out of contact for the sign that it is-she honestly that his being apart from her speaks to his tortured love. I was very taken aback when she said it had been six weeks, and yet she was still cooking up plans to stop him moving away. I just hope he doesn't move without paying her, although I am sure that he will.

Petticoats

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2012, 06:38:02 PM »

Oh, yes, that sentence made perfect sense! And I see what you mean. I hope that nobody thinks that I am judging my friend, I am just really sorry for her. He sounds awful, though I do take TurtleDove's point, of course. That said, she really doesn't see his being out of contact for the sign that it is-she honestly that his being apart from her speaks to his tortured love. I was very taken aback when she said it had been six weeks, and yet she was still cooking up plans to stop him moving away. I just hope he doesn't move without paying her, although I am sure that he will.

I feel sorry for her too, and it must be really hard for you to watch her throw herself away on this sham. I hope that she's able to get enough perspective to see that this guy's no good to her (or anybody, sounds like) and that it's in her best interests to move on. Fingers crossed.

baglady

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2012, 07:23:56 PM »
She won't hear you. She simply won't. I have been in her shoes, and nobody could tell me that there was *anything* wrong with Dr. Evil.

He had loads of charisma and did the "love bombing" thing at the beginning. Everything I said was brilliant. Everything about me was fascinating. I was totally convinced we were meant to be, and when he dropped me, I spent almost two years trying to find that magic key that would reawaken those feelings he had for me at the beginning. Eventually I snapped out of it, but it took me a few more years to realize that he never had any such feelings -- he was lying the whole time.

Here's the kicker: Not only was I in my 40s when this happened -- I was *in a relationship*. I was only interested in being friends with Dr. Evil. But he came on with the whole "I can't possibly be just friends with you -- what we have is too special!" that I came thisclose to leaving Bagman for that rhymes-with-plastered.

The evidence was all there, but I could not see it when I was in the depths of my obsession.

I wish I could give you some magic words to snap your friend out of it, but as long as she's infatuated/obsessed with the idealized relationship he planted in her head (because that's what narcissists, sociopaths and narcissistic sociopaths do), she will not hear them. The "magic words" that finally snapped me out of it were a variation on "he doesn't deserve you," but I had to hit bottom before I could hear them and take them to heart.

I feel your pain ... and hers.
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blarg314

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2012, 10:14:59 PM »

Please don't worry, I didn't see anything offensive about your comment--I was just trying to shed some light on why what can seem like an immature perspective may be in place even at an age when one might think a woman would have learned better sense. (Did that sentence make sense?)


I definitely agree that dating in your early forties can be a lonely and depressing place. There are a lot fewer single people than there were when you were younger. Many of those single people have kids from prior relationship (which may not be what you want, and definitely complicates things).

And for women, there's the fact that a lot of the men your age are actively looking for younger women, particularly if they want to have children themselves.  So you find that the guys in their early forties aren't even seeing you on dating sites (they've set the filter to 39 and under) and you're getting responses from guys in their mid to late fifties.

If the OP's friend has been on 80 speed dates in two years, 30 of which turned into further contact, and this loser is the best thing that's come out of that - that's pretty depressing, and I can see how that could really skew her perspective.

What she's doing is still really counterproductive, though, unless she genuinely is happier with what she's got than she would be alone.


TurtleDove

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2012, 10:34:32 PM »
Since she is fabricating this "relationship," why doesn't she just fabricate a better one?

MariaE

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #58 on: December 21, 2012, 04:06:31 AM »
I get what Petticoats is saying.  In order to get out of the current relationship you do have to be be willing to be "lonely by yourself."  Unless you have another guy already lined up before you jump ship, you're going to be alone for at least a little while.  The friend has to make the decision - you can't guarantee she's going to find someone else.

If an actual relationship existed, I would understand.  Here, she hasn't seen or even heard from her "boyfriend" in SIX WEEKS!  She IS by herself!

I'm reminded of a quote from "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat" by Vicki Myron:
"Everone has a pain thermometer that goes from zero to ten. No one will make a change until they reach ten. Nine won't do it. At nine you are still afraid. Only ten will move you, and when you're there, you'll know. No one can make that decision for you."

I think that's very apt in this situation. The OP's friend isn't at 10 yet. And nobody else can tell her she should be - she has to realize it for herself.
 
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Emmy

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Re: Polite way to tell a friend: your boyfriend is toxic
« Reply #59 on: December 21, 2012, 08:03:28 AM »
I get what Petticoats is saying.  In order to get out of the current relationship you do have to be be willing to be "lonely by yourself."  Unless you have another guy already lined up before you jump ship, you're going to be alone for at least a little while.  The friend has to make the decision - you can't guarantee she's going to find someone else.

If an actual relationship existed, I would understand.  Here, she hasn't seen or even heard from her "boyfriend" in SIX WEEKS!  She IS by herself!

I'm reminded of a quote from "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat" by Vicki Myron:
"Everone has a pain thermometer that goes from zero to ten. No one will make a change until they reach ten. Nine won't do it. At nine you are still afraid. Only ten will move you, and when you're there, you'll know. No one can make that decision for you."

I think that's very apt in this situation. The OP's friend isn't at 10 yet. And nobody else can tell her she should be - she has to realize it for herself.

That's a good way of putting it.  I think the afraid of being alone factor has a lot to do with the bad relationship.  People will put up with a lot from another person rather than being alone.  At age 21, I learned a similar lesson.  The guy who seemed crazy about me turned cold and I really wanted to rekindle how things were.  I tried way longer than I should to resuscitate what I thought we had.  Thankfully after several lies and being ignored the semester ended and I decided to never call him again and got over him.  My pain thermometer was readjusted because of that and I grew a little more jaded and careful with my heart.  I still made mistakes after that, but I was able to cut losses much easier.

I can't speak for dating our 40's, but some women I know in their 20's settled for the bottom of the barrel.  These were the women who feared being alone as the worst possible thing.  After my loser, I decided that I would rather be lonely while alone and have the hope of meeting somebody special than being lonely because I settled for a loser.  I can see how being at an age where there are fewer available partners can heighten the sense that somebody has to hang on to what they have (or think they have).

If your friend met a guy who seemed nice, do you think she would be interested in getting to know him or turn him away because she has a 'boyfriend'?  Maybe she is convinced this guy is special and her reason for not leaving does not involve her being alone.