Run fast from toxic re­la­tion­ship

Cape Breton Post - - Advice/Games - El­lie Tesher

Q : We met in col­lege four years ago. His mom was “the other woman” in an af­fair, his dad’s never been there for them.

He has clin­i­cal de­pres­sion (no meds, he quit ther­apy) and has had cri­sis episodes of self­harm­ing af­ter destruc­tive re­la­tion­ships.

One three-year girl­friend, “A,” cut her­self at school, scream­ing pub­licly that it was his fault.

They fought con­stantly but couldn’t leave each other.

His then-ther­a­pist banned him from see­ing her; he got a bit bet­ter, and started a new re­la­tion­ship, which didn’t last long be­cause of con­stant in­ter­fer­ence from “A.”

I came along soon af­ter he broke up with her. I also tried to leave him due to other girls’ in­ter­fer­ence but he al­ways finds a way to con­tact me - show­ing up at my house, tex­ting me from an­other num­ber, etc. I al­ways fall back.

Last year, “A” re­turned, they had counselling to get back to­gether but didn’t. I re­al­ized he isn’t go­ing to change.

I have con­stant anx­i­ety and fear that he’s go­ing to choose her over me. He’s very rude and cruel to his mom, rude to me, and makes me feel stupid and un­wanted.

He’s been sex­u­ally in­volved with at least two other women, and I des­per­ately try to be enough for him.

— Lost

A: RUN! Get to a ther­a­pist for your­self, not for any fur­ther re­la­tion­ship with this dis­turbed, an­gry, dan­ger­ous per­son.

Save your­self. He wants to drag you and oth­ers down to the mess of his life. You need pro­fes­sional help ac­cept­ing that you don’t de­serve this treat­ment.

It’s not a re­la­tion­ship. It’s a cruel game of hurt­ing who­ever comes close to him.

Be with friends, car­ing fam­ily. If nec­es­sary, get a re­strain­ing or­der from po­lice based on his emo­tional abuse. He’s toxic for you.

Q : I see my close friend of ten years reg­u­larly, at­tended par­ties at her house, we’ve met each other’s fam­i­lies.

She moved in with her fi­ance 18 months ago.

We’d dis­cussed hav­ing a joint 50th birthday party this sum­mer, but she’d said she’d rather go away with him.

She’d ar­ranged a ca­sual house­warm­ing and birthday party as a low-key al­ter­na­tive. Lately, it’s been hard to get to see her.

She made lit­tle ef­fort to meet my new boyfriend. She called but left no mes­sage.

Sud­denly, her now-hus­band posted a wed­ding photo on so­cial me­dia an­nounc­ing that they’d mar­ried the day prior with only im­me­di­ate fam­ily at­tend­ing.

He re­minded ev­ery­one of the house­warm­ing party.

She phoned, say­ing she’d been plan­ning her se­cret wed­ding for a while.

She was sorry that I had to learn about it on so­cial me­dia.

I don’t be­grudge her mar­i­tal hap­pi­ness, or how she wanted to hold her wed­ding, etc.

But I be­grudge her ly­ing to me about th­ese plans (she didn’t apol­o­gize) and her un­avail­abil­ity for months.

She ad­mit­ted that she’d turned down the joint 50th birthday plan, know­ing she was getting mar­ried in­stead.

I would’ve un­der­stood a small fam­ily wed­ding, not the need to lie.

I’m feel­ing dis­ap­pointed, duped. I’m not sure that it’s worth sav­ing this friend­ship. — Dis­ap­pointed Friend A: Give this de­ci­sion some time. Sud­den dis­tanc­ing can make you ap­pear en­vi­ous rather than dis­ap­pointed in her be­hav­iour.

At­tend the house­warm­ing. You don’t have to give a ma­jor gift but your long friend­ship war­rants a con­grat­u­la­tory ges­ture.

Many brides (all ages) get caught up and self-ab­sorbed in their pre-nup­tial ex­cite­ment. She al­ready knows she of­fended you, which is why she called af­ter his post.

If things don’t re­turn to past close­ness over some time, the friend­ship will drift any­way. Q

: We’re grand­par­ents of a di­vorced son’s two boys. His ex-wife won’t let us have any con­tact at all with them. We feel she’s wrong to de­prive the young boys from know­ing their fa­ther’s par­ents.

We don’t want them to grow up not know­ing us. What should we do?

Sad but Lov­ing Grand­par­ents

A: You’re not alone in th­ese kinds of heart-wrench­ing sit­u­a­tions.

Your son should be mak­ing sure he has ac­cess and con­tact with his kids, and if not, the rea­son is im­por­tant for you to know.

If he is in con­tact with them, he can give the boys let­ters and cards from you, have presents from you at his place for them to use, have them call you from his place.

But if this isn’t hap­pen­ing, it’s a par­tic­u­larly poi­soned at­mos­phere and you need to know why.

He should seek le­gal help for ac­cess. If im­pos­si­ble, ask a lawyer about grand­par­ents’ ac­cess.

TIP OF THE DAY Con­stant re­la­tion­ship fear and anx­i­ety is emo­tion­ally abu­sive. Save your­self.

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