Relationships Issues

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Catharsis, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Catharsis

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    I hope this is allowed, it has nothing to do with me, but one of my friends broke up with her boyfriend a while ago and now she's devastated and really confused about what to do, and I don't know how to help her... I was hoping that maybe I can get some advice to give to her, since I am far from being an expert on relationships.

    As I said, she broke up with him for reasons I'll explain later in this post. But it's been a couple weeks, and she started crying because she misses him and she still loves him. She knows that he loved her and was extremely faithful to her. He would never lie to her and tells her everything. She's worried that she won't meet another guy who will feel and act the same way. My point is, she clearly loves him and misses him a lot.

    Now... She's conflicted to some of the other physical attributes of their (past) relationship. Apparently, he was very controlling. With very few exceptions, he wouldn't want her to talk to any other guys except for him and his friends. While she trusted him, apparently he didn't trust her. Another example of his control is that he wouldn't let her leave and go home when she wanted. I guess it got to the point where he would pin her down and tell her to stay, but I don't know for a fact that this is true.

    He's a college dropout with no intentions of going anywhere in life, with his excuse being (at 20 years of age) that he's still young and he has time. But at this point, for how many more years can he say that? She's tried to help him find a job, but instead of thinking that she's trying to help him, he thinks that she's nagging him. She was able to hook him up with helping out at her family's diner for one night a week, and he makes $30 from that. But instead of using it to take his girlfriend out on a date (apparently they've never been on one) or even saving the money, he uses it on drugs and to pay for netflix, and she looks at this as if he thinks drugs and movies are more important than she is.

    She feels compassion for him because he's had a bad childhood. I'm not sure of all the details, but his father didn't want him and left him and his mom right after he was born. So he grew up without a father figure for his entire life and was given what he wanted from his mom. I suppose his friends are also a bad influence on him. They do nothing with their lifes and have no intention on doing anything, apparently. It doesn't help the situation that, even still, his mom enables him by giving him money every week. I personally believe that the only way you're going to learn from life is to learn the hard way. If you get used to being given money your entire life, what's going to happen when the source of that money runs out? You're going to have to earn it, eventually, and at this point it's better to learn that before it becomes too late.

    Because of all of this, her entire family don't "approve" of him, so to speak. Her mother and sisters thought she could do a lot better, but she believes that she couldn't. Is this a self-confidence issue?

    My friend loves him and she could tell that he loved her, but she didn't want to live her life as a sacrifice for him, by paying for everything. I know that relationships are really supposed to be founded on love and not money, but she couldn't see a future with him.

    I would agree that communication is key, but she's already told him all of this for the past few months and she even threatened that she couldn't be with him if he doesn't straighten up his life. And... here we are. But she's conflicted. I really don't know if it gets easier as time passes, so I couldn't tell her to move on. I did say that he could change his life by being more responsible with his money and learn that he can only get older from here (i.e. he won't be young forever), but between the influence from his mom and his friends, I'm not exactly sure how he's supposed to learn this.

    What advice should I give her?
     
  2. dolfette

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    tell her to grow the fuck up.

    you know what happens if you kiss frogs?
    they stay frogs!

    and this frog is one of those brightly coloured ones with toxic skin. she has some stupidarse fairytale fantasy that he'll change if she loves him enough. his sob story doesn't change the fact that he's a lazy, selfish, bullying arsehole. love doesn't change that one iota.

    i know you care deeply about your pal but, honestly, she's being a moron.
     
  3. poultrygeist

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    ^^^ this

    The truth is he cared more about drugs and netflix than their relationship. Faithful is not just about sex….he was more faithful to the drugs. He was just using her for what he could get out of it, it sounds like. His mom catered to her little boy's habit and he's cliniging to the tit. Now he's looking for a sugar mama. He was controlling because he didn't want her realizing that there's better men out there for her. She must have some good self-confidence because it's hard to leave a relationship knowing you'll be alone. She probably just thought she could fix him. Also, lots of people grew up with a bad childhood without a father and they turn out just fine. He can't blame anything on childhood at this point. He has to grow up and take responsbility for himself. If she has stayed in the relationship at some point things would have gotten worse for her and eventually that could have destroyed her future too if she stayed with him.
     
    Ask her if "if your sister or daughter were in the same situation, what would you want them to do if they were dating a guy like that?" She'll find the right guy and one day look back and realize she was silly for ever dating that guy. She's getting wiser by the day it sounds like. So continue to support her by listening.
     
  4. jump_start

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    To the OP: Almost everything you posted about your friend's situation is almost a mirror image of mine. I felt (and yes, that's PAST tense) the same way about him that your friend feels about her now ex-boyfriend. Here's my story, so you can compare notes:

    He always had some sob story. His latest one is not being able to find a job because of the terrible economy (he used this excuse repeatedly for 2 years). He graduated from college 2 years ago with a useless degree (because he screwed off all through college and was a major pothead), hasn't worked a job since 2007 because his wealthy parents gave him a stipend to live off of, but that came to an end when he graduated. My ex-boyfriend freeloaded off of me for 3 years before I had enough. He knew how to tug at my heartstrings, what to say, etc.. I went through the same emotions that your friend is going through, but I eventually realized that I was much better off without him, and I'm much better off today because of it. Do I miss him? Sometimes. But then I think about all the bullshit I had to deal with with him in my life and it just isn't worth it. You can't pick and choose the attributes a person can bring to the relationship. It's an all-inclusive package. If you decide that you can deal with everything that the other person is bringing to the table, then so be it. But if you can't, or have a doubts about whether you can handle it, don't do it. She obviously couldn't deal with all of the bullshit he brought to the table, so she ended it. She made the right choice, and she needs to stick by her decision.

    The previous poster to me is 100% right on his post (as is dolfette). Bottom line: as long as there is someone there enabling him to continue on the same path he's on, he'll never change, and will always rely on other people to get him by. He can blame his past all he wants, but eventually he's going to have to grow up and act like an adult, and quit blaming his shortcomings on everything bad that happened as a child. Does he love her? Maybe. I think she's confusing his so-called "appreciation" for love. People like him are master manipulators. They will say and do anything to get what they want. I think everything in the OP's original post is proof positive of that.
     
  5. Catharsis

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    thanks for the replies.

    I know that he can't blame his childhood for his present and future, but it goes way beyond simply living in a fatherless household... I just forgot what else was involved. I just remember thinking it was one of those eye-opener stories where you realize that you actually have it really good.

    but anyway, thanks for the replies. I think she realizes that even though she's still attached to him, she will have to get over him.
     
  6. dolfette

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    oh please!
    i have an eye opener story. it'd blow your mind. but i don't use it as an excuse to bully and abuse, take advantage of and act like a spoilt toddler forever. people like that will play on the sob story forever. it's his easy way out of being a decent human being.
    he's an adult now.
     
  7. aninnymouse

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    To make a long story short. She can't fix him, he'll only drag her down. Breakups suck, especially when you've invested a lot of time, effort and sometimes even money into a relationship, but quite honestly, it sounds like she can do a lot better.

    A tough childhood, being abused, etc is one thing. However, the controlling, physical dominance and not being willing to make any efforts to better himself are red flags for developing into an abusive relationship, if it hasn't already.

    He's toxic for her, will be even more toxic if she gets back with him. It was good for her to get rid of him when she did; and she needs to not take him back. It will take time, but encourage her to do what she has to do to move on. She invested what she could, and that's that. However, she has to move on in her own time, no one elses.
     
  8. erratic

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    Let her know, in no uncertain language, that's simply not true. If she's resistant, tell her to prove to you that there's no other guy out there who can treat another person with the respect they deserve. She will be forced to prove herself wrong, and that can be very powerful.


    Ask her if she liked that. Ask her if that made her life more difficult. Ask her if that's the way a gentleman should behave. The idea is to build up the number of things that she acknowledges were imperfect about him and the relationship. Right now it sounds like she is mourning her image of their relationship - a wonderful, never-to-be-achieved-again union - not the actual relationship. This is totally normal, but helping her look at the truth of the situation will help her help herself to move on.

    At some point she will come to agree with you, I'm sure.

    Sure, he had a bad childhood and may have trouble discerning between helpful prodding and nagging. He's not a one-dimensional villain. But did she like that? Did she like being labeled for trying to help?

    This may be the thin end of the wedge. Ask her if there's a contradiction between that behaviour and her image of him. Ask her if a faithful, loyal, loving man would use what little money he has for drugs and Netflix over food and friends.

    You've hit the nail on the head with that one.

    I don't know her as well as you, but to go by what I know of people in general I'd say yes and no. Yes, because if she were more self-confident, had more self-esteem, she would probably have seen his faults as toxic to the relationship. However, there's also the old (and often reliable) stereotype that if your family disapproves that will drive a couple together. In the short term. From what I've seen, in the long term it doesn't pay off...which your friend seems to be experiencing right now.


    It's good that she still loves him. He is not without positive attributes, and she's clearly a compassionate person. You may not want to say that she deserves better than him but I would encourage you to tell her you believe she made the right decision to stand up for herself. That way you're not disparaging him, setting up a wedge between you should they end up back together, but you're bolstering her self-esteem. By framing the choice as her standing up for herself (versus her dumping him) you can say she made the right choice and tell her she's right to stand up for herself - to exercise her self-esteem.

    That's life. It's messy, isn't it? I remember when I realized that couples didn't look like they do in media representations of them. There's rarely a hero or a villain in any couple. Sounds like she misses the parts of him that were loving and loyal, like she misses her idea of what they were/could be, but doesn't miss his very real flaws.

    It absolutely, 100% does get easier. You can tell her that on good authority. As for telling her to move on...I would suggest encouraging her to come to that conclusion herself by asking her (as in ways I've suggested above) to voice her dissatisfaction with her relationship, and to contrast her relationship with what she thinks she deserves. She sounds like a smart woman, so she should come around - but right now she's mourning. Forcing someone through mourning seldom, if ever, really works. At best, she may politely suffer your attempts at it; at worst, she may react to it negatively, seeing you as just like her family, and her as his only ally.

    Good. There's no fault in you expressing that he could improve his behaviour (as opposed to casting aspersions about he himself, his personality), and she probably wants to hear you say that you believe in her, and you believe she made the right choice for herself. "I believe in you." "You're a smart woman." "You know what's right for you." These are ways to be supportive without denigrating someone she still loves. We may all see that she deserves someone better, but we're being logical and the heart doesn't work that way. Like they say, the heart has its reasons that reason cannot know.

    If she asks you (even if she asks you if she should go back to him), tell her that she deserves someone who gives as much, cares as much, and loves as much as she does. Tell her she deserves someone as beautiful, wonderful, strong, and caring as she is. I suspect she believes this, and that she believes he's not the answer.

    Good on you, by the way, for being a good friend.
     
    #8 erratic, Sep 5, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  9. Catharsis

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    She talked to me today some more about it, but instead of a solemn and depressed down, she was definitely cheerful. I thought it was a great time to take your advice, erratic, and supported her decision and said that she's doing the right thing by doing what's best for her. She smiled, blushed, and said thanks. :)

    She told me that her sister and mother also support her decision, and her roommate is also supporting her and gave her a playlist that consists of positive, happy, feel-good music... lol

    Needless to say, with all the support from the people she's truly close with, she is doing much better and is becoming increasingly accepting that her ex is no longer involved in her life. To top it off, she definitely realizes that she's much better off without him - she even made a list of qualities she wants to look for in a guy based exactly on what her boyfriend wasn't like, lol.
     
  10. bigbulgelicker45

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    I totally understand what she's going through after my ex and I had an on again off again relationship. At the time, I didn't realize how controlling he was and he was verbally abusive toward me bringing down my own self worth. His weakness was living at home and drinking everyday.

    If the adage is true, we did fall in love when we first met in '83 but never had a relationship until '92 since we never ran into one another until one night by accident. At that point we were "just friends" and our first "official" date was NYE '92. The first three months of '92 were okay, but he played around and I was faithful. Between our birthdays (15 days apart) he met someone else right under my nose. He didn't have the balls to break up with me as I figured going out for a drink on a Monday was odd. Everyone at the bar knew and the only thing I said was I wanted my key back.

    That relationship didn't work and he came crawling back. The rest of the time until July of '93 was about 90% pure hell. Constant bickering and we were at the bar everyday. I didn't see it coming but he found "the best guy in the world" dumped me for him and just as I was getting back to "normal" in 2000, he called out of the blue. He seemed to change for the better and a couple of months later were back to being a couple.

    After his mother passed away, he became abusive again and we had to go out drinking everyday but I was also seeing someone on the side which he didn't know about. He confessed one night that he, his ex and the ex's boyfriend had gone up to his cottage for the weekend (while I had to pick up his mail). I confessed my little secret and I could tell he was heartbroken but you know what comes around goes around.

    We continued this "relationship" for a few more months and after nearly two years I broke it off since I started to get different vibes from him. I told him I never wanted to see him again, that he was abusive and always had someone waiting in the wings.

    If I saw him come into a bar, I left and gave him all the drunk friends we'd met over the years. I occasionally miss him but when I start thinking about the past I'm glad I ended it since I left with my head held high. As a side note, he ruined my reputation with the people I introduced him to since he started spreading lies about what I said about them, when in fact he was the one who said the things.

    It's been nine years since I dumped him and I don't regret it. I've made some great new friends, love being single and am not looking for a relationship. If one comes along then so be it, but she should remember that she may have saved her own life as it seems like the abuse was just beginning and she too left with her head held high (whether she believes it or not).
     
  11. erratic

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    I'm glad to hear that she appreciated what you said, and I'm glad that she's moving on in her life.

    Again, good on you for being a good friend, catharses. Hopefully the good karma comes your way when you need it.
     
  12. D_Chesty_Pecjiggle

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    At least he was smart enough to not let her talk to other guys.

    Because if she talked to just about any other male, she'd realize what a loser this guy was.

    It may suck now, but she'll realize soon enough this was the best thing that ever happened to her.
     
  13. ideatechno88

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    Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.

    ----------------------------------
    Travesti
     
  14. Catharsis

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    Gosh, I hope so, haha. Although I didn't really do much, I just had to listen to what she says and followed the advice that you gave me, which was just to support her decision and keep her moving in the right direction.

    lol, yeah I think she realizes this - don't worry. I didn't really know him but I don't exactly have a good impression of him from what I've heard.

    That's weird how it works, isn't it? We all think that we'll be happier when we grow up, and now that I'm already starting to grow up I wish I was younger again, haha. Just to live in the carefree days... running around and away from whatever troubles exist the world, swinging away our own worries, just sitting in the lawn and picking and playing at the grass in front of me... Watching the sunrises, sunsets, the clouds go by, or looking up at the stars in the sky and not even worrying about how far they are or how many there are - just looking and admiring. It's nice to get together with some friends and have a bonfire at night. The starry sky in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees, the crisp air surrounding us and feeling the warmth by the fire......

    This is not even related to the topic, lol. But it feels nice to live the memories and appreciate the world for the beauty it offers.
     
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