What to do if a loved one is involved in a toxic relationship

What to do if a loved one is involved in a toxic relationship
There is nothing as difficult as watching somebody you love literally throw their life away over somebody who is no good for them.
Their partner might treat them badly, is possibly controlling, and may be manipulating your loved one in such a way that they’re pulling away from you so that you hardly see them or speak to them anymore.
You can see how damaging this person is to their life, you can see them for what they are, but your loved one doesn’t see it the same way.  In many cases they will defend their toxic partner, and even distance themself from you even further.
This whole situation can be made even worse if you’re a grandparent with a son or daughter who has stopped letting you see your grandchildren.
Situations like this can be heartbreaking.  Your frustration is justified as you can see what your loved one is doing, but they just don’t see it.
Your first reaction is to confront them and try to convince them that what they’re doing is wrong – that their partner is bad news, and that they should get away from their partner quick.
Unfortunatly, this seldom works. In fact, what happens is that the first thing your loved one will do is defend theirs and their partner’s actions.  And they’ll probably end up distancing themself from you even more.
So how do you deal with situations such as this?
Unless your loved one’s toxic partner is physically hurting your loved one, unfortunately there is very little you can do.  You can’t convince somebody who doesn’t want to be convinced, and you can’t “force” them to do what you know to be right.
But there are some things you can do:
Let your loved one know that you love them and that you will be there for them if and when they ever need you.
Stop judging them – or their partner (no matter how bad he/she is, your loved one loves them).
There is nothing wrong with maintaining regular contact – even if it’s just to send them a birthday or Christmas card with a little note to tell them you love them.
If you must say anything at all about the subject, let your loved one know that you are concerned about their relationship with their toxic partner, but also suggest that you understand it is their decision and you will support and be there for them, no matter what.
Whenever you’re communicating with them, mention old times or occasions where you were all happy and things were great – this will remind them of better times, without you focusing on the negatives of now.
As you can see, the ideas listed above really suggest to your loved one that you love them and will be there for them.  The reason why this is important, is because when they eventually wake up and decide to walk away from their relationship, it will be so much easier for them if they know they have your support.
To try to talk them into leaving their partner and constantly criticise them or their partner will only make things more difficult for your loved one.  They may even choose to stay with their partner out of spite or out of sheer pride – they won’t want to admit they made a mistake.
Having found myself with a toxic partner and staying with him for 9 very long years, I know how I would have reacted if somebody had told me I should leave him.  I would have stayed – just to prove them wrong!  I hate to admit I’ve made a mistake – especially one that’s so big – so to have people around me telling me to get out would have been something I ignored.  I would have gone so far as to distance myself from them too – just so I didn’t have to listen to their nagging!
When I did eventually end my relationship, it was because I knew I had family around me who would love and support me no matter what.  It’s those people I needed most when I finally walked away from my now ex husband, and they really were there for me.  Phew!

There is nothing as difficult as watching somebody you love literally throw their life away over somebody who is no good for them.

Their partner might treat them badly, is possibly controlling, and may be manipulating your loved one in such a way that they’re pulling away from you so that you hardly see them or speak to them anymore.

You can see how damaging this person is to their life, you can see them for what they are, but your loved one doesn’t see it the same way.  In many cases they will defend their toxic partner, and even distance themself from you even further.

This whole situation can be made even worse if you’re a grandparent with a son or daughter who has stopped letting you see your grandchildren.

Situations like this can be heartbreaking.  Your frustration is justified as you can see what your loved one is doing, but they just don’t see it.

Your first reaction is to confront them and try to convince them that what they’re doing is wrong – that their partner is bad news, and that they should get away from their partner quick.

Unfortunatly, this seldom works. In fact, what happens is that the first thing your loved one will do is defend theirs and their partner’s actions.  And they’ll probably end up distancing themself from you even more.

So how do you deal with situations such as this?

Unless your loved one’s toxic partner is physically hurting your loved one  (if they are, then you can report it to the police or other governing bodies around physical abuse), unfortunately there is very little you can do.  You can’t convince somebody who doesn’t want to be convinced, and you can’t “force” them to do what you know to be right.

But there are some things you can do:

  • Let your loved one know that you love them and that you will be there for them if and when they ever need you.
  • Stop judging them – or their partner (no matter how bad he/she is, your loved one loves them).
  • There is nothing wrong with maintaining regular contact – even if it’s just to send them a birthday or Christmas card with a little note to tell them you love them.
  • If you must say anything at all about the subject, let your loved one know that you are concerned about their relationship with their toxic partner, but also suggest that you understand it is their decision and you will support and be there for them, no matter what.
  • Whenever you’re communicating with them, mention old times or occasions where you were all happy and things were great – this will remind them of better times, without you focusing on the negatives of now.

As you can see, the ideas listed above really suggest to your loved one that you love them and will be there for them.  The reason why this is important, is because when they eventually wake up and decide to walk away from their relationship, it will be so much easier for them if they know they have your support.

To try to talk them into leaving their partner and constantly criticise them or their partner will only make things more difficult for your loved one.  They may even choose to stay with their partner out of spite or out of sheer pride – they won’t want to admit they made a mistake.

Having found myself with a toxic partner and staying with him for 9 very long years, I know how I would have reacted if somebody had told me I should leave him.  I would have stayed – just to prove them wrong!

I hate to admit I’ve made a mistake – especially one that’s so big – so to have people around me telling me to get out would have been something I ignored.  I would have gone so far as to distance myself from them too – just so I didn’t have to listen to their nagging!

When I did eventually end my relationship, it was because I knew I had family around me who would love and support me no matter what.  It’s those people I needed most when I finally walked away from my now ex husband, and they really were there for me.  Phew!

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