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Thread: How can I stop being an “enabler” in a relationship?

  1. #1
    Bronze Member Gymgirl71's Avatar
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    How can I stop being an “enabler” in a relationship?

    I am not in a relationship, but with my ex he would make me promises and I would say half of the time at least, he would let me down. I enabled his behavior by forgiving his broken promises, and/or not following through on things so basically I taught him he could flake out, break his word, disrespect me etc and I would keep forgiving him. Call him the next day or text him and of course he would respond but his behavior remained the same. I was teaching him he could act how he wants and there would be no consequences. So, going forward how do you handle this behavior in a relationship? I know obviously you express the behavior isn’t ok but besides that?

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    You've answered your own question, I think. Don't forgive broken promises, don't teach him that it's ok to break his word and disrespect you, etc.

    You seem to understand what you did. Stop doing that!!! :)

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    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Basically, if you have a reasonable request, a person who cares will improve their behavior to keep you in their life. After communication, if the partner continues with the dealbreaker behavior, you end things and move on. Keep cutting loose the losers so you can be single when the keeper comes along.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member Gymgirl71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    You've answered your own question, I think. Don't forgive broken promises, don't teach him that it's ok to break his word and disrespect you, etc.

    You seem to understand what you did. Stop doing that!!! :)
    And how do you teach him that? Ignoring his calls? Don’t be available to see him? I don’t want to play games but acting like he did nothing wrong isn’t the answer

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Can you give me a specific example of a promise that he didn't keep?

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    Ignoring calls or refusing to see him is avoiding the issue and not an effective way to express yourself.

    You communicate clearly and directly that what they did hurt you and disappointed you, and you would like to talk about how to avoid this in the future.

    You also clearly and directly explain that continued behaviour of this nature will mean you can't continue the relationship. And mean it.

    I find this usually boils down a matter of self-respect, and how much one is willing to tolerate out of fear of losing the person who keeps hurting them. I think many avoid confronting the issues directly because they are afraid of rocking the boat too much, so they continue to put with crappy behaviour because they're not confident enough to walk away.

  8. #7
    Bronze Member Gymgirl71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    Ignoring calls or refusing to see him is avoiding the issue and not an effective way to express yourself.

    You communicate clearly and directly that what they did hurt you and disappointed you, and you would like to talk about how to avoid this in the future.

    You also clearly and directly explain that continued behaviour of this nature will mean you can't continue the relationship. And mean it.

    I find this usually boils down a matter of self-respect, and how much one is willing to tolerate out of fear of losing the person who keeps hurting them. I think many avoid confronting the issues directly because they are afraid of rocking the boat too much, so they continue to put with crappy behaviour because they're not confident enough to walk away.
    100% I was always “afraid” of complaining too much because he would have an attitude and make some stupid excuse. If someone cares, they won’t want to lose you.

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    Platinum Member SGH's Avatar
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    It sounds like this behavior has been going on for awhile, so not allowing him to "get away" with treating you poorly would be ending the relationship. Sorry to say that there is nothing you can do to change his behavior within the relationship is asking nicely didn't work.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gymgirl71
    And how do you teach him that? Ignoring his calls? Don’t be available to see him? I don’t want to play games but acting like he did nothing wrong isn’t the answer
    Though the term 'teaching him how to treat you' was said, the message isn't about teaching him to change or playing games. It's about acknowledging his action towards you aren't right and you staying even though there isn't any change.

    You take some time to reflect on how you believe you deserve to be treated in a relationship. You work on the confidence and self esteem to create the boundaries and enforce it. You speak up on your own behalf and have the strength to walk away when you recognize this person doesn't care enough to treat you in away the feels right.

    The primary focus is on your own self care and live your life accordingly.

  11. #10
    Bronze Member Gymgirl71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SGH
    It sounds like this behavior has been going on for awhile, so not allowing him to "get away" with treating you poorly would be ending the relationship. Sorry to say that there is nothing you can do to change his behavior within the relationship is asking nicely didn't work.
    this is my EX I had enough of it trust me

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