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Is this a toxic relationship...and how can I help her


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ill just start from the beginning.... I'm 30 years old...

I met a girl (at the time 22 and will be 24 this year) who had a boyfriend (who is 28 ) and the relationship was pretty tioxic. At the time I met her they had been together around 3 months and he had already pushed her on a couple of occasions and routinely belittled her with name calling. After which is profusely apologize and say he didn't remember doing it and that he loved her...


Her and I started talking a lot and within a month started having sex and sleeping together with out him knowing. At the time she lived with her parents so it was easy to do it. After about 5-6 of us spending more and more time together we started talking about dating. She had never really broke up with the guy, but they had the kind of relationship where they would break up and get back together multiple time in a month. The abuse continue to happen. Most of the time it was verbal or mental. But if he got drunk...or even a bit tippsy he would have no problem being physically abusive with her. But bc I was still a secret she never wanted me to deal with him. She said she would.


Right around Christmas he got his first DUI and lost his license was charged car impounded. The normal stuff that goes with a DUI. He came running to her and said now more then ever he need her or he'd kill him self that he loved her and was sorry. Said he never drink again. She came to me and said I need to be with him. He loves me and needs me. Within 2-4 week he was getting drunk and being the normal scumbag he always was. I told her that would happen. He wasn't changing.


So her and I talked again and we agreed that after the new year we'd both talk to him and tell him it's over. She was scared of him at this point. So the weekend that this was supposed to happen she texted me and said "I'm sorry I can't he needs me. He's nice to me. He loves me"


I was obviously upset but I also had a feeling that would happen so I was a bit mentally prepared. Her relationship continue about the same as normal. He'd get drunk call her names tell her he hates, that he's never loved her maybe he'd push her...he'd flirt with other girls at the bar. And she'd call me wondering what to do. But the next morning she was always over there to rub his back and make him feel better. Saying he didn't mean all that stuff. He doesn't remember. He loves me.


Over this most recent st.patty day weekend he and a friend went out. She wasn't invited...I told her to come to my place she wouldn't though. She ended up going out and found her boyfriend drunk as hell again. He proceeded to sucker puch someone minding their own business at the bar and the bouncers kicked him out soon after, and he received a life time ban from the bar. He punch a parking meter damaged his hand. She asked him to go to emerg. He Told her to leave him alone that he hates her doesn't love her so on and so on. She went home crying and upset. Later that night him and the friend showed up at her place saying they wanted a 3some with her. The friend is also male...she said no, the boyfriend held her down saying it would feel good when the friend went down on her. Lucky her roommate came home and the 2 guys got off and acted like nothing was going on...she slept in the roommates room that night. The next day him and the friend were drunk again and went driving at 1pm in the afternoon. She called me asking what to do. I hung up and called 911. He was caught soon after. Charged with another DUI. License has been suspended. He has been to court yet so not sure the total amount of charges.


After all that he looked at her says he doesn't remember a thing and he loves, he needs her more then ever, promise to never drink again...same story. It's been about a month she drives him everywhere bc he lost his job and has a ton of legal fees she pays for most everything. In that month though she says he hasn't drank or called her names or abused her. I think he's just using her and it'll be a matter of time...


Has he changed? Do you think he's being genuine or using her? Is there anything I can do or should do?

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Question 1 - yes, it's absolutely a toxic relationship and Question 2 - yes there are things that you can do.


1. She has issues that she needs to deal with and with you being at her beck and call you are essentially enabling her to emotionally cope with the situation, and stay put, and also you're completely abusing yourself in an effort to fix and save her.

2. People who end up in this situation that your girlfriend/friend is in tend to lack self love, abandon themselves regularly, and crave the attention from the abuser in order to gain approval and love. This will date back to her childhood and may take some time along this journey before she gets out, and some people never realise their own patterns and issues in order to get out.

3. People who end up in the situation you're in also lack self love, abandoning yourself and sacrificing yourself to gain love and acceptance from someone else - this is something you may want to look at. She is, in effect abusing you by using you as an emotional sponge and saviour and you seem to lack boundaries.

4. Boundaries aren't a defence - they're a definition of 'this who I am, what I want, what I like, what I don't like'. As you want a relationship with this girl you are violating your own boundaries by accepting crumbs from her in the search for validation and love (this is emotional torture!) - if I were you I'd be reflecting on my past familial relationships to see how this ties in with any emotional patterns that I have.


I doubt very much that he has changed in such a short amount of time and with the severity of his need to both escape and express his stifled emotions - this is a lot of work to do in a month, so I would be very doubtful. I have known one man to turn it around from being domestically violent, however this took time and work and a lot of vulnerability on his part, a very brave man.


If I were you I'd take a good long look at my boundaries, look at my intention behind my actions - are you attached to an outcome in this situation - what do you really want? Be really honest here. Are your actions to earn love (in which case, where did the idea of earning love come from? For example), or to unconditionally, no matter what happens afterwards to make sure she's ok? It could be a mixture of both but it's good to have a look at what is the dominant emotion for you.


After you've found your intention, and your boundaries - you will know what to do, choose something that makes you feel that you're both looking after yourself and looking after her. It could be as simple as backing off, telling her that you can't be as involved as you are, and providing her with details of shelters and organisations that can help with domestic violence situations, or telling the police what you know (they may already know about him but it might help you make peace with the situation).


Most importantly, do what feels good to you in a way that balances both your needs and hers.


It's extremely difficult when someone we care about is in a situation like this, but it is her life journey - the best that you can do is be true to yourself, be self reflective and encourage her to follow her own path of healing in a way that doesn't disintegrate your own sense of self along the way.


If she does get out of this relationship, know that she will be one unholy mess and probably not in a good position to start anything with anyone - these things take time and courage.


Treat yourself with love and respect and all else will follow, it's really only from that space inside yourself that unconditional love towards others can really arise.

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