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I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. The past year and a half we’ve had these huge messy fights where we both just escalate things over the tiniest, stupidest arguments and it blows up into screaming and saying awful things we regret and a lot of times it leads to one of us breaking up with the other, and then we get back together a day or two later. Recently I’ve been extremely distant with him, and when I do see him all I can think about is our relationship crumbling. All my friends have told me to leave him, but I don’t know if I’ve just manipulated them into thinking that he’s the toxic one because they only hear my side of the story. I know we both have our toxic traits, I have PTSD and anxiety disorders and he has anger issues and depression. But I don’t know who’s at fault for our struggles, or if there’s no one to blame and we’re just not compatible. So about two weeks ago, I ended things with him but was still talking to him, because I’m just sick of the cycle. I went back and talked to him and he told me he’d fix a bunch of things, and then a few days later we talked again. I told him I wanted to try again and wanted to get back together, so we made plans for that night. I ended up getting off work late and he got pissed. So when he came to pick me up later that night, as soon as I got into his car he started getting angry and things escalated again into a huge messy fight. And we ended things again, and blocked each other on everything. But after a few days the guilt was eating me alive, I don’t know if I had reacted differently if we’d be ok, I don’t know if I hadn’t pushed him away if things would be so much better… I just don’t know which way to go. So the other night I was bawling my eyes out and had no one to talk to. I called him just to see if he had blocked me too, and to my surprise he answered. So I went and talked to him, we talked about how we both need space and both have our things to work on… but we’ve had that conversation a million times and have gone right back to this same cycle. And I really want to keep trying because if I don’t I’m going to regret it and hate myself for the longest time. But if I stay in this cycle it’s going to be more time wasted and take even more of a toll on my mental health. I love this man with all of my heart but I don’t know what to do.

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To give some more context, we are 19 and 20. We lived together for about 9 months, then I moved in with my best friend because the fights were getting to be too much, and I’ve now lived with her for over a year. 

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If you have any questions to better understand the situation please feel free to ask. I just really need help figuring this out from unbiased perspectives.

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You are both still so so young. Not to be patronising at all, but in all seriousness what you describe sounds, to me, like you and he are toddlers that don’t know how to process feelings of frustration and so you have epic meltdown and tantrums. 

You and your boyfriend may be good people on your own but together you are toxic. I’m really sorry to say, but I think there is too much of a bad habit formed between you two. It’s a cyclical conditioned behaviour and the way you respond to each other is always going to lead to explosive ends.

My advice for you both is to end the relationship and each get into counselling to learn how to process and manage your own emotions and how to resolve conflict in a healthy way. You keep trying to do that together but you don’t have the right tools. How can you achieve different results when you keep doing the same thing?

In time, maybe a few years from now, when you’ve both grown up a lot and have learned how to behave on your own, you may be able to revisit a relationship, but I would not recommend that for right now, and perhaps not at all, as by then you will probably have moved on and met someone else. You got together so young, so take it as a learning curve and try better for the next person once you’ve developed some coping skills and had some help to address your anger management issues.

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1 minute ago, LotusBlack said:

You and your boyfriend may be good people on your own but together you are toxic. I’m really sorry to say, but I think there is too much of a bad habit formed between you two. It’s a cyclical conditioned behaviour and the way you respond to each other is always going to lead to explosive ends.

I agree. You've both contributed to this dynamic. A lot of it is due to immaturity. If you stay in this relationship, you will never grow up.

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This relationship is over, for all intents and purposes. 

Both of you have a lot of maturing to do, and it will never happen as long as you're together. You and he each have your individual issues and bring out the worst in each other, it seems. 

Part of being an adult is recognizing when a situation has become toxic and extricating ourselves from it. 

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32 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

You are both still so so young. Not to be patronising at all, but in all seriousness what you describe sounds, to me, like you and he are toddlers that don’t know how to process feelings of frustration and so you have epic meltdown and tantrums. 

You and your boyfriend may be good people on your own but together you are toxic. I’m really sorry to say, but I think there is too much of a bad habit formed between you two. It’s a cyclical conditioned behaviour and the way you respond to each other is always going to lead to explosive ends.

My advice for you both is to end the relationship and each get into counselling to learn how to process and manage your own emotions and how to resolve conflict in a healthy way. You keep trying to do that together but you don’t have the right tools. How can you achieve different results when you keep doing the same thing?

In time, maybe a few years from now, when you’ve both grown up a lot and have learned how to behave on your own, you may be able to revisit a relationship, but I would not recommend that for right now, and perhaps not at all, as by then you will probably have moved on and met someone else. You got together so young, so take it as a learning curve and try better for the next person once you’ve developed some coping skills and had some help to address your anger management issues.

Is there any way to fix it though? I want to grow together with him. I’ve spent all of my late teenage years with him and I’m about to be 20 and I know that everyone says this but I can’t imagine life without him. I just don’t want us to break up and try to fix things because I feel like he’ll just find another girl within a few months and I’ll be stuck for years regretting leaving what may be the best I ever have. 

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24 minutes ago, xoxoc said:

within a few months and I’ll be stuck for years regretting leaving what may be the best I ever have. 

This is your age and inexperience speaking. 

It sounds like you haven't dated a lot beyond him (normal, given your ages) and thus you have nothing to compare this to. But I can guarantee you that a toxic relationship frought with drama and constant break-ups is not the best you will ever have. This is not what a healthy, long-term relationship looks like. This is unhealthy codependency. 

The likelihood that you will regret breaking up for years is very slim. Once you are of out the toxic fog, and mature and learn what healthy love looks like, you will have no regrets about putting this mess behind you. 

I personally don't think your relaitonship can be fixed at this point. You two have so much bittnerness and resentment that cannot be undone. You have each behaved immaturely and hurt each other. You have broken up mutiple times and impulsively lashed out at each other. As someone twice your age, I don't know any teen couples that survived when their relationship was so volatile. They all broke up and eventually went their separate ways. 

 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

This is your age and inexperience speaking. 

 

Yes, this is definitely your age and inexperience talking. It is very unrealistic to think you will be stuck for years. That’s just not how these things generally go, particularly at your age. And just because you have spent all your late teens with this boy doesn’t mean that it is a good reason to or justifies continuing with him. In fact, it points to branching out and meeting new people, as you are only restricting your potential to grow and develop as a young woman. 

I don’t believe there is any way to fix this. Sure, you may forge on ahead with him, but you will be suppressing your very real needs and wants as a woman making up one half of a partnership. And your boyfriend will be doing the same as a young man. It isn’t going to be a happy time together. You will continue this negative cycle and then when you are old enough to recognise it can’t be fixed and you’ve finally had enough you will end up leaving for good, feeling even angrier that you wasted your 20s on a long dead relationship.

The only way this could possibly even have a remote chance at possibly working is if you get into couple’s therapy for an extended period of time. But I would not recommend that because you, being so young, likely do not have the money required to undertake ongoing therapy, nor do you really have the emotional capacity to put in the time, commitment, and maturity absolutely required to carry out this successfully. And that isn’t anything to do with you personally but simply a matter of your age and your brain not even being fully developed and won’t be until you’re around 25. The last 2 areas of your brain to develop are the decision making and judgement areas - both of which are essential to really benefit from couple’s counselling.

Honestly, as hard as it may be, end the relationship for good, free yourself to mature through living life and experiencing other experiences. Grow as a person, find your happiness outside of this relationship, which really is over - you guys just haven’t admitted it to yourselves yet. 

Edited by LotusBlack
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The thing is, we see so many people on this forum who post here because they chose to stay with their partners for so so long when they should have left and now they don’t want to stay because they are unhappy but don’t want to leave because they feel like they’ve then wasted years and years on a relationship that was never really working. They get themselves stuck in a really vicious cycle of being so unhappy but cutting off their noses to spite their face because they simply cannot reconcile the fact they wasted the best years of their life. Don’t do that to yourself. You cannot get that time back.

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9 minutes ago, LotusBlack said:

The thing is, we see so many people on this forum who post here because they chose to stay with their partners for so so long when they should have left and now they don’t want to stay because they are unhappy but don’t want to leave because they feel like they’ve then wasted years and years on a relationship that was never really working. They get themselves stuck in a really vicious cycle of being so unhappy but cutting off their noses to spite their face because they simply cannot reconcile the fact they wasted the best years of their life. Don’t do that to yourself. You cannot get that time back.

My friend said something similar, and she keeps telling me that it’s better to just rip off the bandaid now than months or years down the line when it hurts more. I just keep thinking that in the time that I spend recovering from the breakup we could have fixed things with that time. But after hearing so many people tell me to leave, I turned to this site to make sure that I was getting unbiased advice, and because I know that its easier to admit my own faults to people who don’t know me at all. Hearing people like you with no motives other than to actually help others to live their best lives saying the same thing really does make a huge difference. Like I said, I already broke up with him, it’s just hard to keep him blocked and not get back together with him again.

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2 hours ago, xoxoc said:

To give some more context, we are 19 and 20. We lived together for about 9 months, then I moved in with my best friend because the fights were getting to be too much, and I’ve now lived with her for over a year. 

Sadly the intense drama between you two is going to burn out all your friends and family and their repeated sound advice to end it.

Like an addiction, you are hooked on intensity and drama. Nobody loves anyone in this case scenario.

When and if you have had enough nonsense, instability and drama, you'll be able to end it.

Imagine how happy you would be and how much you could accomplish in 1.5 years, rather than squandering all your time and energy on this addiction to drama.

 

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8 hours ago, xoxoc said:

we both just escalate things over the tiniest, stupidest arguments and it blows up into screaming and saying awful things we regret and a lot of times it leads to one of us breaking up with the other, and then we get back together a day or two later. Recently I’ve been extremely distant with him,

I think, because it's happening sooo much, your defenses kick in and this is always end result.  No respect and no one gets anywhere with this .

And the breaking up is another wrong move. That again, solves nothing. 😕 

You're getting distant with him now because you're just ticked off and don't like all that's going on.. it's causing a lot of stress.

8 hours ago, xoxoc said:

. I know we both have our toxic traits, I have PTSD and anxiety disorders and he has anger issues and depression.

Yes, this is all a challenge for you both. This adds strain to the relationship - you both could use some prof help.

Ex: " we made plans for that night. I ended up getting off work late and he got pissed. So when he came to pick me up later that night, as soon as I got into his car he started getting angry and things escalated again into a huge messy fight. And we ended things again, and blocked each other on everything"

* Instead of be reasonable & understanding, his anger shows.

 

8 hours ago, xoxoc said:

So the other night I was bawling my eyes out and had no one to talk to. I called him just to see if he had blocked me too, and to my surprise he answered. So I went and talked to him, we talked about how we both need space and both have our things to work on… but we’ve had that conversation a million times and have gone right back to this same cycle.

Exactly.... a cycle.  Repeated..same thing.

Sorry, but you two being together is not doing either of you any good.  Only setting each other off and YOU end up breaking down again 😞 .. This is no good on you..

I highly suggest you not be involved at all- for a good while. Especially with someone like him. - You two are triggering each other.

You need some prof help to help you work through some issue's, you think?

As for him w/ his 'anger', that's never a good thing.

Please just be done with it all.  When you know something isn't good for you, the worst thing to do is to keep dragging it on.

I had PTSD as well at your age and Dr's were right.. I needed to get some help & work on that.

Talk to your parents, admit you need help.. and at this time, the worst thing you need is a relationship.

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Another thing I’ve worried about is that maybe my relationship isn’t even toxic and I’m just self-sabotaging. I cant get over the thought that maybe it’s just me pushing away something healthy because due to trauma I expect everything to be toxic in some way and can’t realize that something healthy is good for me. It’s a lot of back-and-forth thoughts inside my mind, wondering if it’s toxic or healthy, if it’s me or him, if I’m genuinely unhappy or if I’m scared, if I’m self-sabotaging or protecting myself…. I’m really not sure. I know that I need to go back to therapy but I don’t want to leave him forever and then realize later that I pushed someone who was good for me away.

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4 minutes ago, xoxoc said:

It’s a lot of back-and-forth thoughts inside my mind, wondering if it’s toxic or healthy, if it’s me or him, if I’m genuinely unhappy or if I’m scared, if I’m self-sabotaging or protecting myself….

That's just your anxiety kicking in. You've given excellent examples of how toxic this relationship is. 

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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

That's just your anxiety kicking in. You've given excellent examples of how toxic this relationship is. 

My fear is that the toxicity is due to self-sabotaging though. Like I caused it to be toxic by pushing him away and I don’t know if I’m pushing him away because it’s toxic or if things would be so much better if I had never started pushing him away.

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You've both caused it to be toxic because you both behave poorly. You each have to outgrow your respective addictions to drama. If you stay together, you will remain immature.

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It would help you to stop with all the social media and reality show psychobabble and get outside yourself. "toxic", "trauma", "self sabotage", etc.,etc..

This degree of self absorption is very isolating and contributes significantly to loneliness, anxiety and depression. 

No one will be able to relate to you if you are this wrapped up in yourself and your own head.

Volunteer. Learn to consider others and get outside yourself.

Get outside away from social media and reality show psychobabble.

Join some clubs groups sports. Take more classes. Get a side hustle.

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You are addicted to the extreme highs and lows of the makeup/breakup cycle. 

This is not love. It's toxic attraction. It is unhealthy and destructive.

Do you honestly want a healthy relationship?  Or do you prefer drama and screaming fights?

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Does anyone think that giving it one last shot with a relationship counselor is worth it? I know personal therapy has helped me within myself but should I ask him if he’d be willing to see a therapist together to try and fix this?

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2 hours ago, xoxoc said:

 a relationship counselor is worth it? I know personal therapy has helped me 

Stick with your own doctors, psychiatrists and qualified therapists.

You need to stop projecting all these issues on to him. Stop trying to fix him as a distraction from not getting appropriate effective help for yourself.

 

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On 5/16/2021 at 4:01 AM, Wiseman2 said:

Stick with your own doctors, psychiatrists and qualified therapists.

You need to stop projecting all these issues on to him. Stop trying to fix him as a distraction from not getting appropriate effective help for yourself.

 

If we’re both getting our own separate therapy and it’s still not working, would it not help to have a relationship counselor? Like someone who can mediate and call me out when I’m in the wrong and vice versa? I’m not fighting you on this, I just don’t really understand.

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On 5/16/2021 at 7:54 AM, xoxoc said:

but should I ask him if he’d be willing to see a therapist together to try and fix this?

NO! Certainly not OP. 

You absolutely must get rid of these "fixing" ideas.  Take the good advice you are being given by all the posters.

It is very easy to understand. You need to be in a healthy place yourself (however long it takes you to get there, and it will not happen overnight), before you can even think of a relationship, and by that I mean a healthy relationship. 

Here is something to get you started:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/friendship-20/201812/what-does-healthy-relationship-look

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13 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

NO! Certainly not OP. 

You absolutely must get rid of these "fixing" ideas.  Take the good advice you are being given by all the posters.

It is very easy to understand. You need to be in a healthy place yourself (however long it takes you to get there, and it will not happen overnight), before you can even think of a relationship, and by that I mean a healthy relationship. 

Here is something to get you started:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/friendship-20/201812/what-does-healthy-relationship-look

So even if we’re both willing to put in the effort to improve our relationship and minimize conflict, is a healthy relationship just not even possible at this point?

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