Dear Readers – Here are some leftover questions from my online chat on “Toxic Twosomes,” March 13:
I’ve been dating a guy who’s full of excitement; there are people around him all the time because he’s like a leader for doing wild and fun things.
But I get uncomfortable, like I’m in the wrong place with the wrong person. He says he loves me, and I’m just too afraid of new things. Is he right?
When you have to be convinced to be with someone who makes you uncomfortable, think again on your own.
Remove yourself from his aura for a few days, no contact, say you’re “away.” If you feel relieved, you are. He’s not for you if you think you’re only the moth to his light. Especially if he thinks so, too….
My mother-in-law is my “toxic twosome,” because she wants to be with me all the time, shopping together, visiting here or at her place, phoning three times a day.
And all this just to complain, endlessly, about her husband, her weight, her own mother, and even my husband (her eldest son).
She’s exhausting me, making me crazy since I can’t change anything for her and I do love her son.
Overdosed on MIL
Get out of the crazy zone. Be firm: 1.You’re busy today, can’t shop, or go anywhere. 2.Visits only when you feel strong, and limit to one hour, max. 3. Shut down any criticism of your husband. Tell her to talk to him or forget it, he’s your man and you’re sticking by him.
If nothing changes when you get together, tell her bluntly that you refuse to listen to her complaints.
Let her know that if she keeps dissing your husband, she won’t see you again. Anything further is between those two; let her son speak up to his mom for a change.
We married in our late 30s, after years of independence and the single life. We both felt it was time to settle down and that we’d found the right person. But since we married, he’s turned cold, works late, and there’s little sex. I’m angry, frustrated, and hurt. It seems we’re both too used to doing things our own way. Is this toxic?
Most couples find the common ground and compromises it takes to settle into early marriage with mutual respect and enough agreed “alone time.”
But your husband seems married on his own. Time for marital therapy together, if he’ll go. If not, you won’t be able to stand this chill for long. Nor should you.
My BFF since early high school has one fault that’s affected my trust. She can’t keep a secret. She’ll swear to not tell something I say is private, and next thing I’m getting emails and phone calls from others about it.
The latest crossed a line: My mom has a serious illness and she was the only person I told as my mom wanted to deal with it privately as long as she could. I’m so angry I’m ready to end the friendship.
You’re the contributor to her gossip by sharing important secrets. It’s a mutual problem, not just her fault.
You clearly like sharing a drama, but learned long ago that she couldn’t keep a secret. Yet you proceed, which means you can’t keep one either. This isn’t toxic; it’s foolish.
Enjoy whatever BFF qualities you do like in her, but when it comes to private info, zip it.
My boyfriend waits for me to come home from work, so he has someone to fight with. He got laid off, and prefers watching porn and drinking beer to working again. I earn enough to manage.
He’s sapped all the energy from me. I rarely go out with friends, and just try to avoid his fights by pretending to be doing work at home. It’s been a year, and it sucks.
Get back to your Self, and your Spine. You make enough to be on your own, so why stay with this leech? He’s draining you of self-respect.
He’s addicted to porn and a user too; it’s not your job to change him. Instead, change the way you react. Avoiding-tactics do little for your well being.
Make a plan, fast, for your own safety when you leave or throw him out. But first learn your legal rights re: the “home” you share.
Tip of the day:
A relationship that makes you feel like the lesser partner may be toxic to you.