How fat are you? I watching a show on tv when people have weight loss surgery and are over 650 pounds! Are you that fat?
No. I’m not telling you my weight because that’s none of your business but it’s not in three figures and we use kilograms not pounds or stones here….
Hi are you still fat and being a cunt to men’s online?
Awww anon, how I have missed thee. I can best describe it to being akin to how there’s an annoying mozzie buzzing around biting at me but then it disappears. And I think shit is it gathering other mozzies to come back and attack me completely or is it in hiding? Kind of a better the devil you know or keep your friends close and enemies closer type deal
I’d say. Have you missed me too dear cowardly anon? And in answer to your question: fuck yes.
Sometimes I find myself missing people, even though I shouldn’t after the shitty way they acted. It seems that, quite frankly, sometimes the breakdown of a friendship- especially a best friend who you never for a millisecond thought would fuck you over- can be as bad, if not worse, than a romantic relationship. Betrayal hurts when it comes from someone who you never ever did anything to, to someone who was your best friend. In fact you were the only person there for them consistently throughout your friendship. Though I know see why they couldn’t keep any friends- I remember saying it wasn’t them, that people throw away friendships too easily these days which is ironic as fuck in the circumstances- and why their whole family pretty much wants sweet FA to do with them. Because if they can treat the one person who was there throughout all the shit over the last 9 years, when they were sick, when they were fighting with their partner, who dropped everything when they needed them, like they treated me then God knows how they can treat everyone else. Yet despite this I do, sometimes, find myself missing them. Even when they don’t deserve it. Even when I should just wash my hands of them for good after they didn’t even bother seeing the truth. But I’m not like that. I’m loyal. And when you’re my friend then you’re my friend. However sometimes you’ve gotta just walk away knowing you’ll never get an explanation or the truth or anything from cowards….
I’ve come to the point in my life that despite the fact I desperately want a partner and to have a kid that I can say to myself that I’d rather be single than be with someone who doesn’t love and value me. Over the years I have seen far too many of my friends in toxic relationships, places where they weren’t happy but they stayed. I watched as they often started to lose themselves and made the other person’s happiness their only priority. As they put up with bullshit because they thought the pain that the toxic relationship brought them was better than the pain of losing and letting go of the person that they loved so much.
Some because their culture saw other things as more important than love and happiness, some because they thought they could do no better, some because they had a kid with them and some because they loved that person so much they’d forgive anything and everything and as a result were stuck in that cycle. I’ve had many an argument with people over the years who say if they weren’t happy they’d leave but they don’t understand sometimes there’s that almost battered woman syndrome affect where they just *can’t* walk away. I’ve never been a victim of BWS but a forensic psych unit at uni really made me think and see that “just walk away” isn’t that simple. And toxic relationships- some where there’s no abuse as such, some where there’s physical abuse, some where there’s mental abuse, and some where there’s a mixture- have that same cyclic response.
As a friend I truly think it’s one of the worst things to see someone you care about in these types of toxic relationship. You want to support them but at the same time you want to shake them and say wtf mate, you deserve so much more!
So what is a toxic relationship really? How do you know if you’re in one? Why do they stay?
By definition, a toxic relationship is a “relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner…a toxic relationship is not a safe place. [In essence] it [a toxic relationship] is characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, control. [One where by staying] we risk our very being. These [toxic] relationships have mutated themselves into something that has the potential, if not corrected, to be extremely harmful to our well being.” (1)
How do you know if your relationship is one of these toxic ones? Well there are red flags, signs that many chose to ignore because of the cyclic nature of these relationships (more on this later including those which are abusive). Such as criticism. Not the criticism that comes from a positive place that’s to help the person or relationship but more so that used to express contempt or disdain where it makes the other person feel so unvalued, unloved and worthless. There’s also arguing without communicating. By that I mean over and above the normal arguments that any relationship will have, where it’s more about yelling over one another and no real communication and therefore nothing is solved. Or when you avoid your partner all the time because the energy when together is completely negative. Also when you are no longer yourself. Yes you will change within a relationship, that’s a given, but there’s a difference when the change is bigger. (2) Something also like a constant struggle for power. Suzanne Lachman, Phd, suggests imagining your relationship as a seesaw. “If both partners understand their power (or are empowered), the seesaw stays relatively level and balanced…But if one person in the relationship has brought in a feeling of powerlessness, [they] may try to compensate by baring down on the seesaw, shifting [their] weight, and perpetually uprooting, destabilizing, or ungrounding [their] partner on the other side.” (3) And also jealousy where your partner wants you all to his/herself, so much so that you barely see friends or family because they monopolise your time. In extreme cases this also includes where they may stop you from going out with say single friends or drinking.
There are also behaviours that are toxic that most people would think of as normal within a relationship. The problem here however is that, in part, many unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture. As Mark Manson puts it "we worship romantic love — you know, that dizzying and irrational romantic love that somehow finds breaking china plates on the wall in a fit of tears somewhat endearing — and scoff at practicality or unconventional sexualities.” (4) In his article he lists the 6 behaviours that psychological research has shown are actually toxic rather than just part of the usual ebb and flow of a relationship. These include keeping score (you know the whole well you got drunk at my 21st and I had to spend the night looking after you despite it being my big night so I got revenge by flirting with my hot work colleague), excessively passive aggressive behaviour (finding small and petty ways to piss your partner off so you can feel like being mad at them is totally justified), blaming your partner for your own emotions (you had a shitty day at uni but when you wanted that sympathy and support he was busy playing call of duty or busy with work) or buying solutions to problems (a holiday will solve everything right?).
Despite this these relationships aren’t necessarily hopeless but if they are going to work they need a lot of hard work to be changed into a healthy relationship. The paradox is that in order to have a reasonable chance to turn a toxic relationship into a healthy relationship, we have to be prepared to leave it. (1)
One reason that seems pretty common for why people stay in a toxic relationship where they are unhappy more than they are happy is cultural reasons. Culture, tradition and religion are often bedfellows in emphasising that a marriage should be for keeps which is at odds with the way the law views marriage, which is more as a contract that, if breached, provides remedies such as divorce. (5)
I was talking to a guy online, I think it was “Tagged” and he told me he was married. I wasn’t shocked. I mean half of tinder seems to be made up of married men and it’s just as prevalent on other dating sites or apps. (Take me and Married Guy for instance.) But rather than abuse him or just delete him or ghost him I asked him why he was looking for sex online if married? He was an Indian man and he told me that the marriage was great at first, they had two kids together, but, as time went by she stopped wanting to have sex with him so he was looking for that online. I said so why not leave? He said it was his culture that they stayed. And that he loved her and they were close and happy. Just not intimate. To tell the truth that could all have been a load of bullshit, I’ve had my fair share of poor me my wife has no time for me/my wife is away for work a lot/my wife’s no longer into sex and even one guy who claimed his wife physically couldn’t have sex with him anymore but because she had a major psychiatric illness he didn’t want to leave her because she would hurt herself or kill herself. (Needless to say I blocked him pretty damn quick.)
I’ve spoken briefly about a friend who stays with her partner because he’s a good provider, not because she’s in love with him anymore. They do have periods in the relationship where things are happy and harmonious enough though she doesn’t talk about ever being intimate (except the 3 times she was pregnant when clearly they did the deed) and by the same token I rarely- if ever- hear her talk about loving him. I know she used to talk about it- they were about 22/23 when they first met and he was her first everything. Back then she couldn’t get enough of him. Now the way she talks about him is in a detached manner. And it’s usually more bitching about him. He even tells her if she leaves he will get everything including the kids (unlikely), or her own mother tells her that she’d be selfish to leave because the kids get supported better within the marriage, or her own sister says she’d be on her husbands side if they broke up. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life- what could equate to another 40 plus years- with a man whom she refers to only as “[my] husband” and never talks about him with any kind of love, romance or heck even traces of feelings just because he works hard and provides luxuries for them!
Probably the most common reason I see and hear for people staying in toxic relationships is they genuinely believe that they either couldn’t do any better or they would be alone forever if they walked away. Whilst they might know intellectually that nobody should have to settle for less than they deserve their emotions leave them conflicted. Underneath all of these rationalizations is a deep seated fear of being alone. Think back to your childhood. We’re you given many- or even any- examples of how to be alone on tv, movies, books, or the internet? Instead the chances are it was about how to make it work with your partner rather than to walk away and be happy alone until you found the right partner. Sure there’s nothing wrong with looking for love but very few people know how to be alone and happy. Too often the pleasure they find in a relationship is the release of not being by themselves in the world rather than love with their partner. (6)
As Terry Gaspard wrote “too often I hear [people] who are coupled up rationalise while they are still in a relationship when…they shouldn’t be [saying] things like ‘I know my relationship isn’t perfect, but at least he doesn’t yell at me’ or ‘he is a really good dad.’…[things like that remind me] that breaking up with someone is an act of courage.” (6)
Sometimes it’s the partner who has put these thoughts in their head either with subconscious actions or conscious words, but often it’s the person’s own insecurities at play too. Or perhaps there’s still a part of them that doesn’t want to believe you can do better? (7) It’s even been suggested that these people just don’t *want* to find someone better, an argument that’s attracted a fair bit of detractors. There was even a book written by Dr Henry Cloud saying that, essentially, there are plenty of people out there if you really wanted to. Carolyn Kauffman, who has a doctorate in psychology, finds this annoying. As she wrote this is giving out the implicit message that they just need to try harder. (8)
I have a couple of friends like this. In truth I have to admit I belong here too. After all I accepted a fuck buddy relationship with J1 and Married Guy because I thought that something was better than nothing. And I thought to myself well hey at least they actually *want* me unlike most of the male population. I didn’t allow myself to think too hard about the fact that I was allowing the idea that I was fuckable but not dateable. Another guy I know, D, has offered me a fuck buddy relationship too but I haven’t taken him up on that offer because I’ve decided that I have to stop settling for less than I really want. How can I expect men to see me as being worth more than just causal sex if even I don’t think I am? In my case my insecurity is mainly related to my weight, but it also goes back to my teenage years and the damage the relationship with the man I lost my virginity to did to me and my psyche.
Two of my friends are in situations where I do believe they stay with a partner or return to him over and over because they think they can’t do any better. In one case she’s overweight too so perhaps she thinks like I do- or did-, in the other case she may have a couple extra kilos on board but she’s definitely not what I would consider fat- though her husband often tells her that she’s a whale! (He’s a charmer that one!) In both cases I haven’t ever really asked them why they stay or go back to someone with whom they weren’t exactly happy and who show them no love or affection and barely even sleep near them let alone have sex with them. One of them admits she can’t even remember they slept in the same bed let alone had sex. This is because he often falls asleep on the pull out bed playing xbox (or PlayStation or wii or whatever the f game console all the cool kids are using these days), in the other case he often sleeps in another room because he snores, but to me they kind of seem like excuses not to share a bed with the woman they are in a relationship or married to. A third friend is kind of a combination of a few examples- she thinks she cannot do better as a bigger person and thus puts up with her partner cheating on her and even hitting her. (I’ll look more at cases of physical abuse in a follow up blog post.) Interestingly both have said to me at various times if they found themselves single again they wouldn’t bother looking for a new relationship anywhere, that they’d just be happy enough as is, with their kids.
And kids, it seems, is the third most common reason why people stay in relationships they aren’t happy in. They think it’s the right thing to do to give the children that perfect nuclear family. A former friend of mine had lost her older children so when she had another child with her new partner she went on and on about making memories and giving [the child] the “perfect childhood.” She was overcompensating and I’m sure she knew it- especially when the kid was spoilt rotten! Another person I knew stayed with his wife for something like 4 years “for the kids.” They didn’t sleep in the same room, were barely home at the same time, didn’t even really speak when they were home at the same time and never showed the other affection. One of the kids even picked up on it asking her dad why he never hugged mummy like her friends daddy’s did.
But is a relationship where mum and dad barely speak, unless it’s to argue, show no affection to one another and the energy in the house is always so thick with negativity better than being in a situation where they may have two homes but they also have a mum and dad who are actually happy? According to child psychologist Kimberley O’Brien the answer to that is a big no. And that parents pretending to their kids that the relationship is fine are fooling themselves. “Kids are really sensitive to changes to things like voice tone and parents’ stress levels”, she says. (9) Yes there are many benefits to children having a mum and dad together- such as the children are less likely to divorce when older or are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviour or get pregnant early- but if a relationship isn’t working then staying just for the kids is when problems arise. (10) Because there is a bigger impact on the children in these cases than you realise. For instance the kids pick up on a lot more than adults realise (like the friend I mentioned who asked her dad why he never hugged her mum), and ultimately two happy seperate parents are better than two together yet miserable parents. (11)
The final reason I see for people staying in toxic relationships that are way past their use by date is purely that they love that person more than anything and forgive them anything and everything and as such the partner knows what he or she can get away with and thus the cycle of this toxic relationship continues over and over and over and it’s damn hard to break. But it *can* be done. As mentioned up above with time and hard work it can be fixed provided both parties are willing.
Madeline Fugere, Ph.D, names some of the most common reasons why we may stay in relationships that whilst not abusive are still toxic and not great for us. 1) We can be satisfied with an unsatisfactory relationships. Perhaps it’s because we have low self esteem, thinking ourselves unattractive, or that they simply have low standards from what they expect to receive in a relationship. 2) A shift in priorities. We tend to see our romantic partners positively but sometimes that is unrealistic. What this means is that effectively we view characteristics that our partners have as more important and more valued than other characteristics. Like a generous partner may make up for a partner not being thoughtful? 3) Low quality alternatives. If you perceive alternatives- like being alone or in another relationship- as lower-quality alternatives, you are more likely to stay, even in an unsatisfying relationship. 4) Manipulation. If your partner is aware that you want to leave the relationship, he or she may use different methods of manipulation to force you to stay such as emotional manipulation like belittling, demeaning or even threats of violence against you or a future partner. The distress associated with emotional abuse or the physical implications of intimate partner violence are strong enough deterrents to those seeking to leave a relationship that women who are psychologically distressed may not feel like they even have the ability to leave the relationship. 5) Investment. When you have long-term investments with a partner such as a business, a mortgage, an investment property or children it can be harder to leave. And, last but by no means least in my humble opinion is 6) Love. Psychologists distinguish among three different components of attitudes- the cognitive component or thoughts, the affective component or feelings and the behavioural component or actions. And even though these components may not be aligned with each other, such as your thoughts being negative but your feelings positive. We may continue to love our partners, even though we consciously recognize that we are involved in bad relationships. (12)
Psychologists have developed something they have dubbed the “interdependence theory”, which is essentially the science of relationships. The theory states that, in essence, each partner will evaluate “[their] personal satisfaction with the relationship by assessing costs and benefits…[and as long as the] perceived benefits [will] outweigh perceived costs [they] are happy with [their] relationship.” (13) We use pros and cons list for many things these days- do we move, get a new job, go on holiday, get a new car, etc- so why not with relationships too? Relationship satisfaction relies heavily on the following three things:
* They’ve already invested heavily in it, giving them the sense that the relationship must have some value.
* They see no viable alternatives that are better than the current relationship.
* They currently feel satisfied with the relationship.
In a recent article psychologist Levi Baker et al gave some insight that might help explain why people stay in an unhappy toxic relationship and continue that cycle over and over. They note that even the best relationship is bound to have rough patches. Career changes, illness of a family member or even the birth of a child can bring new stressors into a relationship which will significantly reduce relationship satisfaction for both partners. But they remain committed because this commitment isn’t “based on a current level of satisfaction with the relationship…[but rather] it depends on the past as expected relationship satisfaction in the future.” (13) In practice what this means is that your current level of satisfaction doesn’t signal commitment. Instead it shows whether there are problems with the relationship that need addressing. Any dissatisfied feeling tells you to put more work into your relationship. In fact, says David Ludden Ph.D, “ just doing something to improve your relationship, such as devoting more time to your [partner] or seeking couple’s therapy, can boost your expectation for a happier marriage in the future, thus bolstering your commitment to work things out.”
But when people can’t envision an alternative that’s better than the unhappy arrangement they’re in, they may stay and try to make the best of a bad situation. These couples find ways to mitigate the strife in their marriage, ending up as housemates rather than soulmates. They may derive little happiness from their relationship, but they don’t expect it, either. And some, perhaps many, still find sufficient happiness from friendships or other activities in their lives. (13)
NB: as this blog post was so big I’m going to do a separate one about BWS (and emotional abuse). How can you tell if they (or perhaps even yourself) are in one of these? How do you support a friend when you know- or at least feel- that what they are doing isn’t the right thing for them? And, furthermore, what do you do when the toxic relationship turns violent or there is mental abuse in play?
What the actual fuck is this fuckery? No random dude or dude true I have never heard of or interacted with in any way shape or form I will *NOT* be lending you any bitcoin. Not just cos I don’t have any but also because why would I? I only would pay for my own things or maybe family and friends. Fuck outta here with that bullshit now!
As I may have mentioned lately I’m getting a tonne of messages from overseas men not just on Facebook but also on the dating sites. Normally I used to just ignore them. Although occasionally I’d play with them a bit until they realised I was kidding and went off (remember my Egyptian friend Gamal who wasn’t happy when I sent him a photo of me and my pet hippogriff Buckbeak or another guy who I had convinced i was a three boobed alien?). Lately however I’ve found myself toying with these men more and more. It’s like no fuckboy scammer you aren’t getting a visa or money for a visa from me buddy. But you WILL get fucked with.
On that note I present Rehman who has totally believed my crazy arse story. It’s only that he has been a bit annoyed at my disappearing whilst on holiday that he’s gone quiet so I thought I may as well end it and post it here for your enjoyment.