Post # 1
I have a great friend who is super-nice. She’s smart & kind, has several years of college education, has a great personality and can talk to anyone about anything. She makes friends easily and really doesn’t ever talk bad about people, no matter how crappy they are to her. In a nutshell, she’s just someone you want to know.
The problem is, regardless of all the things listed above, she is EXTREMELY co-dependent & will freely admit that. She has never NOT been with anyone in the entire 12 years I have known her. I have seen her in several relationships (even an 8 yr marriage) and all of them were with absolute jerks, including her current boyfriend, whom she got with only ONE MONTH after getting divorced. She just couldn’t handle not being alone! For the life of me, I will never understand her choice in men, and her continuous cycle of unhealthy & emotionally abusive relationships. She just takes whatever anyone dishes out to her verbally & emotionally and makes excuses for them, no matter the situation. For instance (& there have been MANY instances) her current boyfriend called her a cow the other day. When I told her for the hundredth time that she should dump him, she said that he just “teases in a mean way” and “it’s because he’s depressed, has gained weight lately & feels bad about himself so he’s projecting those feelings.” Um.. Riiiight…. THAT is NOT acceptable. She has had medical issues recently, and has gained some weight, and doesn’t need someone like that in her life. Period.
It just makes me so mad every time I talk to her and hear about the stupid, cruel things he says and does on a daily basis, and it makes me even MORE mad that she keeps him around. I get so frustrated with her because she can’t handle being by herself long enough to FIND THE RIGHT GUY! SHE JUST KEEPS SETTLING FOR WHATEVER STRAY COMES ALONG. I have had talks with her about this until I’m blue in the face. It never clicks.. she is co-dependent and that’s all there is to it.
I just do not get it.
Post # 3
I agree, and I think it’s low self-esteem. I’ve seen this with one of my own friends: she doesn’t understand why people would want to stay with her, so she lets the guys she’s with walk all over her and stays with them no matter what. It’s really sad, and I wish I could make women (and men) like this see that they are better than that.
Post # 4
This makes me sad. Sometimes people stay or get into relationships to fill voids they experienced in other parts of their lives. Some people call it “daddy issues” but it sounds like maybe she doesn’t know she deserves better. Unfortunately, this is not something you are going to be able to help her with. She has to do it on her own or else she will make the same mistakes over and over. You just have to be her friend and give your advice, but ultimately it’s her life and maybe one day she will say she’s had enough.
Post # 5
I will admit that i was one of these types of people back when i was in the first real relationship. I was in a horrible relationship where i was abused for 2.5 years, but dealt with it because it was all I knew, and i felt like no one else would want me, because that is how he made me feel. If you are told something enough times, you really start to believe it. I finally gained the courage to leave after 2.5 years and I matured so much from it and i will never let that happen to me ever again.
It is hard to relate to when you are not in that position…
Post # 6
It’s definitely low self-esteem. I have an absolutely gorgeous friend who could have anybody she wants, but she settles for these complete assholes and stays with them for YEARS! Our mutual friends have tried talking to her, but there’s no fixing it. I wish there was Bad-Relationship Rehab and then we could have an intervention for her 🙁
Post # 7
Also, I think it’s harder for her to leave if she is emotionally abused. He may talk down to her so much that it gets into her head that she will be alone if she does leave.
It’s sad though. Also, it probably doesn’t help that you keep telling her to dump him. (I would do it, too) Maybe she needs someone like a professional tell her that her relationship is unhealthy.
Post # 8
@ everyone – It sounds like we’ve all either known someone like this or been that person. It definately sucks to be alone, I won’t discredit that fact and we’ve probably all been there, but I would much rather be alone than to be abused on a daily basis. 🙁
Her husband of 8 years was a complete turd. He finally ended up leaving for some hussy that he worked with. At the time she was hurting and I supported her, but secretly I was seeing sunshine through the clouds shining down on her life and hoping it was her opportunity to find an awesome man. Then she hooked up with this dill hole and the sky went dark again.
Post # 9
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
That’s always so sad! I hate seeing friends go through stuff like that 🙁
Post # 10
I think this happens for a number of reasons and not just poor self-esteem although I’m sure that’s part of it. I do think that a lot of it is also relationship modeling as a child growing up, or parental abandonment issues that keep people in relationships that are unhappy.
For example, I grew up with a mom who worked her butt off, never asked anyone for help and never complained. She totally sacrificed everything for her kids, never badmouthed my dad after they split, and so on. She does everything for everyone and always has.
So, for me, that has always been my model of what a real woman does, as such, I have a hard time saying no to people myself, I have a hard time doing things for myself (even when I deserve them) and I have a hard time asking for help.
One of my good friends, on the other hand, grew up with a mom who never really had a steady boyfriend, and when her mom did have a BF, he was usually abusive, so my friend has modeled this in her own life. She doesn’t believe that people have “real” realtionships because she’s never seen one. Outwardly though, she’s a very pretty, successful stable woman, but her male choices are down right scary at times!
The first step is realizing that she deserves better, but it sounds like she’ll need help understanding WHY she allows herself to be treated the way she does, and how to get past it.
Post # 11
It sure as hell isn’t easy to leave abusive relationships, in whatever form. When you don’t feel good about yourself, when you’re scared of being hurt, when your partner threatens to kill themselves or hurt others if you leave them…well yeah. I don’t think it has anything to do with not wanting to be alone. And when you get in that laid-low mindset, it’s super hard to throw off. I think there have been studies that show it’s possible to get addicted to the cycle of abuse. It’s not an easy thing and I hope no one treats it as such!
Post # 12
I did that for a long time – stayed with someone who treated me like garbage.
I thought about leaving him for 2 1/2 years before I finally got up the courage to do it. There were a lot of reasons – mostly fear based. Fear that I had wasted the time we’d been together, fear that I would never find anyone else, fear of being alone (which was an unknown for me), fear that he was the best that I deserved.
And even though he was a jerk, I DID depend on him, and clung to the good parts of our relationship, or what I saw as the good parts. In retrospect they’re far overshadowed by the negative, but at the time, I thought they were enough.
It’s a LOT self esteem, and at least partially just not knowing HOW to be single. If you’ve never been there, it’s hard to know how to even start.