Dealing With Destructive Relationships

We’ve all said it. The familiar opening line to what is sure to be a tragic story. The story of a person who can’t let go of a destructive relationship. Cupid’s arrow strikes and you find you’re powerless, not only over your feelings, but also your reason. Relationships aren’t based solely on feelings, but actions as well. And if they behave badly, then what difference does it make if you still love the way they used to be when you first met?

Like the old saying goes, relationships are about give and take. But are they too much of a taker, and you a co-dependent giver? There’s a good chance. Takers are often attracted to givers for obvious reasons. That seems to be the natural order of things, which is why it’s so painful and difficult for the giver to stop giving. Then we ask ourselves how this could possibly have happened to us. We find ourselves desperately seeking the answer — how can the vicious cycle be broken?

The solution lies in recognizing that a relationship is an equal partnership. Where there is inequality, resentment, compulsive dependency a host of other issues will naturally follow. These are symptoms. By the same token, if all of your friends and family say that this person is no good for you, then chances are, they’re not. If they have driven a wedge between you and your other relationships and suddenly you find yourself isolated from the people who love you, then they are almost certainly an abuser of some sort. But what to do now?

When you have identified your partner as an abuser, you must then ask yourself if they really know what they’ve done or if they are oblivious to their damaging actions. Chances are they are aware, but they like having all of the control – it almost becomes an obsession — and all the counseling in the world won’t change them. If they want to change, then that’s one thing but in reality, either you change and be prepared to let go, or live with the problem.

If you decide that you aren’t ready to leave, that’s ok — it will only make you stronger in the end. Be gentle and honest with yourself … living on wishful thinking won’t get you very far or create any amount of happiness. It’s also very important to be honest with your loved ones and of course, your partner. Remember, there’s no shame in making mistakes, only in repeating them.

18 thoughts on “Dealing With Destructive Relationships

  1. Pingback: 5 Things Every Marriage Needs | California Psychics Blog

  2. lisa


    i have this week gone through exactly same thing and being honest at this moment am totally devasted, i too set up a profile on the dating site i caught my husband on and have been gutted to be repeatedly contacted as this woman by him to a point yesterday he described me to this pretend person as an almost mental case, he said he has lied to me and it does not matter how bad he is i will always have im back as i am a pathetic idiot, he has lied and cheated on numerous occasions to a point i have had strange women turing up to check him out. He has always managed to get around me and have taken him back but i truly hope he continues to cause me the pain he is doing at the moment as he is completely unaware i know this as this maybe enough for me to finally be strong enough to leave him for good

  3. Jenny

    After 12 years in an on-off relationship with a cheat, liar and an emotional bully, I have finally, 3 months ago, broke away from him for good. In the beginning it was the most romantic relationship that you could wish for. He was absolutely wonderful. But when I look back to that time, I can now see what I couldn’t see then. Controlling – trying to tell me or show me how to do things as simple as taking photographs, how to peg my knickers etc on the line to dry, how to peel vegetable etc. I didnt want to say anything to make this wonderful man angry with me so I went along with him, but underneath I became very resentful of his intrusion into my world. I had always believed that a good relationship is built on sharing, caring, trust, compromise. love and respect. Cheating – he slowly over the years made excuses for not seeing me on some Saturday nights. There have been many times I have had to deal with medical problems below, scared to mention it to him for fear that he would accuse me of being unfaithfull. He would walk in and out of my life repeatedly and I know I was the stupid fool to let him. Bullying – On one occasion he even made me walk 7 miles home late in the evening because he threw his toys out of the pram yet again. A regular pattern began to emerge. Cheating again – Then some 3 years ago, he met someone on line (250 miles away) and began a relationship with her – if you could call it a relationship. When that finally ended, he crawled his way back into my life and like a fool I forgave him and took him back. Now 1 year down the line I am finally on my own, yet again. I caught him out on a dating website, cheating yet again – where I had set up a false profile, not ever thinking he would contact me. I had not paid any money and when he messaged me I couldnt believe it. Being offered a special price for one month, I joined. There I read his emails – Hello I am new to all of this etc. I just strung him along, letting him think he was talking to someone new and one day he wrote a whopping 5 page email. 2 pages of idle chit chat and 3 slagging me off in every paragraph, even down to Valentines and what he had done for me. I did answer and he came back with more slagging off, this time about a friend of mine. Well – get your own back Jenny. I printed out every piece of correspondence between us and posted them through his letterbox together with a note saying “With love from Jenny (Cherie) the straw that broke the camels back.” He then tried to say I had made him slag my friend off. I didnt exactly hold a shotgun to his head and make him type. But typical of a bully, cannot take any responsibilty for his actions. Caught with his pants well and truly down, he is now history and I am finally FREE to get on with my life.

  4. Mary Britcher

    It toke me almost 11 years to break out of this cycle. My ex-husband was a cheater from the beginning but he had me in the palm of his hand until the one time he cheated and contracted a STD. There was no way out of that one so he confused and said it would never happen again and of course it did, over and over again and over and over again I forgave until one time the last time I actually caught him in the act. No way to deny my own two eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror and said “No way am I going back this time.” That was 3 months ago and so far so good. And of course he has been trying but I have been strong and slowly every day it is getting eaiser because I do know I deserve better.

  5. Izzy

    My abusive relationship taught me two things. 1) Who I am and what I want. 2) It’s OK to stand up for who you are and what you want.
    My experiences with this man echo’d many of the comments here. However, after leaving him, I knew what I wanted from a relationship. So, when I met a man who could give me what I wanted, I found I was not in the ‘giver’ role, and he was not in the ‘taker’ role. Instead, we are able to work with each other as equal adults; with honesty, trust and respect. It does not sound romantic or the stuff of songs and poems but, it is the most wonderful thing I have ever had. Reader, I married him! Have faith in yourself, have faith in the universe, have faith in the power that knows what is right for you. Namaste!

  6. samantha

    I think we’ve all had that relationship, the one that sucks your soul clean out of you. When I was in that relationship I kept thinking that he’d eventaully do something that would make me feel done – good luck with that! One day I woke up out of a sound sleep and my spirit guides (whom I lovingly refer to as my spooks) just spit the words out of my mouth, “You have to leave today”. I was mortified, everything in me wanted to take back my words, but in my heart I knew that my spooks were right, that he had to go, so I followed through.

    Perhaps the reason we stay so long is that we get something out of staying in denial – we get a relationship with someone we believe we adore. Recovery requires that we cowboy up and see how badly we’ve fooled ourselves, and it’s dreadfully humbling, though its equally the path to our own salvation. During the early days of the break-up I just kept telling myself every day that a bad day alone is exponentially better than even a good day in a toxic relationship.

    I originally called this article “…But I love him!”. I have come to understand that hearing or speaking those words is probably a good indication that something in the relationship is terribly wrong. Now, when I’m in G-d’s house, I walk past the “Givers” room, the “Takers” room, and I go to an entirely different floor, hahaha!

    Thanks for all of you feedback!!


  7. Julia

    I just left my abusive relationship in the’s only been about a month. He was a great man except he
    lied, cheated,and stole a huge part of me. I stayed in this till he almost took my life. It wasnt till that moment that I knew he didn’t love me. All I wanted was love and no matter how much a person says it or does “little” things to show it. It’s all about actions ladies and gents! Be aware of the cycle and those red flags. No matter how much I loved this man..I could never change his ways. 2 days after I left town ..he is now living with one of the 4 girls he cheated on me with. Scares me to think what this woman could be going through. Starts off as one of the best relationships you could possibly imagion..then slowly it turns to the most evil thing you could think of.

  8. indigodanceIndigodance

    Ohh… I had goose bumps reading this. I could see my male friend and the lady he is having an affair with straight off … I have several books on Codependent relationships – and breaking repeating behaviour events in my own relationship with my husband, I am very well versed with the subject.

    Its hard breaking the cycle for oneself, but also watching others make the same mistakes is also very painful, especially when they are close to you.

    CAT xx

  9. lisaLisa

    WOW! Did this hit home for me. That vicious cycle is just that ‘vicious’. I would draw a line and of course he would cross the line then I’d draw another and he’d cross that one and so on….

    It took me 20 years before I left my destructive relationship, of course, it didn’t seem/look destructive at the beginning. I believe in the power of prayer very much and daily ask for guidance. I kid you not that one day I was reading the “Serenity Prayer” from a card that I had been given, and it hit me like a bolt of lightning. He wasn’t going to change, life was perfect as the taker, but I HAD to make the change and I did. I drew the last line and when he crossed it, I was DONE. But, it wasn’t until that very moment.

    Happy to say that I’ve been free from that relationship 3 years now. But, still learning from the lessons and on my nightstand is a book called Codependent No More!

    THanks for a great article!!!

    Cyber Hugs,

  10. thelovelyducklingThe Lovely Duckling

    Hi, Samantha,

    Everything you said in your article rings true to me. I am currently in the midst of a destructive relationship and trying to work my way out. As the giver in the relationship, I know I have gone far and above what any one person should in a relationship. I have given so much and received so little, and now I know it is time to get out.

    As Miss Krystal said, I stopped giving. It was mostly because I feel I have nothing left to offer. Even if I did, I’m not sure I’d want to. There has been no shift in roles, no balancing between give and take. I don’t foresee it happening in this relationship, so it’s time to take myself back.

    Gina Rose is right! Making that decision in and of itself has allowed me a lot of room to grow. I’m still in the relationship, but I have changed my role to being giver and taker to myself. I can’t wait to see the possibilities once I am completely out of it.

    Hopefully I will find that balance in another relationship eventually. I agree with Paige that it is one of the most essential things to have. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I know it when I see it!!!


    Duckie 🙂

  11. Paige

    Hi Samantha,

    It’s amazing how a giver and a taker can recognize each other just by eye contact, before they even speak, when they first meet each other.

    I believe the best relationships are about mutuality and balance, a balance of giving and receiving.

    I really enjoyed your article!

    Peace and blessings,


  12. misskrystal

    hi samantha-great article.
    my mother taught me how to break this cycle-You just stop…..And sit back and see if they will start giving…
    if not, you have your answer….A one sided relationship…..If they do begin to give, then a “trade off” and adjustment can begin…
    Just wanted to share…
    Most of the time, though, the taker will not care…Most of the time…From my observation…But I have seen some miracles, on this note. So givers start kicking back, chill and see what happens on the other side. Let them make something happen for once….
    Miss Krystal

  13. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Samantha,

    This was a very good article…..I especially liked the part about repeating the same mistakes, or behavioral patterns,…… it’s true, as the saying goes, that ” old habits die hard”.

    We are all down here on the Earthly plane to learn from our mistakes and GROW as a result of them.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500


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