Woe Is Me! “I’m Stuck In a Toxic Relationship But I’m Scared of Being Alone. How Do I Get Off This Ride?” 


Oct 23, 2022


Image Credit: Ek Nazar(1972)

Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.

I’ve been with my partner for a while, but it’s getting a little toxic now. My partner tends to blame me for ruining his mood, and makes me feel guilty for wanting him to be there when I need him — say, when I’m sick. The smallest things are blown out of proportion and I’m often the one apologizing for past mistakes, which he keeps bringing up again and again. I’m always walking on eggshells around him, and lately, have been feeling quite stuck. The only reason I’m still in this relationship is probably because I have no friend circle of my own. Plus, our friends keep saying how “we are meant for each other” or “we’re couple goals,” so it makes me feel like I’m overreacting. What should I do?

— Lessons in loneliness

DR: I understand why you’re hesitant to end this, but as you have said yourself — although not in as many words, perhaps — your relationship with this person sucks. It’s natural to be scared of being alone, I get that. But, tell me this: getting him to be there for you when you’re sick, results in him guilting you, which, I’d argue, is worse than being sick, isn’t it? If you end this relationship, sure, it’ll hurt for a while — denying that is a ridiculous idea. However, once the hurt passes — be it a month, or even six months later — you’ll have a better shot at a partner, and a friend circle that’s loyal to you, and not to your emotionally abusive partner. By prolonging your suffering, though, you’re denying yourself a shot at a better life.

You can go into this fully prepared too — start therapy; once you settle into it, cut the cord on the relationship; then, continue therapy to help you through the healing process until you get to a better place.

As for making new friends, I’d suggest you start ASAP. If you’re working, try to meet up and grab, post-work, a coffee/drink with a colleague you think you might get along with. Alternatively, you could try to approach people with similar interests as you — online or offline. You could also attempt to reconnect with friends from school or college. Another idea is to check out single people’s mixers in your towns — maybe, you wouldn’t just make new friends there, but also meet a partner, who knows! 

AS: You must walk out, there’s no other way. The longer you stay, the more toxic it will become, and the more difficult it will be to get out. Not that it’s extremely easy right now, but feel you’re still aware of all the toxicity and the toll the relationship is taking on you. Now is the time to take that long leap of faith. And on the way, maybe also confront your common friends who are fuelling this toxicity further by commenting about how the two of you are couple goals. Trust yourself, and give yourself a better life. 

RN: Leave him! He’s probably the reason why you don’t have a friend circle. Emotional abusers are very good at isolating people from their support systems. They prey on your loneliness and vulnerability — so the sooner you get out, the higher your chances of finding safe spaces and support; and consequently, lasting bonds. Staying in this relationship won’t end well for you. You’re going to end up with low self-esteem and lose out on the ability to realize your own potential outside of this small, petty, insecure man’s needs. You clearly aren’t overacting either, even if the outside impression of you two is of perfect relationship bliss. Don’t underestimate the ability of toxic men to deplete you of all your energy, motivation, and agency. 

AS: Firstly, no — you are not overreacting. Nothing about this relationship sounds right. I understand the idea of being alone is not easy, especially when you feel like you don’t have the support system of close friends. But continuing to be in a relationship that has you second-guessing your every move and word is not a solution. Finding new friends can be daunting, but you will be able to do that much better once you free yourself from this toxic situation. Take this as an opportunity to meet new people or spend more time focusing on yourself, if that’s what you need at the moment. Either way, end it with your partner. It’ll hurt, but you will be okay. 


Written By The Swaddle Team


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