When Melanie began standing up to her toxic parents, when she began establishing boundaries with real consequences, she realized that she had the same problems and patterns with toxic boyfriends.
She’d always picked boyfriends who criticized, demeaned, controlled, abused, and bullied her – in the same ways her parents had. And she’d given in to them just like she had to her parents. She’d complained and argued, but she’d never left.
The hold she allowed them over her was also the same as she’d allowed her parents to have. They had something she wanted so she gave in and tolerated everything they did. No, not what she wanted: what she thought she desperately needed to have right away that she thought she couldn’t get on her own.
They said they could teach her skills she wanted to learn or introduce her to the right people or get her jobs. She thought, and they reinforced, that she’d never get it so easily without them. She thought she needed them to make the life she wanted. But they only came through a little bit and only if she paid a high and ever increasing price.
Also, they always thought they were right and they were righteous about it. They stimulated her self-questioning and self-doubt. Her self-esteem plummeted. She really thought she was needy and dependent. The cycle got worse with each new relationship. Maybe, she thought, they were right. They seemed certain and she was certain that if she didn’t do what they wanted, she’d never succeed. Maybe, she thought, that’s the way the world is or that’s the way all men are.
When she looked at her friends, she saw that most were in the same types of relationships with their demanding boyfriends or husbands. Some of the details were different, but the patterns were the same.
The friends that were in healthy, non-toxic relationships said they’d support her, but she would have to make the first moves herself. She’d have to free herself, no matter what the cost. Then and only then, would they help her. They also said they were tired of her whining and complaining but lack of effective action.
The stronger Melanie got setting boundaries with her parents, the clearer her relationship patterns became. Her fear and desperation decreased. She became determined and courageous. She began setting boundaries and getting rid of the toxic boyfriends. She became determined to make it on her own, even if that took longer and would be harder.
Surprisingly, once she started freeing herself, unforeseen opportunities opened up. She stopped complaining and soon had less tolerance for the whining of others. As most of her desperate and needy old friends left her life, old, strong friends and her new friends did help her.
More rapidly than she expected, the weight lifted from her shoulders and she felt free. And she took advantage of the opportunities.
What’s the price of tolerating bullies? Slow erosion of your soul!
The best way to stop bullying by toxic boyfriends or husbands is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to do your best resolutely, diligently and effectively, and to set boundaries effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create a bully-free personal life.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.