We’ve all been there before. Trying to offer comfort and support to a friend who is emotionally caught between a rock and a hard place due to a toxic one-sided relationship. We have all been that friend that has stayed up late into the wee hours of the morning commiserating, reinforcing, validating and admonishing another friend to leave her toxic relationship behind and look for the cake that she is forsaking in the pursuit of mere crumbs off her lovers floor. If you find yourself constantly consoling a friend who is madly in love with a narcissistic douche bag, STOP because you’re wasting your breath. You can’t tell her anything. Here’s why:
- Because she’s a cracked out love addict wildly addicted to the fantasy he is selling. He has turned his love into a drug and has made her into a full-fledged fiend for his love. She can only come alive when she hears something from him. She’ll pretend she is the fun girl, the happy girl, the party girl. She will do everything in her power not to show how hurt and angry she is by his messed up behavior afraid that he will leave and not want to be around her anymore. She will adopt a cheerful countenance and sweeten her smile, inject a happy tone in her voice so as not to be a problem, too demanding, overly needy. She wants to be seen as the good time girl, the one who doesn’t make trouble for him, make things difficult. She will wear this particular mask so long she won’t even remember her face anymore.
- Because she thinks she knows him better than anyone else. Those private, intimate moments shared between the two of them have convinced her that she has an inside understanding into the complexities of his troubled soul. She has come to believe that they have this secret that no one is privy to except him and her. He has made her an accomplice to his angst, an ally. Those quiet evenings and exchange of late night texts tricked her into thinking that she knows him better than anyone else does. She actually believes she is getting somewhere with him when in actuality somewhere is really nowhere turned inside out.
- Because she likes the rush, the dance, the intensity, the overall challenge of loving a man who can never love her back. A man who constantly eludes her grasp the more she tries to get her needs met. She lives for the push and pull, the raging tug of war that is his love. She enjoys the feeling of being off-balanced, slightly off kilter for the sake of love. She lives for the investment of his attention followed by his unexplained disappearances and bouts of withholding. These behaviors make her think it’s really love as she believes it’s only love if you suffer for it. She suffers for it daily but it is never love. It is a woman desperately trying to get her needs addressed only to have them returned to sender.
- Because she is lonely. Growing up she was never loved for who she was but for what she could do in the service of others. She was different. “Other”. She comes from a family of lonely women. Women who were unable to secure the Holy Grail of having a man love you. Women who attributed their personal success to having the love of a man. She has inherited the legacy of these beliefs and continues to operate from them in her every move. Her loneliness feeds her desperation and causes her to tolerate poor behavior from him in an effort to stave off what she feels is an inevitability.
- Because she is dickmatized. Her man has some good dick and she can’t see beyond that. She attributes his erection to her feminine power. His boner makes her feel sexy, desirable wanted. Feelings she never felt growing up. His orgasm is her gold watch, her confidence, her invincibility. She has come to assign too much meaning to his erection and has given it representation and symbolism which makes it hard (pun intended) to disconnect from him.
- Because she doesn’t think she is worth much. She doesn’t think she is pretty, sexy, beautiful or enough of anything at all. Because of this she is susceptible to the counterfeit advances of cruel and unfeeling men; men who only see her total submission as a power source and not as an act of divinely inspired devotion.
- She doesn’t think you understand. As her friend, you assure her that you do but her pain is screaming louder than any advice you can offer. Her heartbreak has blinded her to a truth your objectivity gives you full access to. She is immersed deep in the scribbled haze of his inconsistent love supply that only seems to unravel itself when in his company.
- Because she needs to run out. Run out of feelings for him. Run out of excuses for his poor behaviors, run out of energy trying to chase him and wait on his 2am text messages, run out of tears and the underlying fear of him leaving that keeps her tolerating poor treatment. Until she genuinely gets sick of his hurtful ways she won’t be motivated to change a thing.
- Because sometimes things do work out and people do get their man. Sometimes prince charming does come to rescue the princess and sometimes people do see their happily ever afters. She clings to those fantastical stories of lovers who have surmounted it all in the name of love and who after going through the many changes associated with love come out of it all together and stronger than ever. It is a gamble and she is willing to risk it all even when the risk threatens her long term happiness.
- Because she was taught not to give up. She was taught to never throw in the towel. She was encouraged to have integrity and stand by her man even in the face of abuse. She possesses this toxic sense of loyalty that was inculcated in her when she was younger causing her to hold on to her lover despite risks to her own wellbeing.
Fact is no matter what you do to try and sway her away from her toxic relationship, she won’t listen to you. She is not ready to. She still has some more hurting to do and it is only when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change will she be willing to do the necessary work it takes to separate herself from her toxic situation. In the meantime all you can do is love her and be there for her and hopefully show her the difference between real love and a love that is counterfeit. Hopefully in time, she will experience a breakthrough that will motivate her to end her toxic relationship once and for all.