I’ve shared some of my experiences from several years of being in a toxic relationship.
There are many behaviors that now set off alarms for me, such as when personal conversations are deliberately and constantly steered to text or email.
I didn’t realize it at the time – at first I thought having so many texts was a sign of him sharing more of himself with me, giving me access to his inner thoughts. After years of feeling isolated and cut off – despite being in a relationship with him – I got to the point where I realized this text-addiction was a reluctance or an inability on his part to connect on a more intimate level. Whenever we had something personal to discuss, I would expect (eventually crave) to speak or see him other to discuss it, so we could have a face-to-face conversation and connect in a more intimate way. But he would constantly steer these conversations to text or email. Which made it really hard for me to articulate what I wanted to say, or to have what I felt would be a genuine, heart-to-heart conversation.
This continued even as we were discussing long-term commitments: how much we loved each other, marriage, even having a family.
Now, with hindsight I can see that he had elements of a personality disorder and that he was terrified or incapable of intimacy, and he certainly had no empathy for my need to develop a closer relationship or to have these conversations in person. Eventually I had to admit to myself that I couldn’t reach him, connect with him and I certainly couldn’t ‘fix’ him.
The medium of text also meant that he could simply ignore me at any point in a conversation if he didn’t like where it was going. So over time, I would be sending ever- more-considered responses, being careful not to upset him; in other words, I would be texting on eggshells.
To me, having such discussions over text was a disconnect – the actions did not match the words. No matter how deep the conversations became, the fact that they were over text meant they could never be as meaningful to me.
If any of this sounds familiar, then you need to ask yourself what you really want from a relationship, and from your life, and stand by that decision. Fast-forward – do you want to have a partner who can only celebrate, commiserate, comfort or reassure you by text? Or a partner who you can look in the eye and talk to?
If you want to break the bond and feel that you may not stay away from him, then join us for our GET UNHOOKED program to help you to choose a new path away from him – and to stay on it.