When my clients are faced with serious challenging issues, as I share the possible driving forces behind the situation this strengthens me too, this is why I share tips and warning about relationship with you and this drives the theme of the material that I post too. My client has given me permission to share her case with you. (The couples names have been changed)
We have all experienced or seen a loved one in a toxic relationship at one time or another and as you know this can be a real challenge. What would you do if you were in the following situation?
Mandy aged 28 and Gary aged 29 have two young children which the pair of them love dearly. They have been in a relationship for nearly 9 years and they have been living together for 7 years. Both Gary and Mandy profess to love each other and they have a strong desire to raise their children together under the same roof. During the relationship, although Gary has obtained many short lived jobs he has been unemployed most of the time; therefore the household often lacks finances. Gary spends most of his days at home playing computer games or visiting friends till late at night. Meanwhile Mandy seems content to focus on surviving from day to day and exercises insufficient efforts to inspire progress. Gary also has an addiction and suffers with depression; he constantly highlights this reality on all levels. Mandy says she feels duty bound to endure a variety of situations. For example according to Mandy, Gary intimidates and belittles her in the presence of their children, Gary has been physically violent, this has caused damage to their property and Mandy has sustained injuries on a number of occasions. Gary says that Mandy does not understand him, appreciate the efforts that he makes and she has poor social skills. In addition recently the couple have been experiencing crippling financial demands. Guilt trips and blame games are exchanged on a daily basis, mainly due to Gary addiction, the impact of his behaviour, Mandy’s low self-esteem and her lack of self-motivation. What productive advice would you give Gary or Mandy to improve their situation?
Here are some paraphrased responses during our relationship workshops:
• Tell Mandy to get rid of Gary
• Gary should grow a pair
• If Mandy stays with Gary her life won’t improve
• Mandy your story brings back sad memories, I would get away from Gary
• Gary needs support and a new sense of direction
• Gary has no motivation or maturity
• Mandy must think about how the home environment affects her and her children
• Gary is probably stuck in a ruck, fortunately my family and friends supported me when I was feeling depressed