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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I know I have to break with my toxic partner of 15 years.

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I know I have to break with my toxic partner of 15 years. But I feel as if I am losing my best friend. I have been through a lot, including job losses, foreclosure, car repossessed, homelessness, and finally moving to a foreign country for a job. There, I am very depressed and alone, and our now long distance so-called relationship seems like the only thing I have left. Many of my family and friends turned away when I became homeless. In the country where I live now, therapy is stigmatized and I fear losing my job - which is good - due to lack of privacy laws there. What can I do? I have tried to break this off many times but always back down because I feel as if this is all I have emotionally. Thank you
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is good that you recognize that your relationship is toxic. Most people do not get that far. But how much the relationship is hurting you is the question here. If you feel that the relationship is doing you more good than bad at this point, then it may be alright to hang onto it until you can create a better situation for yourself. Of course, if the relationship is toxic due to abuse, then it might be a good idea to get out now.

Keeping a relationship that is familiar and has a history to it helps your stress and self esteem for the time being. It may not be ideal, but it works, for now. If you can hold onto your relationship for a bit, then start working towards building your social supports. Make it a goal to make one new friend this month. If you are in a country with other Americans, start there. If not, try the friendliest person you can find. Join a group, ask someone you work with out to lunch, or even someone who lives near you that you see a lot of. Talk to people when you go out or go to places where others are. If you have a hobby or interest, see if you can join a club or group. If not, try on line. Even forming relationships on a site that is interesting to you helps. Facebook, City Data Forum, and other sites like it offer a chance for you to talk to others and keep in touch. You could also start a blog about your experiences. Many people are interested in insights of what it is like to live in another country.

You can also work on your depression and relationship issues at home. There are many resources, including self help groups and Just Answer, that can help you have contact with others who can help you with how you feel. Here are some resources to get you started:

Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum

True Belonging: Mindful Practices to Help You Overcome Loneliness, Connect with Others, and Cultivate Happiness by Jeffrey, M.D. Brantley and Wendy Millstine

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You by Richard O'Connor

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this helps,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi thanks, ***** ***** it is just the stress of a long term relationship with a man who is married to someone else. More and more, I question what kind of "love" this is. He is very unhappy also but I think it suits him, actually. I have a life in my adopted country, and mostly it is a good life. Belong to a writing group, church, and music groups too. But at the end of the day I am alone. I like a lot of alone-time, but even for me it is too much sometimes. I think I know the answer all right, I need this to be over but lacking strength to do it. For a long time I too thought that it was better than nothing, but the emotional energy it takes is not worth it any more. Thank you
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information, it helps.

I agree with you, it sounds like it is time to move on. I have heard many times that being involved with a married man creates the type of problem you are having. The person will say they are unhappy but they do not make any moves to leave their marriage. It ends up a dead end relationship for the other person.

With all of the involvement you have in activates and other things, I can't see that it would take a long time for you to find someone. Have you tried any on line dating sites? I know for some people that is not appealing, but I have also known many that are happy with them and found someone. It might be worth a look.

I am glad to help anytime!


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