I’ve (29F) spent the last 2 years fixated on what my alcoholic ex boyfriend (30M) thinks of me and I realise my self-worth has become dependent on how he sees me. On the multiple occasions when things have ended between us, he’s always turned the demise of the relationship on me, even when his behaviour was so attrocious and his blaming so unreasonable. But when he sees me in a positive light, I feel on top of the world.
He has a lot of remorse for the way he’s mistreated his other ex girlfriends and will persistently apologise to them and own up to his mistreatment. He constantly tells me how much remorse he feels for treating these girls so poorly. However, he has never once expressed this sort of remorse with regards to his treatment of me and when I’ve tried to explain the hurt he has caused me, he will either lash out at me or cut me out for long periods of time.
Due to serious health complications resulting from his drinking and his refusal to get help, I don’t think he is going to make it very long. I can understand why others would find it questionable, but I keep him in my life because I care about him deeply and we do have a solid friendship beyond the tumultuous romantic history. In all honesty, most of the time I dont really understand why I keep sticking around, especially when he gets so mean. At this stage, I have to keep our friendship a secret from friends and family as they are seriously concerned with his previous violent/abusive behaviour.
Is there a way I can make this friendship work or am I just being reckless keeping him in my life?
This is not a friendship. This a codependent relationship with a narcissistic addict that has merely reached a new, more stable stage of dysfunction no less toxic for you than it was when you were a couple.
This relationship is a slow poison that is highly corrosive to your mental and emotional health. It is preventing you from even the possibility of entering into healthy romantic relationships, and it is destabilizing your support system by degrading the integrity of the relationships you have with friends and family.
This man was never your friend. He is relationship cancer, slow-growing and malignant. If you want any chance at becoming a healthy, independent woman in your thirties, you need to immediately, completely, and permanently cut this man-sized tumor out of your life.