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fluthernutter's avatar

Have you ever had an unhealthy relationship that actually worked out?

Asked by fluthernutter (6323points) April 8th, 2015
11 responses
“Great Question” (9points)

It seems like everyone has been in an unhealthy relationship (romantic, platonic, familial, etc) at some point in their lives. But has anyone had an unhealthy relationship that actually worked out in the long run?

Did things change? Or did people outside of the relationship not fully understand the dynamics? If you were an observer looking into your relationship, what kind of advice would you have given to yourself?

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Answers

hominid's avatar

My father and I have worked really hard at developing a relationship that works. It’s taken many years, but we have both grown (emotionally) and are able to accept each other. I no longer wish for my father to be someone he isn’t (and isn’t capable of). Rather, I am able to appreciate him for who he is and what he has to offer. And I believe it’s mutual.

It took some emotional growth – and I suspect that health problems for both of us did a great job at smacking us in the face and reminding us that we don’t have much more time to figure this out.

@fluthernutter: “If you were an observer looking into your relationship, what kind of advice would you have given to yourself?”

I would have probably said nothing, as it had to evolve naturally. When we were both able to truly forgive and understand what really matters, it just took some effort to get where we are.

canidmajor's avatar

Do you mean romantic relationship?
I have had unhealthy relationships with friends that have later worked out just fine, but I don’t imagine that that is very unusual.

hominid's avatar

@canidmajor: “Do you mean romantic relationship?”

I may have misinterpreted the question. But I took this…

@fluthernutter: ”(romantic, platonic, familial, etc)”

…to mean any kind of relationship.

fluthernutter's avatar

@hominid Glad to hear things have gotten better with your father. I think unhealthy familial relationships can do the most damage, as they exist when we are so young.

@canidmajor Any kind of relationship. I’ve had unhealthy friendships that I clung to for a long time, assuming things would get better. They didn’t for me. But I would love to hear how you got to a better place. Did things just change over time as you both matured? Or was it something you had to work for?

canidmajor's avatar

Well, after all my bitching about people not reading details, I am hoist on my own petard! Thanks, @hominid, for pointing that out, and sorry, @fluthernutter for missing it.
I just had a houseguest for a week, can I claim fatigue? :-)

I think the mending of friendships has had more to do with circumstance. In fact my houseguest was someone with whom I had a very acrimonious relationship with, then we both had changes in life circumstances, and the tensions cleared and we’re very close.
Others happened as you said, maturing and relaxing, letting go of that frightening intensity of youth.

I’m afraid my unhealthy relationships with my family won’t have the positive outcomes that @hominid is experiencing with his father. (And I am very glad for you, @hominid, that is a good thing! )

marinelife's avatar

I think that our marriage was in some ways an unhealthy relationship when it started. We were both seeking (as are most of us) to cure our childhood wounds through our relationships.

What changed it was a lot of time, and a lot of individual therapy for both of us, and an intent to work through things. We communicate much more and much better than we did in the beginning. We each look at our own issues when we come to an area of disagreement and thus we are quicker to forgive and move on.

But we started with love and have now found an even deeper and more intimate love.

2davidc8's avatar

No, it’s more like the other way around. Good relationships that have turned sour.

cheebdragon's avatar

I’ve been in an unhealthy relationship for 14 years, it’s working out alright I guess.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

Currently in one – for 16 years. Got married too young – had kids right away – never was ready to be married. Both of us are too independent for this arrangement and yet… after a 5 year streak of straight relationship hell – neither one of us gave up and now it’s something stronger than I could have ever imagined. You can’t F with this relationship anymore; it has already seen the bottom and survived.

Things changed when we both cheated on each other – I started it. People outside the relationship definitely don’t understand us. Advice I would give to myself? Hell, we’ve come too far to quit now. Do what you know is right and things will work out.

Things changed for the better when we both just stopped caring about the petty relationship bs and realized that we loved each other – and that’s all we needed.

I used to think the worst mistake I ever made in my life was getting married – now I know it was cheating. It’s a guilt that will haunt me till I die. So if I’m grumpy, you all now know the underlying reason – crippling, life-altering guilt. Haha

But wtf, come at me bro – I’ve already scraped bottom – you can’t touch this. (hammer dance)

Coloma's avatar

No.
I believe all relationships have a reason and a season and most are not meant to last “forever.”
It would all hinge on BOTH parties being ready to grow and expand and do some serious self awareness work. When I got really healthy about a dozen years ago I cleaned house, divorced my husband of 21 years, dumped about 5 dysfunctional friends over the next several.
Attempts at waking up others to their dynamics failed as we all know we can’t change anyone but ourselves.

Once you wake up there is no going back to sleep again, the Toltecs speak of the ” Metote”, the fog of unconsciousness, once the fog lifts you can no longer engage with those that remain unconscious. You wish them well and free them to their own path.

JLeslie's avatar

No.

I’ve had relationships go through hills and valleys, where they became negative from stress or other factors, and then bounced back, but one that started out unhealthy I’ve never had correct itself.

I do believe people can change, but there are limits and change is difficult.

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