I learned some really hard life lessons in my last marriage. I was in an abusive relationship. Of course the abuse was bad and changed me in dramatic ways. I was forced to grow and change in the process of leaving the relationship and recovering from it. One of the hardest things I had to face was that my friends and loved ones saw what was going on and heard me talk about how awful he was. The honeymoon phase would come around again and I’d be happy and in love forgetting just how bad the bad parts were. They didn’t forget. I was faced with people not respecting my husband, my relationship and I did lose a few people along the way in my decision to stay… or go back a couple times before the end stuck. Denial is a powerful force.
A few days ago I needed to tell a friend that what he’s said about his husband and his marriage for the last 2+ years is abuse. I don’t respect his husband based on what he says about him. I set a boundary for myself that I can’t be the person to listen to him vent when he’s upset and choose to stay in the relationship. I’ve lost the ability to stay quiet and be supportive. Sadly, I think my limit has ended the friendship.
I’m sad that I hurt my friend and may have lost the relationship. The anxiety of hearing the stories and knowing he’s going to stay is too hard. The similarities with my ex are too close to passively sit by and watch my friend be abused and continually opt to stay. I had to put myself first and be clear about my need to not be part of the problem.