My Son’s Girlfriend is Manipulative and Toxic: Here’s What to Do
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Toxic people are a fact of life. We have all dealt with them at one point or another.
It is far worse when your child is in a toxic relationship because you experience their pain but feel powerless to change it. If this is where you are, I feel you.
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What To Do About a Toxic Girlfriend
Having a heart-to-heart is the best course of action. Remind your son of his worth, tell him that he deserves the very best and hope he makes the right decision. In the end, it is up to him to realize he needs to make the change.
Is Your Son’s Girlfriend Toxic?
What does it mean to be toxic? Simply put, it’s a catch-all term that describes a harmful (usually emotionally) person.
A toxic girlfriend will use manipulation or guilt to get her boyfriend to behave in a specific way. She might be controlling, overly dependent or extremely critical.
She might get jealous easily or have a lot of trust issues. A toxic girlfriend is often high maintenance, meaning she expects her boyfriend to cater to her every whim.
Do any of these traits describe your son’s girlfriend?
If so, she is toxic. If he can’t see the toxic behavior, point out some specific instances that display her personality. Ask him if he recognizes that this behavior is abnormal.
Explain the alternatives to jealousy, dependence, and criticism. Help him to see that she is not acting with his best interests at heart.
Why He Chose A Toxic Girlfriend
You might wonder how your wonderful son could end up with such a difficult person.
There could be a lot of reasons.
One of the most obvious is that he has self-esteem issues. Someone who has little self-worth might end up with a person who is controlling. He might feel that she is the best he can do.
That’s not the only reason. My son had a very toxic girlfriend who was clingy one minute and aloof the next. She made him miserable.
I asked him why he would date her and his answer was, “She’s so pretty.” Admittedly, she is very pretty but pretty only goes so far.
How to Help Your Son
You have some options when it comes to helping your son get out of his toxic relationship. The first option, in my opinion, the best option, is to be a sounding board.
Listen to him when he talks and only offer your own opinions and advice if he wants them.
He might just need someone to hold his space. Offering unsolicited advice could cause him to no longer come to you with these needs.
If you feel he truly needs to get out of the relationship, show him his own self-worth.
Talk with him about all of the things that make him unique and special. Remind him that being in a relationship is not meant to be painful.
This is where modeling can really help. Let your son see how healthy your relationship is with your partner so he knows what to look for.
What if your son realizes the relationship is toxic but doesn’t break things off? Naturally, this depends on his age.
Don’t meddle in an adult child’s relationships. Offer help if he asks for it but otherwise try to trust you gave him the right tools to work this out on his own. A teenager might need an intervention.
You can tell him that he should break up and find a nicer girl. Conversely, you can do what I did with my son.
Tell him how happy you are that he’s in a relationship that isn’t going to last because he’s too young to be looking for a wife.
What if She’s Not Toxic?
Before worrying about your son’s toxic relationship, make sure that she really is bad for him. It could be that you simply don’t like her. It happens a lot with moms.
We all think there are no girls out there who are good enough for our sons. The moment he introduces a young lady to you, you might start looking for flaws.
Don’t let your desire to make sure your son is happy cause you to falsely label his girlfriend.
A toxic girlfriend is not something you want for your son. However, there is a point when he has to make his own choices.
As much as you might want to, you can’t break up with her for him. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!