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iLove's avatar

What are the repercussions of rescuing someone in a relationship?

Asked by iLove (2339points) March 15th, 2011

Have you ever “rescued” someone by getting into a relationship with them? Supported someone through a breakup maybe too close to the end?

What were the downfalls, the negatives that arose from doing so? Did you find that your love and concern replaced their ability to find their own identity?

I’ve read many Fluther Q&A on the topic of moving too quickly into a new relationship after one has ended. I am curious to know what issues you’ve experienced as a result of doing so.

I am seeking mature answers from conscious jellies – specifically those who have worked on being aware of patterns in relationships.

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14 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

There’s a fine line between “rescuing” someone and being an enabler. There’s an even finer line between “falling in love” and “being in need.” It would help if you gave a bit more information.

seekingwolf's avatar

I think thinking that you’re “rescuing” someone by getting into a relationship with them is kind of unhealthy. That is not the purpose of a relationship at all. I think you’re opening a can of worms if you do that.

When break-ups happen, there is a lot of raw emotions. If you want a relationship with the person, back off for a bit and let them sort stuff out. If you get involved with them, be prepared for a crazy emotional roller coaster that may not end well for you.

john65pennington's avatar

By rescuing, do you mean like the Moderators on Fluther? They come to our aid when we are down and out and have mispelled too many words.

Getting involved in a situation, like the one you have just described, is not a good idea. One or the other or both will turn against you and this is not a pretty sight.

Best bet is to avoid it altogether.

chyna's avatar

There are a lot of risks to rescuing someone. You might turn out to be the friend they lean on and they will only think of you as a friend. You might turn into a “rebound” relationship, in which the person is using you to get over the last relationship and will move on.

iLove's avatar

In this case, I mean providing emotional support for someone who is freshly out of a failed relationship. I think the term rescuing can be used when the person feels comfort in releasing the emotions associated with the failed relationship in the new one.

I know we all have “past” relationships and we bring a certain amount of pain or knowledge from each. But there seems to be something particular about allowing oneself to get involved with someone when there hasn’t been any room for them to be alone from the last relationship. Isn’t this considered rescuing? Being the shoulder to cry on as they realize how much they really disliked their relationship… etc. Is this damaging to the new relationship in any way? Or can it be healing?

If you need more clarification, I will be glad to provide.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The downfall is that you can become the person’s crutch.

Hobbes's avatar

I think the problem is that the idea of “rescuing” someone else puts you in an elevated position. In such a relationship, you are the benefactor, and they are receiving your help, which you have been kind enough to grant. It sets up an uneven power dynamic which could easily lead to serious problems.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It can be done, in my opinion, if you are drastically different from what a person has dealt with and they can healthily move on, but it’s rare.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

One of the most common scenarios is you “rescue” the person in the terrible relationship/post terrible relationship, you two form a friendship of sharing and support, you two fall in love and then… you have the memories of that person’s broken heart and pining away for someone else. Maybe you were even around as a friend during their rebounds or attempts at reconciliation. Once you fall in love then retrospect can spur a bit of jealousy, comparison and be the seed to some pretty outrageous challenges and establishing who loves “the most”. Blech, avoid falling in love like that unless you have a super thick skin and very very strong self confidence and independence.

blueiiznh's avatar

It is somewhat natural in how this occurs. You provide comfort to someone you know who is in a tough situation and are very vulnerable. This creates a closeness and before you know it, that simple act of kindness has your hearts wrapped and you are in a Samaritan Relationship.

The difficulties can be when the person you rescued is no longer in a vulnerable state. So its somewhat similar to a rebound relationship in that when they are past the original hurt, they are healthy again and may have different needs.

It’s really not the greatest situation to start a relationship when one or more people are not emotionally healthy. Be there for them as a friend, but be very careful.

I am not saying you are, but when you mentioned patterns, many who fall into this trap are “people pleasers”. They habitually give to other people because they can’t stand the thought of seeing others upset. They put their own needs aside because they get a buzz off someone else’s happiness, Being aware of this in oneself is difficult to see, but can explain many of the reason why certain people find themselves feeling like they have been used.

snowberry's avatar

My daughter was very unhappy as a teen. She met a man twice her age, and he felt very sorry for her, so he rescued her by helping her elope 6 weeks after she turned 18. 11 years later she’s divorced, with two kids, and HE’s the emotional wreck. They have a special needs daughter who is extremely difficult to live with, and her life has been hell. She divorced him and moved out. Now she’s working two jobs to pay child support and get herself healthy while he sorts his life out. It’s an awful situation, and boy, does she have regrets.

The pattern here is that she married to escape without learning about the guy she married, and now they are divorced with kids in an utterly impossible situation.

cak's avatar

I can’t really add a lot to great answers above. Read @ blueiiznh’s answer. It makes a lot of sense.

iLove's avatar

@blueiiznh – I wish I could give more than 1 GA!

blueiiznh's avatar

@iLove That comment is worth more than any amount GA points.. ty

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