General Question

Jude's avatar

Have you ever gotten to the point to where you had to cut someone out of your life?

Asked by Jude (32134points) April 7th, 2009

The relationship/friendship was a toxic one and as hard as it was, you had to cut them out? Did you stick to it, though (maybe, you felt that they had changed?)

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79 Answers

Mr_M's avatar

I’ll say. I haven’t spoken to my brother and sister in about 20 years. And never will.

Les's avatar

Yep. An ex boyfriend. It was an important decision that I had to make to save myself the pain and heartache that I was experiencing, and I thought it would be good for him, too. I was horribly torn apart after I did it, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. I had a dream about him last night. Would I ever want to get back in touch? I don’t know. Sometimes I think I would, but it was so toxic, that I think it is best I don’t. Despite that, I’ll never stop loving him.

allen_o's avatar

Sometimes you need to to protect your self

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes. A toxic friend. Sometimes you just have to do it.

ShauneP82's avatar

Yep. Believe me I am much much much happier for doing it.

Jack79's avatar

quite often, the most extreme example is a recent one:

I have a friend that I’ve known for 30 years. We went to school together as kids, she was one of my best friends’ best friend, we used to hang out a lot at various periods in our lives, and at some point we became “cinema buddies”, meaning I’d take her to the cinema like once a month or something, regardless of who I was dating at the time. It would just be a movie, perhaps a meal at most. This went on even while I was married (there was never anything sexual between us). She’s a lawyer, and sometimes she’d maybe answer a legal question for me, and I did all the technical stuff in her office for free (simple things like setting up her PC or connecting a printer).

For the last year I’ve been having various problems concerning my child, including legal ones. I have found that this friend of mine does not help me much with the legal side (it’s way over her league and I don’t want to stress her anyway), while at the same time any conversation we have on the matter just makes things worse. I get annoyed at her (even though it’s not her fault) and frustrated. I have another friend who just gets me depressed everytime we talk (even though she’s also just meaning to help). So I’ve consciously decided to cut both of them out of my life until this is over. It’s not personal, but I need people who can help me right now, and the stakes are too high to spend time with those that can’t.

aprilsimnel's avatar

That’d be my immediate biological family. I’ve stuck to it. Extricating myself emotionally has been hard because it feels wrong. You’re not supposed to cut your family off, right? “Blood is thicker than water” and all that rot, right? Wrong.

I had to literally look at the situation as though it were happening to someone else, and I realized that what I went through with them should have them in prison. That made me start thinking that getting them out of my life was the best thing I could ever do for myself, physically and emotionally getting them out of my life and not looking back or feeling guilty. I owe them nothing, no matter what they tried to get me to believe. Nothing.

Judi's avatar

I had a friend who treated her ex (also a friend) so horrifically I had to cut her out (20 years ago.) We have recently re-connected, but I have to say it does not appear that our life’s paths have left us with any thing in common.

tigran's avatar

told my friend from middle school to get out of my house once for having no respect. Haven’t spoken to him since. He is also my neighbor at parents house and went to same highschool..

cookieman's avatar


I realized, along with my dad, that my mother was toxic when I was fourteen.

We worked on it for fourteen years. Not only was there no improvement, she actually dug her feet in and became worse.

After dad died last year, I finally threw in the towell.

I definitely feel a strong combination of relieved and disappointed.

jrpowell's avatar

My best friend in high school. We even shared an apartment after high school. A house too, and he lived in my sisters house for a while, we had bunk beds. He started doing heroin and that was pretty much the end of our relationship. He would only come to my place if he needed a place to clean his needles or wanted to steal my stuff.

I haven’t heard from him in five years. He is supposedly clean now. But I don’t really feel the need to have him back in my life.

casheroo's avatar

It’s happened multiple times, with exes or friends. Hasn’t happened with family members though.

IBERnineD's avatar

Unfortunately it’s getting to this point with my sister. :( But I have had to cut friends off. Mostly because they totally changed, and they needed more help than I could provide them.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I never have known anyone like that thankfully. Reading these instances of family is SO sad to me. I’m sorry for y’all’s pain. That has to be the hardest situation to be in.

Zen's avatar

A childhood friend, one of my closest, came to stay with my young pregnant wife, my first baby and I while working on his thesis. He said it would be a week or two. He stayed for months, and though I couldn’t kick him out – I vowed never to bother with the freeloading insensitive schmuck again.

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

Minor cuts here and there. I’m a very forgiving person so a lot of them I still have a chat with every now and then.
One of them was my friend who started getting into heroin and shit and my first reaction was to bail. I shouldn’t have, I should have helped her. But it’s okay, I’m helping her now.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

One of my best friends smoked way too much pot. I have no problem if people want to do this but my friend was a guy that if he was conscious, he was stoned and this was going on for 10+ years. After the longer term affects of smoking weed kicked in such as paranoia, irritability and profound short term memory loss, he started to lose his grip on reality. Over time he complained that the government was spying on him using invisible technology. He blamed President Bush for Hurricane Katrina saying that Cheney funded creation of a “hurricane machine” which was designed to created a massive hurricane that would wipe out New Orleans because they vote democrat. There were dozens of these nonsensical conspiracy theories he would attach himself to and anyone who dared to say anything against these deeply held beliefs got the full front of his verbal wrath. I knew it had gotten really bad when he showed me his gun collection. He shared with me his plan on how he was going to defend himself when his unseen enemies eventually came for him. His weapons weren’t made for hunting animals, they were mostly assault weapons. Some quasi-legal. It just got to the point that hanging out with him was potentially dangerous. He’d also do things lke throw d cell batteries at cars on the road when he got angry during traffic. It was all bad and cutting loose was one of the more difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

VzzBzz's avatar

Particular family members, sure. They are not directly impacting me, not chosen friends so I don’t look to or expect them to change. I deal with them as politely and infrequently as possible.

As far as chosen friends who turn to be toxic, yes, a few. I left a man I deeply cared for and once loved because I could see no amount of my love and friendship was helping his self destructiveness which had carried over to me. Another was the ex wife of one of my best friends, who had always been my friend too- I’ll always care for her but can’t be more than her acquaintance since the behaviors that led to their divorce.

gambitking's avatar

All the time. But for me, I think it’s a little odd. Sometimes the expulsion of a person from my life happens suddenly, usually by my choice but often perpetuated by theirs.

I’m a tolerant person and pretty long tempered, and i always try to see both sides of things. But for me, there are very clear lines that, when crossed, result in a swift end to a relationship.

VS's avatar

I have a friend who is my son’s age and who 18 years ago latched onto me as a friend. She has had a lot of ups and downs in her life, and was tragically abused as a child. She got hooked up with some not-nice people and it was very easy for her to fall into a life of crack. When I realized what she was doing, I told her in no uncertain terms, not to call me, don’t come to my house, don’t make any effort to contact me whatsoever as long as you are on that sh*t. She stayed away from me and about three years ago, I heard she had gone to jail for manufacturing meth. She wrote me from jail probably as part of some 12-step program about making amends. I wrote her back and told her as long as she was going the right thing, I would be there for her. I continued to write to her while she was in jail, and assisted her with some money and other things in getting back on her feet once she was released. I am happy to report that she is working, is drug-free, has renewed her relationship with her two daughters, and is the proud grandmother of a new baby.

It was a very difficult thing to cut this girl from my life, but tough love required it. I was not making judgments about her or her lifestyle choice when I cut her out of my life. It was more about MY lifestyle choice, and my conscious decision to not have my circle of friends include crackheads.

essieness's avatar

I have had to cut a couple people out in the past 6 months. One was a friend of 20 years who literally turned psychotic. There was just no reasoning with this person and her toxicity was bringing me down. Another was a rather new friend whom I met about a year ago. In a span of 6 or 7 months, we bickered and fought and she betrayed me several times. I decided the instances of back stabbing compared to the amount of time we had known each other was way too high. So, she got cut.

I refuse to waste my time on people who hurt me. If you can’t love me and let me love you unconditionally, then you don’t deserve my time.

aviona's avatar

I’m trying, right now, for various reasons—mostly my own mental health.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Yes, I have had to do this before. My marriage to my first wife became very toxic after 2 years and I had to divorce her and cut her completely out of my life. I haven’t seen or talked to her in over 13 years and it is better that way.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I had to cut out a friend because she needed professional help, and I felt that her friendship with me might be keeping her from it. She even told me once that with me around, she didn’t need to see her counselor as much. I couldn’t handle that level of dependence. I felt very guilty about dropping her.

cak's avatar

One family member – a stepbrother. It’s sad. It’s been something I struggled with, but it had to be done.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Yes, but it seems that most of them come back at some point. The big issue is when I start being unable to ignore them anymore…

fundevogel's avatar

Most of my family has excommunicated my grandma. She was an abusive alcoholic mother to her children when they when under her care and and continued trying to control them (and everyone else) as adults.

She’s the sort of person who leaves you only two options, out of her world or under her thumb.

…and then there was a roommate. Technically she cut it off by jumping ship halfway through a 12 month lease and running home to her parents (she was 23), but I welcomed it. Well, I was glad I didn’t have to live with her any more, but bailing on our lease was a pretty shitty thing to do. It was my birthday.

ru2bz46's avatar

My wife and I had a mutual friend, but once I found out that she enabled my wife to cheat, she was gone.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

twice. i haven’t talked to my father in a few years, and i stopped talking to one of my closest friends for awhile. i’m on speaking terms with her though, despite all of the shit that unfortunately went down between us. i doubt i could be friends with her again, but i’m over what happened, and i don’t have anything against her anymore really.

mushisquishi's avatar

i’m actually at a point where i’m thinking of cutting someone out of my life. he’s too needy with me, and every time he comes to me with a plea for ‘someone to talk to’ i end up feeling like it was just a ploy for him to hit on me. i don’t like the way that he’s dealt with his life and his daughter, and if i met him tomorrow instead of having known him since high school, i probably wouldn’t trust him. i haven’t told him this, and i don’t know if it would be beneficial. after over 10 years of friendship, you would think i ‘owed’ him the truth about the way i felt about him, but really i just want to stop responding to him. i’m starting to despise him for continuing to call me when i ignore him, which makes me want to ignore him even more.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Yes, I have, but the individual is my bi-polar daughter & I may not be able to stick to the decision. She refuses to take the medication(s) that have been prescribed, she loses contact with reality, she becomes paranoid, she lies about everything, she becomes destructive, she becomes vindictive against everyone that she suspects is “out to get her”. I have tried everything I can think of, but nothing works.

casheroo's avatar

@Linda_Owl I hope you keep trying. The thought of my parents giving up on me, when I was at my worst with bi-polar, is scary to think about. She needs you more than ever right now, even if it hurts you and drains you. If you want to save your daughter, you have to put your own feelings aside.

Linda_Owl's avatar

@casheroo Unfortunately, you do not have all the information. My daughter is 34, I have no control over her what so ever. I have taken her back into my home more times than I can count & she has betrayed me every single time. Other family members have taken her in as well & she has also betrayed them. She has repeatedly gotten addicted to drugs & gone thru rehab, but can’t or won’t stay clean. I still love her & I still hope that she will one day realize that she needs our help – but we cannot continue to put ourselves in danger by trying to give her help she does not think she needs.

casheroo's avatar

@Linda_Owl Sorry to hear that. I wish your daughter the best, hopefully she gets the help and support she needs one day.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Linda_Owl I have a friend in a similar situation, and I feel for you. It is his wife’s sister with the problems. Last year, she would only trust my friend’s wife, so they ended up buying a bigger house (twice the size of the previous) so she could live with them. She stayed for six weeks and left. Now she’s living with her mother and step father. My friend and his wife have a much larger house than they need, and are not receiving the rent from the sister they were counting on. All of your daughter’s behaviors can be attributed to this woman as well.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

I excommunicated a poisonous ex just over a year ago, after him driving me to the point of being suicidal. It was the most incredibly difficult thing to do, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt the same since I knew him. Everything shines slightly less brightly, but now it shines more often.

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t like these kinds of questions. We all have. Why focus on it?

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense you can communicate your ideas to the “contact” section, rather than here

SeventhSense's avatar

Unless I want to announce it to the Collective Here.

YARNLADY's avatar

@ fair enough, each of us is entitled to an opinion. It might or might not be more effective to announce it.

Facade's avatar

Yep. It wasn’t hard though.

Loried2008's avatar

Yes! My best friend of 5 years started hanging out with homosexuals. I knew she wasn’t one, but because those particular people were around her they changed her (or she changed herself to fit in) Soon she began to act different dress different and I knew it was a show (hello bff 4 FIVE years?) Then we took a senior trip together and got a little tipsy and she… well she kissed me to say the least. It took us apart afterwards because I wouldn’t cave into her peer pressure. She got a “girl friend” and didn’t give me the time of day ever again. (The girl hates me cause she thinks my ex bff is in love with me) BUT SHE’S not. All it took was the wrong friends and a weak moment to tear me away from the one person I told ALL to. It was hard. But I’m better off cause I let it go.

SeventhSense's avatar

Rarely because I always try to remain objective and open to different people through almost anything. I’m also able to give to myself so I dont depend on others to get my emmotional needs met. Others sometimes will cut me out of their life though. But as I always say, “It’s better to give a resentment than to get one”.:)

saraaaaaa's avatar

I had to cut my father out of my life, i guess that sounds extreme but it was necessary at the time. I never went back on it but I do miss him occasionaly the thing that stops me from taking steps to getting back in touch is that I cannot truely envision that he has changed and don’t want to be back in that position anymore.
But who knows, it depends on the nature of their toxicity I guess, if you have exhausted all options to accomodate them then the only thing left is to get on with your life and maybe if you are lucky it will slap them back into reality so they can realise the effects of their own behaviour and make some changes.

Disc2021's avatar

Yeeeuup. I’m currently struggling with a situation like this – where I dont WANT to cut the person out of my life but there is nothing I could do for them and the connection is only harmful to me (an ex).

Is it hard to stick to it? Almost sounds impossible or unbearable – but the thought of continuing on my life throughout the years repeating the same mistake with only a miserable outcome is a scarier thought.

mally03's avatar

Yes, in both cases, it was an alcoholic who would not seek help.

SeventhSense's avatar

When he’s dead you may wish you could have hugged him once more. Life is too short to be completely cut off over differences. My father was far from a good father, divorcing my mother and essentially abandoning me and my siblings. But I wasted many years actually believing he needed to change for me to have a relationship with him. He never changed or recognized his “sins” to my approval, subsequently died young and I missed some simple times when I could have connected in a way that was different than what I may have imagined. Sometimes it’s enough to just be family. As long as someone is not a bodily threat to oneself of course.

smack's avatar

I usually can’t bring myself to actually do it, even though I might want to. However, many people have found it within them to cut me out of their lives…

xzlslazcarter's avatar

yep,my ex-girlfriend, after we brought-up, i realise she is really crazy people, i can not imaging that she used to be my girlfriend before, it’s nightmare for me. so i decide cut her out of my life.

CMaz's avatar


I hate it, but it had to be done.

justme1's avatar

Yes my ex boyfriend and one of my ex friends who I used to consider like my mom, then she tried to ruin my life :-(

Soubresaut's avatar

Yes. But they didn’t take the hint and got a little obsessed… then very angry. complicated.
And I have a friend who’s going through a toxic relationship right now, with someone they really trusted, and they’re just trying to figure things out. Trying to be there for them… it’s hard to watch

definitive's avatar

Yes…I’ve done it several times in my life with people who I’ve felt I could not regain the trust . Particularly with family who I feel have really let me down and as I’m a mum myself it was down to not being able to understand the justification of their actions.

However as I’m getting older I have come to realise that dependent upon the issue and even if we feel that trust has been broken we need to perhaps allow room for understanding and realisation that nobody is perfect and people make mistakes. Who knows what our thinking and reasoning is going to be tomorrow as emotions and mood is never static and we act within the context of the given situation.

Val123's avatar

Wow…I don’t feel quite so miserable now…yes, as @aprilsimnel said, “Extricating myself emotionally has been hard because it feels wrong. You’re not supposed to cut your family off, right? “Blood is thicker than water” and all that rot, right? Wrong.” Yes, it seems so wrong, but…I guess that’s just a perception one can overcome….

justmesuzanne's avatar

I have, and I will especially, always shut out people who prove to be jealous, irrational, and narcissistic. My father was like that, and I have had a couple of boyfriends like that. I will tolerate ONE instance of jealousy. If it happens again, it’s over – completely.

SisterPainter's avatar

Yes. I had to cut off a friend who I’d discovered is a compulsive liar and gossup.
it’s sad but we must teach others how to treat us.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I’ve done this more than once. Oh, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been known to give more than one of them another chance.

Excalibur's avatar

Oh yes. Liars, gossips, people who are jealous, destructive people…......It is a necessary part of life unfortunately.

mass_pike4's avatar

i was on the butt end on this one once. It was for the better though thankfully. One of the few things my ex made a good decision on

philosopher's avatar

After my Father past away. My manipulative Sister moved back in with my Mother.
It got to the point were I was excluded unless they could use me.
My Mother informed me she was leaving everything to my Sister. She actually told me she had to because————————-. She said, I had a Husband and Son.
I said, that is your decision. My decision is to never speak to you again.
I would not waste my time with such worthless people.
My Son is Autistic he always comes first .

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.I have had to do that before.Some times are easier than others,but it is always for the best.It helps to know that life is too short to waste with people you really don’t want to be with.

philosopher's avatar

You have to protect yourself from those who attempt to mistreat you.
I no longer doubt myself. I refuse to be anyone’s doormat. If I am not shown respect they are dead to me.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Yes, and both times, it SUCKED! The first was a parent the second was a friend of almost 10 years. Both were a one way relationship and I felt that it was a matter of mental survival. No one wants to be the one who breaks it off, but if you bend to them all the time, it takes so much of yourself away and become something really obscure. Given enough time, you won’t recognize yourself.

Cruiser's avatar

I have gotten close there a few times as of late and the why I feel that way is what hurts the most.

philosopher's avatar

I have been there. Your not the only one.
Never let people take advantage of your kindness.
I would rather be a bitch than a fool.

wilma's avatar

Yes, sadly.

Cruiser's avatar

@philosopher Sometimes your desire to see things work out overrides your ability to think clearly. Then once emotions get involved it becomes a big blur.

philosopher's avatar

I totally relate.
I use to be such a nice young girl.
I grew up when I had an Autistic Child. Many so called Professionals attempted to BS me and some wealthy Parents did too.
I learned ABA and saw through the users Parents quickly.
No one can fool me anymore. Being a realistic hurts a lot; but we survive.

Ron_C's avatar

There was a guy I worked with that never forgot or forgave the slightest offense. I committed one but never knew what it was because he wouldn’t tell me. I just wrote him off and went on with my life. Then I recently found out how self-centered and self-involve my brother became, I wrote him off too. Now we only talk when we have business settling my father’ estate.

tranquilsea's avatar

I didn’t think that I would ever cut family out of my life as family is extremely important to me. But my sister and her hubby adopted 3 foster kids and instead of seeking help with the adjustment of the adoption, my sister decided that tough love was the way to go. This was especially true for the oldest, who was 6 at the time of adoption. I spent hours and hours and hours trying to talk her into a more gentle way of handling that poor child, but she refused to let up.

Things came to a crisis point after my mother died. I was staying with my youngest head injured sister while my mother was in intensive care and after she died as I live 6 hours away. I saw things that made my stomach turn. A few weeks later her alcoholic husband kicked my son in the hand in an alcoholic rage. He was wearing steel toed boots. I don’t think he meant to kick him, but he was raging at the time.

After call after call to child welfare and their inaction, I just couldn’t talk to my sister any more. She would constantly tell me what an evil child this kid was. I spent so much time worrying about him and it started to effect how I was coping with my own life.

Child welfare did get involved, but too late. This poor kid has been traumatized for life.

I stopped talking to her, but every 3 months I get an overwhelming urge to find out how she is and how the kids are. I’ve indulged that impulse a few times and I’ve been upset for weeks after.

I wish I could take those kids.

philosopher's avatar

My heart aches for you.
My Sister In Law use to work for Child Welfare.
It sounds like they need Family Therapy.

tranquilsea's avatar

@philosopher The kids did go into therapy and then my sister was ordered into therapy. She lives in lala land and believes that she is doing everything right. The thing that was awful was that she used me as a person to pour her heart out to. I heard such awful things and I had to turn around and report them to Child Welfare. I felt like I was stabbing her in back, but I just couldn’t live with myself and do nothing.

Things were even worse than I thought and this was all caused by my sister biting off more than she could chew and it had profound effects for all the kids.

Thank you for the kind words. I just wish that I could change the situation for those kids. I can’t and that make me feel extremely helpless. I can’t imagine how they feel. Or, I should say, I can imagine what they are feeling. They deserve kindness, understanding, acceptance and love.

stardust's avatar

I’ve had to cut immediate family out of my life. It’s one of the harder things I’ve had to do in my life, but that level of toxicity is more than I could handle.
I’ve had to do this with a couple of friends – it’s so difficult, tense and hurtful for both parties. But, the relief and breathing space compensates

ItsAHabit's avatar

Yes, I think that is necessary for almost everyone; that is, it’s quite natural and normal to need to do this for your own protection (mental or emotional, sexual, economic, etc.).

philosopher's avatar

I had to do the same thing after my father past.
My sister’s desire to control my mother has always been unbearable. She moved back in with her.
I have to take care of my family.
I was there for my mother all my life but it was never enough.
I have a very difficult life but never received much empathy from them. Only request to do things.

tranquilsea's avatar

Update on my sister’s situation above: I recently found out that she had the kids seized from her back in January. The Ministry is putting together a case to sever her parental rights and the kids will never go back to her.

The whole situation is heart breaking. Those poor kids are very damaged now and they have a hard, hard road ahead of them.

philosopher's avatar

May G-d bless you and the children.
For twenty years my autistic son has always come first. To me having a child means you are responsible for their well being until they no longer need you. In my case that will be for my life. Unless there is a cure for autism.
I hope we will have something close to a cure while I am still alive. The facist in America that have no difficulties are still attempting to block research.
I am glad you found a little peace.

tranquilsea's avatar

@philosopher I am very relieved that they are safe now. I am completely torn apart that the sister I grew up loving and looking up to has turned into a person I don’t know, that she couldn’t see how much she was damaging those kids. It is a tremendously sad situation. I just hope that they get a ton of help now and can heal and go on an lead normal lives.

philosopher's avatar

You have to live your life you do not control the world.
I live with the pain of having an autistic son. I know most people have little empathy for me. I treasure the friendships of those who do.
I do not care what judgmental people think. They judge me based on their irgnorance and soulness.
We can only do are best to cope with what we have.

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