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How to approach the end ?

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  • #386957
    Speaklow
    Participant

    Hello everyone

    I’ve often found the Tiny Buddha forums helpful over the past years, though never went the step of signing up. Reading about everyone else’s struggles and pain, and the compassion (and sometimes tough love) made me feel less alone.

    Today I come humbly for help. I have found myself in an unhealthy relationship which started 3 years ago. I am 32, and he is 39. A gulf exists between us, exacerbated not only with drastically different lives but also cultures.

    I think that the relationship is beyond salvaging. Sometimes one must know when to quit, and actually stick to it. Too much toxicity, too much pain, and he won’t end it, so I must for us both to hopefully heal.

    The complication is that we have two business together, one where it’s just us, 50/50 split. The other has a third partner who may or may not be aware of the tension; the split there is structured to prevent a stalemate in any business decisions. I work in both full time; he is currently unemployed and has been for months, but does not put in effort beyond what seems to be mostly criticism. I do not dwell on this; I know on some level it affects him not being able to bring in money to support his family (a whole other story, but suffice to say there are two young children and a wife he is separated but not divorced from… And will never divorce from, for his own reasons.)

    Being his business partner for only 2 years has made me realise that he’s not a good fit for a business partner for me. Our ideas about work ethics seem to be different. I take on most, if not all, of the mental load in both businesses because if I didn’t, no one else would. I’ve been told it’s because he doesn’t know how to do XYZ; I haven’t either, but I learnt, because I had to.

    In the past week he has accused me of backstabbing him by apparently causing a potential investor and partner in the 50/50 business to believe that I was going to sell shares in the business to them without question. This potential partner is a family company of 8 persons, all of whom knew him personally even before this business started. His evidence is that I had a private conversation with one of these parties, where I was in tears and very emotional over his treatment of me in the business at the time and my perceived lack of equality. Said party swears they had not told him. Because there are so many people, I think someone somewhere along the chain is lying, but at this point right now, I’m not sure it matters much.

    The current offer on the table is for him to sell his shares in the 50/50 business to me, but at a price I do not agree with. I am awaiting financial statements from the business accountant to make my counter offer. He has been cold, distant, even mean in his dealings with me. He has thrown out once number, then another, then told me to just take it all for nothing and now we are back to a high number which is the current offer. I have some mental whiplash over this.

    I am in confusion and pain, and think it is starting to affect my work. Even though the business negotiations are in a holding pattern right now, both businesses still rely on me at the moment.

    I need advice on how I can approach the end of our personal relationship as well. It may seem cold and calculating… But I no longer feel like there will be any kindness or fairness, not even basic respect and residual love from him anymore. His texts to me have been angry and accusatory, and even though I feel maligned, a greater part of me thinks “why bother even trying to explain and understand anymore?”.

    What can I say or do, that will lessen the pain and hurt for him that this will cause? I still love and care for him, even if he does not anymore.

    #387015
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Speaklow:

    I will be able to read and reply to you in about 10 hours from now.

    anita

    #387021
    Speaklow
    Participant

    Thank you Anita.

    Since the time I submitted the post and today it’s been in actuality about 36? 48? hours.

    A further update is that I see that he is starting to draw money out of both businesses politely — he is not just taking the money out even though he has full access to the bank accounts, instead he is putting the request in writing, for me to agree to it, before taking the money out.

    We have had angry words and angry texts over the weekend. I had sent him recordings of our phone conversations at his request “…so that (he) doesn’t think he’s going crazy”. After receiving those recordings he said, “I hope you have listened to them yourself. I don’t see any reason in those recordings to justify your behaviour in the last week. Though I don’t find it being health. I’m glad you recorded our conversations.”

    He apologised at one point for how he reacted on the call that set it all off one week ago, saying he reacted that way because he felt backstabbed. Yet 7 days later, he said that he has treated me as his partner throughout this period.

    Even posting here, makes me feel like I am in some way betraying him, because I am talking about him to others. It’s something he seems to feel keenly about; that I cannot talk about him to others, because he is a very private person. Him saying he has been backstabbed by me this time, is not the first. My heart is heavy, my eyes are swollen, and my tissue box is running low — if I am the horrible partner he is making me out to be, then why didn’t he leave, and why am I finding it so hard to leave?

    #387024
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Speaklow,

    I have found myself in an unhealthy relationship which started 3 years ago. I am 32, and he is 39. A gulf exists between us, exacerbated not only with drastically different lives but also cultures.

    I think that the relationship is beyond salvaging. Sometimes one must know when to quit, and actually stick to it. Too much toxicity, too much pain, and he won’t end it, so I must for us both to hopefully heal.

    I agree, it does seem like your relationship is beyond salvaging, and the very setup in which he is your life and business partner, but he refuses to divorce his wife is unhealthy. You work full time in both of your business, and he doesn’t work at all but is taking out the money though? (I work in both full time; he is currently unemployed and has been for months, but does not put in effort beyond what seems to be mostly criticism. I take on most, if not all, of the mental load in both businesses because if I didn’t, no one else would. A further update is that I see that he is starting to draw money out of both businesses politely)

    He wants to sell you his share (although at a too high price), which means he too knows the end is approaching and he is preparing for that. And he wants to extract as much money as possible from you, so I believe you’re right when you say: “I no longer feel like there will be any kindness or fairness, not even basic respect and residual love from him anymore”. He knows you want out, so he wants to maximize his profit, even though the deal might not be fair for you.

    Even posting here, makes me feel like I am in some way betraying him, because I am talking about him to others. It’s something he seems to feel keenly about; that I cannot talk about him to others, because he is a very private person. Him saying he has been backstabbed by me this time, is not the first. My heart is heavy, my eyes are swollen, and my tissue box is running low — if I am the horrible partner he is making me out to be, then why didn’t he leave, and why am I finding it so hard to leave?

    Well, it seems to me that he has been a lousy partner all this time, both as a romantic and a business partner. He refused to get a divorce, and you tolerated it. Also, he was minimally engaged in your businesses, and yet was drawing income? And now he is accusing you of complaining to someone about his bad behavior? Now you are the bad guy, and he is innocent?

    No, you’re not a horrible partner, but a too tolerant one. You allow yourself to be blamed, when the blame should be on him. He didn’t leave because it suits him to draw money while not contributing to the business at all. I think he didn’t leave for selfish reasons.

    why am I finding it so hard to leave?

    Because you don’t respect yourself enough and a part of you believes that you indeed are to blame?

     

    #387047
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Speaklow:

    Welcome to the forums as a member, but I wish it was in better circumstances. You shared that you are 32, in a toxic, painful, beyond-salvaging relationship with a 39 year old separated-but-not-divorced man and father of two young children who is also your business partner in two businesses, one which includes a third partner.  Your work ethics are excellent and his are poor. You are responsible, he is not. You are busy working hard, he is busy criticizing and making false accusations against you, being “cold, distant, even mean“.

    Here is my input following reading your two posts: this man is not your friend. I don’t think that it would be wise of you to trust him to any extent, not in a personal relationship and not in a business relationship. The fact that he’s been accusing you of backstabbing him leads me to think that he may be preparing himself to.. backstab you back, feeling justified in doing so.  I think that you need to do all that you can do to legally and financially protect yourself from him as soon as possible.

    Regarding the personal romantic relationship with him, it makes me think of a movie I saw long ago, called Sleeping with The Enemy. Better stay awake,  keep your eyes open and guard your purse.

    My heart is heavy, my eyes are swollen, and my tissue box is running low — if I am the horrible partner he is making me out to be, then why didn’t he leave, and why am I finding it so hard to leave?“- try to postpone your emotional reactions to the personal aspect of your relationship for later, and focus now on disentangling the business aspect of the relationship as calmly and as business-like as you can.

    I need advice on how I can approach the end of our personal relationship as well. It may seem cold and calculating“- please be cold and calculating for as long as you are still entangled with him financially.

    What can I say or do, that will lessen the pain and hurt for him that this will cause? I still love and care for him, even if he does not anymore“- to lessen his pain in regard to the business aspect of the relationship: keep yourself cold and calculating so that you are mentally and practically able to separate from him financially in ways that are fair for you, but also fair to him.

    To lessen his pain in regard to the romantic aspect of the relationship: don’t go back and forth between expressing affection for him on one hand, and anger on the other. Instead, be consistently and politely .. calm and calculated, and.. don’t sleep with the enemy!

    anita

    #387327
    anita
    Participant

    Dear speaklow:

    How are you? You know, you can speak high and confident.. right here!

    anita

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