I have this friend. They identify as non-binary and use they/them pronouns. Let’s call them ‘America’.
My friend America is in the middle of a messy and difficult breakup. They’ve been in an unhealthy relationship with this guy for a while now. At first it was okay. As with every new relationship they were cautious, but hopeful. He seemed interesting, and exciting. He was definitely different. He was certainly unlike all of the others before him. He was a charmer, who seemed to have lots of money and influence, and friends in high places.
But slowly, over time, America started to notice things. Little things, like his desire to be in control of everything. His need to entirely cut off people who didn’t agree with him or who didn’t owe him anything. His need to surround himself only with people he could manipulate and control.
And the in-laws! Unbearable. So out of touch with reality. Spoiled, entitled, enabling failsons.
America realized he actually had no real friends. Only debtors and creditors. Everyone around him was either an accomplice or a sycophant, or both. Every relationship he had was purely transactional. Self-serving. There was no kindness, no compassion, no empathy at all. No human connection.
America began to wonder, if he treated everyone else that way, was he only using America for his own benefit?
They knew it was probably best to end the unhealthy relationship. But it was not going to be easy. They had been so manipulated, cheated on, lied to, gaslit. They were brainwashed, to the point of questioning even basic, self-evident truths. They reached out to friends for advice. But many of them had also fallen for this charming con-artist. They gave America bad advice.
Some of us saw this coming from the start. We’ve been telling them to break up with him for years now. We told them to take a good hard look at the reality of the relationship. He’s not as interesting or exciting as he used to be. He sows chaos all around him so he can feign control later. He repeatedly breaks America down, then makes it look like he’s the only one who can save them. And now, now that America is talking to other people, he is losing control and becoming unhinged.
And, he’s not even good looking! America is so beautiful, and so much better than him. Why did they stay with this guy for so long? Why don’t they realize that they deserve so much more? They deserve to move away from the chaos and the control and the abuse.
Right now they have the perfect opportunity to leave him. There’s another guy in the wings, waiting for America, so patiently.
Sure, he’s not perfect, but nobody is. He’s way better than the other guy, though. He cares for America. Seems to love America dearly, and want what’s best for them. Seems to want them to be happy and healthy and strong and successful. Seems to have some kind and compassionate friends.
He can be the rebound guy. A temporary fix, to help America heal, so they can get on their feet again. Strong again. Whole again. And then maybe down the road, there will be a better person for them.
America has the chance to get away from this abusive relationship right now. Away from this controlling narcissist. To get away from the chaos and find some peace.
I don’t know what they’re waiting for. What’s taking them so long? Just take a deep breath, and break up with him already. Cut the cord. It’s time to exhale. You deserve so much better.
Let’s call it over.