This week, after Mac Miller totalled his G-Wagon and got a DUI, internet trolls were quick to blame his ex Ariana Grande, saying that her breaking up with him is what caused this. She was quick to respond, saying that she’s not his babysitter and she should not be blamed for his actions
Ariana responded to one Twitter troll in particular saying she had cared for Mac and tried to support his sobriety for years, “But shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his s**t together is a very major problem.” Mac has talked about his struggles with the bottle in the past, and Ariana says it was definitely an issue while they dated. She says, “Of course I didn’t share about how hard or scary it was while it was happening but it was.”
And I mean, YES GIRL. Because she spoke her truth. I mean here we have a superstar who managed to keep her split amicable to the public, but said public and fans of both artists aren’t privy to what goes on behind closed doors. And because she was a class act, she did what many of us do in toxic relationships: carry the weight of our partner’s poor decisions on our shoulders, keeping it to ourselves so others don’t judge them.
And I get it because I’ve been there. I’ve dated someone who has behaved in some frightening ways when under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Who has driven under the influence, made every party an excuse to sit by the open bar, who has yelled and screamed because he thinks people were out to get him, only to write it off to being intoxicated and thereafter keeping mum. Since the anger wasn’t directed at me, I figured ‘It could be worse,’ and stayed in that relationship well past its expiry date.
We’ve all been there, at least to some degree.
I reached out to relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh to ask what her advice would be for women who are dating a man who parties and drinks all the time. She says, “Health behaviours are highly contagious. If you respect your own body, then gravitate to healthier people.”
The problem for many of us who love someone who isn’t all that loveable and who’s hella self-destructive, is we fear for their safety. This is why many of us stay in toxic relationships to begin with. That and because we hope that they’ll see the light and change. That they’ll stop calling ‘their guy’ to buy baggies filled with powder, or that they’ll stop blowing their money away, or they’ll stop getting black-out drunk on the reg; that they’ll make healthier, better choices.
But Dr. Walsh says that excusing their behaviour isn’t a way to help or inspire them to move forward. “Most people who have addiction issues have a dual diagnosis. In other words, the substance user probably started to self-medicate to combat out-of-control feelings. Remember that even if they become sober, you may still be dealing with someone who has mental health issues,” she says.
Staying put and putting up with a toxic relationship can cause you to self-destruct in the process. And reminder, you’re not a babysitter or a mom. You are a partner. An equal. You are half of a twosome and sadly, you only have control over your half of said partnership. Which means, if someone is going in a downward spiral, the healthiest thing you can do for you both is walk away and not look back.
I’m hoping that by her speaking her truth, and sharing the wisdom behind her actions, Ariana can act as a role model for us to be open to the idea of doing the same. When we speak our truth and share what really goes on behind closed doors we can break negative patterns and utilize the help and support of family, friends and loved ones to help us move forward.
Removing yourself from a toxic relationship can be hard, but listen to your gut; if it’s telling you that if you don’t get out something bad will happen to you, then you need to pay attention. Dr. Walsh says “Remember to practice self care. You will still have feelings of loss. It can be like losing a leg—- but remember that leg had gangrene. It needed to go!”