Ride-or-Die Relationships are Unhealthy, Toxic, and Codependent

By Susan Ball, Abuse Recovery Expert.

Ride-or-Die Relationships are Unhealthy, Toxic, and Codependent.

Yup, there is nothing good about a ride-or-die relationship. The relationship is based on me and you against the world no matter what. In its simplicity, that sounds amazing. But in reality, ride-or-die, me and you against the world, is one person in the relationship doing all the work; forgiving, putting up with, explaining while the other is doing whatever they want. 

Ride-or-die is just another noun for toxic, abusive, lop-sided relationships and when you are co-dependent, you can easily be swept up into the “magic”. 

It’s all about being in a relationship where you’re willing to do absolutely anything for your partner, even when it’s not the best choice for them or you. Highly committed relationships can be great but the idea of a “ride-or-die” can be toxic because its foundation is unhealthy compromise.

The Unhealthy Characteristics of Ride-or-Die:

1. Ride-or-die suggests the relationship is built on equality and having each other’s back no matter what. But the truth is both partners are not giving their all to the relationship. Only one is. Usually the codependent who finds themselves being overly loyal and forgiving, creating an unbalanced, unhealthy relationship. The relationship has an unhealthy level of control and manipulation. After all, you made a pact to be there no matter what and when you question or voice your concern, you will be promptly shut down because your role is to support without question.

2. The relationship relies on one partner being codependent. The codependency allows for supporting and rationalizing unhealthy behaviour. The ride-or-die partner will watch, participate in, and appease a partner even if the behaviour is reckless, dangerous, abusive, and toxic. Because the relationship is based on “ride-or-die is forever”, the codependent partner will stay longer than they should and sacrifice their own wants and needs to keep the peace. The truth is, we are never going to be happy when we are sacrificing ourselves.

3. Alienation of family and friends is common. After all, when the relationship is based on you and me against the world, where is the room for others? Especially those that question your relationship or your lack of independence. Isolation occurs which leads to a deepening of reliance on the unhealthy relationship and partner as your sole source of companionship deepening the ride-or-die mindset.

4. The break-up will feel like everything has ended. It is emotionally overwhelming and the one who was caught up doing all the work and pleasing, will be devastated and lost. Their heart will literally feel broken and they will fall into extremely negative thoughts about themselves: was it my fault? Was I not supportive enough? I promised I would be there no matter what and I failed.

Being with someone and supporting them through their challenges is not the same as being with someone with unhealthy habits and supporting them through their bad decisions. This is something that ‘ride-or-die’ relationships try to promote.  

That’s why it’s always important to remember that no matter what your relationship status is, your feelings, your health and your needs should always come first. Having people who would do anything for you can feel great in the moment, especially if you feel the same way, but you need to remember to draw the line between what’s healthy and realistic; and what isn’t.

When someone says you’re my ride-or-die, take a breath and a break because you’re about to enter a toxic relationship. It may sound romantic and feel like it’s built on unconditional love but nothing could be farther from the truth. In these relationships, one partner is manipulative and uses the other to their advantage in order to get what they want. The other partner will make huge sacrifices to keep them happy. Ultimately, these relationships are unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs.

Susan Ball is an Abuse Recovery Expert who works with women ready to free their voice, break the cycle, and live life unapologetically. You can begin your healing journey by downloading her free ebook ‘12 Proven Action Steps to Break the Cycle’ here: https://www.recoveryafterabuse.ca/f/break-the-cycle-12-action-steps

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