How do people get themselves hooked up with a toxic person?

I have this good friend. We haven’t seen each other in years (he lives in Switzerland), who got married to a woman who subsequently divorced him. They had a child, a sweet little girl, who unfortunately had multiple sclerosis. The kid was disabled and pretty much bed-ridden. I used to send her Christmas gifts (she liked Betty Boo, so there were BB pillows and dolls and other paraphernalia). Their divorce was acrimonious, so they were embroiled in constant legal battles over custody. He used to travel miles every fortnight to see her.
Anyway, I wake up this morning to the devastating news that the ex-wife drugged the child and smothered her to death, before taking a pistol and blowing out her own brains.

That’s pretty fucking shit.

Why can’t people see this coming? There’s always this psycho xaojie stuff going on, yet it’s constantly perpetuated.
And I’m not blaming the women here, because the same is true for men. I know from experience, being a prior sociopath.
Don’t people take a step back and evaluate the situation, before getting married and having kids? Or is it just good sex that clouds their judgement?

You mention that he lives in Switzerland, a wealthy nation that (I think) provides a robust social safety net not unlike those seen throughout the EU.

Did the wife and child live there, too?

Yes. But that’s not the point of my post.

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Stories where innocent children pay for their parents’ folly with their lives are always upsetting to me.

That said, I think it’s perfectly normal for humans to hide parts of themselves from others, even spouses. It happens all the time. Lots of men and women attract a partner in marriage by acting one way, then resorting to less guarded behavior once they’re married. It’s sad. Normal (or at least not infrequent), but still sad.


A lot of sociopaths are highly skilled at gaslighting. They’re able convince their partners that they’re the ones who are difficult and that they’re lucky to be accepted by the sociopath.


I’m fucking devastated, man. Sitting here weeping like a baby.


Yeah, I feel you. It can’t be good to think of her future, now gone, after doing your best to help improve it (your thoughtful gifts, for example).

Hang in there.


I used to do that a lot. I’m horribly ashamed about it, but what’s done is done. I just try to be a better person.


Take care Jimi. You brought some kindness and goodness to that kid’s life. The awful news you brought to us was despite and not due to your kindness.



Condolences. Unfortunate evidence that everyone is just 1 or 2 tragedies from losing support and entering despair.

Not my business, but my guess is that their relationship was challenging before their child was born.

No, people don’t step back and evaluate, we don’t inspect, we expect. Everyone in the world should probably get counseling. No different than eye or dental exams. Hopefully your friend can get access to counseling, re survivor’s guilt, or guilt at suddenly becoming unburdened by both the fight, and his daughter’s long term prospects.


I usually see 2 main reasons. People blinded by sexual attraction or people with low self esteem.

Toxic people are usually very manipulative. They know how to make the other person dependent on them.


That’s the saddest thing I’ve read in a while.

Who knows? People don’t want to be alone. Lonely people even more so. Love for your kid is a very strong bond, quite honestly, it is stronger than the spousal bond. That may not be why people get together, but it certainly is one reason they stay together.

My heart goes out to your friend. What a tragedy. I hope he’s able to mourn properly and work through the trauma. Good god. :disappointed:


Perhaps both are now in a better place and RIP. You also need to peacefully accept the abrupt sad ending of two lost lives by treasuring your shared good memories of them.

Take time off to grieve and recover.

Take care!

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@jimipresley I feel for you and for your friend. I am speechless.


That’s really tragic Jimi on so many levels.

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I don’t have anything to add but my condolences and best wishes for you and your friend.

I’m sure you’re already doing this, but I’d reach out as much and as often as possible to your friend. Even if you think he’s not that type of guy, you never know what’s going through his mind right now.


My condolences to the OP and those affected. Terrible news

To attempt to answer the title question, in my opinion, some people just aren’t comfortable in relationships (raises hand). Society stigmatises those as being ‘oriented differently’ or as bare branches/leftovers which puts pressure on those to try and seek out the ‘Ideal’ of getting married, having kids and a “good” career which I think causes toxic relationships. Toxic relationships remain because those in it don’t see an alternative.

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Thank you, jd. Those are very kind, thoughtful words. Much appreciated. :+1:

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No hay nada que agradecer.

It’s easiest to be kind. We all on the same ride. Call your friend and make sure he gets his ass out of bed at least once a day and washes it. Been watching the Johnny Depp trial and poopsheets are not a thing.

Sometimes people see only what they want to see too