Ariana Grande Has an Important Reminder for People in Toxic Relationships

Sometimes the news isn’t as straightforward as it’s made to seem. Juliette, The Mighty’s associate mental health editor, explains what to keep in mind if you see this topic or similar stories in your newsfeed. This is The Mighty Takeaway.


On Monday, Twitter user Elijah Flint tweeted about how “heartbreaking” it was that Ariana Grande broke up with rapper Mac Miller after he had written a 10-song album called “The Divine Feminine.”

Mac Miller totalling his G wagon and getting a DUI after Ariana Grande dumped him for another dude after he poured his heart out on a ten song album to her called the divine feminine is just the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood

Grande responded to the tweet on Wednesday, sharing that her relationship with Miller was a “toxic” one.

“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,” she wrote. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years… but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his shit together is a very major problem.”

Though we do not know exactly what Grande’s relationship with Miller was like, boundaries are often hard to set with loved ones struggling with addiction. According to  Psychology Today blogger John F. Kelly, Ph.D., boundaries are essential when supporting a loved one in addiction recovery.

When supporting a partner or family member who is in active addiction to alcohol or other drugs, it’s critically important that you also take care of your well-being. It is a balancing act of offering support to your partner in navigating the treatment and recovery options available, while at the same time, not losing sight of what you need yourself to be happy and healthy.

Sometimes boundaries can look like setting expectations in a relationship, and sometimes it may look like ending a relationship and keeping the person in your thoughts and prayers from afar. The most important thing is to do what is best for you and your mental health.

If you relate to being shamed for asserting your boundaries, you’re not alone. Here are three things to remember in the wake of this news:

1. You deserve to set boundaries.

When someone shames or blames you for a boundary you set, it’s easy to second-guess yourself and think, “I guess it wasn’t that bad…” Don’t let them shame you. You deserve to have boundaries and assert them. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

2. You don’t “owe” anyone your time or love.

It doesn’t matter if you are a son, daughter, significant other or friend, you do not “owe” anyone your time or love. If a date buys you dinner, you do not “owe” them physical intimacy. If you have a difficult relationship with your mother, you don’t have to celebrate Mother’s Day if you don’t want to. If a partner writes you an album full of love songs, you are not obligated to stick around in a toxic situation.

3. Someone else’s mental health recovery isn’t your responsibility.

Supporting someone in their recovery is a loving thing to do, but if it comes at the expense of your own health, it’s helpful to remember only they can save themselves — you aren’t their savior and you can’t heal them. As painful as it is to do, sometimes you have to remove yourself from toxic situations, and that’s more than OK.

Header image via Ariana Grande Facebook page


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