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Why do I always keep strong emotional attachments to the person that hurt me the most?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 03/02/2021 at 3:22am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jennifer Fritz, LMSW, PhD

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Day to day life can be stressful and overwhelming and my strength is assisting my clients in a supportive, empowering and practical manner.

Top Rated Answers
April 30th, 2018 10:24pm
A lot of the responses are mentioning emotional vulnerability, and that is certainly true - when you are vulnerable to someone, you risk becoming hurt. However, I view this question as a bit more deeper than that - why do we return to someone who has hurt us, or stay with a partner who doesn't treat us the best? It's worthwhile to look into Attachment theory. Some people are used to insecure attachments in relationships, and fall into the trap of repeatedly entering relationships where the dynamic is not healthy. What ends up happening is that the person will try harder to receive affection. Anxiety and fear apparently can even create stronger attachment than secure relationships, but this all stems from an insecurity in the person pursuing the unhealthy relationship - something inside them says that they need the other person's validation to be worthwhile. It's a self esteem thing. See value in yourself and work hard on removing the need of external validation from a partner, and from there you will be able to spot and attract the good relationships and remove attachment from the worst.
February 9th, 2015 10:23pm
Because sometimes, if you are used to being treated badly throughout your life you may well feel safer in that relationship than an unfamiliar one.
January 15th, 2015 12:18am
Sometimes, we hurt those who are closest to us because out of everyone, they are the ones that we believe will stay no matter what we do. Other times, people make mistakes. No one is perfect. We need to experience things for a reason. No one quite knows what the reason is, but we can use experiences to help grow and learn.
January 15th, 2015 5:12pm
I guess that the person who CAN hurt us the most is always the person we love the most. As a consequence, when this person hurts you, you're still attached to him/her. The fact is that even if she/he is the one who CAN hurt you the most, he/she is not supposed to use this power against you. Maybe should you try to use reasons rather than feelings to tell your heart who it should be attached to.
September 7th, 2015 10:07pm
Usually the main way people can hurt us the most is if we were really close to them at one point. At the moment, that person is hurting you the most but its possible there was a point that that person made you the happiest and you could be craving what used to be. You need to try and accept that that was in the past and accept what you guys are now.
June 18th, 2015 6:43am
It can be hard and scary to let go. It can be overwhelming to move on because you always feel like you'll be alone. Holding on to them however, will hurt you more in the long run.
May 26th, 2020 11:14am
When someone insults us, our ego and self-worth become hinged on their love and approval of us. As a result, we feel we need to try and prove ourselves to them to regain their love and approval. This is what happens in a manipulative chat-up tactic known as 'negging'. The man who likes an attractive woman will say something negative directly to her about one of her features or personality, and this is known to cause feelings of insecurity in the woman and give the man power over her, because she will try and win back his approval through taking an interest in him and flirting. In summary, when someone hurts us, they have a power over our ego and we feel we need to win back their love and approval by 'sucking up to them'. This doesn't need to be the case, you just need to realise it is happening and you need to find validation and a sense of worth through other means.
September 7th, 2020 9:15pm
In my experience, the people who could hurt me the most are the people who I care about the most, and who I don't want to see get hurt. So it is the people with who I have strong emotional attachment that have the capability and opportunity to hurt me the most. Strong emotional attachment with a person makes it very difficult to move away when the person is hurting me. Also, there are times when strong emotional attachments with certain people cause me to have greater expectations from those people, and whenever those expectations are violated I end up getting hurt.
March 21st, 2015 9:34pm
You feel drawn to them because they make you feel good. What needs to be realized is that they good feeling they give you may not always be a truthful one.
June 15th, 2015 4:37am
it hurts the most when it comes from the most loved person, that is why it is hard to forget the person that hutted you the most because you loved them.
November 23rd, 2015 10:43pm
You most likely keep emotional attachments to a person who hurts you most because you feel the need to give that person a second chance. That is all well and good and everyone deserves a second chance. However, that same feeling often does not share the same feeling.
January 29th, 2018 10:12am
There's research that suggests that there really is a fine line between love and hate: The same brain circuitry is involved in both extreme emotions. As such, it's no wonder that it's very common to have trouble cutting the cord. There's also a fear of starting over...we invest a lot of time, effort and emotion into forging relationships, and no matter how badly they go, we're reluctant to abandon that effort. Ultimately, we need to remember that we deserve to be treated with respect - if someone has proved they can't treat you right, then it's always an option to move on.
January 11th, 2016 10:09pm
So that If they hurt me I wouldn't be affected. Think of it as a firewall it's something that protects you
July 3rd, 2018 2:53pm
Perhaps it's because you shared many memories with them- they are a huge part of your past and it's always hard to let go of an important person- but it's very important to remove yourself from a toxic relationship.
March 2nd, 2021 3:22am
Depending on your situation, it could be a case of not getting what you want. As humans, you want what you can't have and sometimes the more someone hurts you the more you feel destroyed because you can't have them. It all goes back to "you want what you can't have". On the other hand, you may have a strong attachment to the person and who they were when you first met them. They may be hurting you but the image of them from before when they were good for you is the only thing you have in your head and you hope it will one day come back.
April 25th, 2016 4:54pm
Because you most likely still trust them or have a deep connection to them still no matter how much they helped you
November 8th, 2016 3:07pm
Often people keep emotional attachments to people who hurt them because for someome to hurt you. That person has to be trusted first. My friend once started dating the girl I had liked for years and he knew it. i was barely able to talk to him for months until i was able to come to grips with it and recognize how happy she made him.
July 18th, 2017 2:44pm
When we don't love, respect and care for ourselves and seek fulfillment in other person, then the complex problem of getting emotionally attached ,even to the person that hurt the most, begin. The moment we realise self love and self respect, we take responsibility for ourselves, taking courageous and wise decision of getting apart from negative people without any delay.