Why do I keep going back to my toxic relationship?

183 Answers
Last Updated: 11/17/2019 at 8:25am
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Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
BigLuMonday
July 29th, 2017 11:35pm
Past relationships bring a measure of certainty and security. It's easy to listen to the charms of an ex-lover, especially if they're very charismatic. You'll want to believe they can change, and things will be better this next time. Though, often, that is just smoke and mirrors. Plus, the chemical high from a relationship is somewhat addictive, so when you hit withdrawal and someone offers you a hit of love... hard to deny it.
avphrodite
April 13th, 2015 4:38pm
Sometimes we go back to people we think we love even when they hurt us (and we hurt them) because it is what is familiar.
DragonHearted
November 2nd, 2015 11:25am
Humans are creatures of habit. Even if the habit isn't a good one we often revert back to them. The term 'old habits die hard' is very apt. We know when a relationship is toxic. Some part f us always knows but for some reason many of us return. The reason for this is as mentioned above we are all creatures of habit. Whilst the relationship may not be safe we know what to expect. It isn't surprising or unexpected and so we slip into an unhealthy comfort zone one to which we go back to when life gets confusing.
Anonymous
November 10th, 2016 10:36pm
You might find the idea of being single more frightening than being in the toxic relationship, or maybe you don't think that you can find better. You can absolutely find better, and it just takes time to heal.
Anonymous
June 23rd, 2017 8:25pm
Number of reasons. Love is the seventh sense that destroys all other senses, a famous line used by lovers for ages, is one of the reasons actually. You don't remain in your senses. Secondly, you've hoped for a life with that person, you have given life to your other half. How can you easily give up on that? It's hard to move on from the thing that was once the most powerful reason for your happiness. This is why, whenever your other half shows you a fake or a little sympathy, you rush back for sake of your happiness and love you gave.
allnaturalUnicorns70
July 6th, 2017 3:03pm
People tend to revert to what they know, even if they know it is bad for them. Encourage yourself to explore healthier ways of dealing with loneliness and stress, and hopefully find someone who appreciates you?
Godlovesus
October 7th, 2016 9:01pm
because it has become more like a need for you. Need can make you do the worst thing, so control that urge and need and think why you left the person in the first place.
MessengerOfPeace01
November 16th, 2016 2:51pm
Attachment and fear of being alone or not finding someone else. It is a normal state for most people. Focusing on different things like daily activities (work/study/sport/socializing..etc) can help keep the mind away from the emotions
Anonymous
April 23rd, 2017 9:12pm
They make me feel needed and they promise things will be different although it never changes. Their love will seem real but then it quickly fades and they end up hurting you again. They know they can use your intense feelings against yourself.
Anonymous
April 28th, 2018 7:33am
From a personal experience, you go back to a toxic relationship since it has been the typical relationship for you. You are afraid of change. Plus, the love you have for the person never really goes away entirely, confusing you for the thought that you won't find a love unlike the one you are used having. But, in reality, the world has so much to offer for a big heart like yours.
Thehonesthelpergoose
October 20th, 2016 4:55am
Toxic relationships are hard to come out of. lots of people mix up the feelings of love and control and that can be hard. what you should remember is for any relationship you should be happy with your self before you can be happy with someone else.
Butterfly121
November 4th, 2016 12:38am
Toxic relationships can be very very difficult to leave, especially if it is with someone who you care very much about. Each case is very different so I cant speak to this situation directly but if you really want out you need to put measures in place to guarantee you dont go back.
Brittneym101
December 21st, 2016 3:20pm
We tend to go back to toxic relationships because of how you feel about that person. It's up to you on whether or not you want to continue with it, but think about what it's doing to you. It's hard to let someone go even if they have hurt/betrayed us. I know all about that first hand. Just do what you feel is best. As long as that person is in your heart and you love and care about them, you will more than likely always revert back to them and the relationship no matter what is said and done and nobody sometimes not even ourselves can make those feelings disappear. .
ErikB
December 28th, 2016 1:35am
It's easy to get trapped in a cycle of what's comfortable. And sometimes what we long for in a relationship has nothing to do with the person themselves, just some of the things we get from the relationship itself and we find it easier to take some of the bad with the good in order to not be alone.
strongforce
February 25th, 2017 5:44pm
Sometimes it's hard to break what you've accepted as status quo, and sometimes you might still love your abuser or be manipulated by them into thinking it's okay for them to hurt you.
Anonymous
April 16th, 2017 6:30pm
It's important to remember the things that made you leave in the first place. Oftentimes we remember the good things in the relationships, and at the same time forget the things that made it so toxic
Anonymous
May 5th, 2017 9:34am
Some people go back to toxic relationships because they try to see past the toxic aspects of the relationship and look for the good within it. Some people will also care for the said person too much that they are willing to keep trying in the relationships although theres a small chance itd ever be okay again.
Anonymous
March 9th, 2018 5:16am
because you need to be cared, you need attention, and you need someone to affirm you, confirm you on what you do. and you want to be accepted. or at least you just want to be in a relationship. remember this, you don't have to be in a relationship, you can be alone and be okay with it. lonely people are usually the ones who have the most.
electricLily13
April 21st, 2018 6:57am
The reason you might be going back to your toxic relationship, is that it might be too safe and predictive. You have become accustomed to your partner even though they are toxic. You may consult a listener or an expert, if you feel you need help.
pioneeringStrawberries2685
July 1st, 2018 9:46am
Because I have no one and my family keeps on turning their backs on me so I stick to the only person I have in my life even though the relationship is very toxic­čś▒
Anonymous
December 29th, 2015 2:00am
You find the need for a relationship or someone to "love " you and you trick yourself into thinking it is right
Kat140615xx
September 18th, 2016 3:02pm
Because sometimes we feel alone and would rather be with someone than alone. and going back to someone who use to make you happy seems to be the answer, but does it make it right for you no, you need remember life is to short, there is bigger and brighter things out there ahead of you,
CaressingYourSoul92
October 17th, 2016 3:06pm
It is for you to realize if it is true love or dependance what makes you go back into it, however, the fact that you do acknowledge that this is a toxic relationship indicates that you can do something about that; it is hard to tell if a person can or is willing to change and nobody has the right to push someone into changing a behaviour, but you can always do something about yourself, and by some subtle means you could work both on yourself and the relationship, helping the other person indirectly as well.
Anonymous
October 19th, 2016 6:03pm
One will return to a toxic relationship when the perceived benefits of the relationship are greater than the negative aspects. In other words, it may be because even though the relationship is toxic, you feel that it is better than another alternative. It is important to realize that you are worth something! If the relationship is not good for you, then do not go back. Also, if you are afraid to leave the individual you are with, please seek help.
Anonymous
October 27th, 2016 7:02am
You could have a sense of lack of self worth and so you go back to the person that showed a variation of acceptance to your character.
Anonymous
January 7th, 2017 12:24pm
There are many reasons, although fear and insecurity are the biggest two. When contemplating whether to leave a relationship or not, fear often kicks in. Questions surface like will I ever find love again? What if I end up alone forever? These questions ignite fear. Common fears include being alone, being single and not being able to find a someone who treats you well. These ideas create a spiral of negative and catastrophic thinking which makes it even more difficult to leave an unhealthy relationship. By recognizing that your relationship is toxic and no longer denying it, it is common to feel empowered to take action.
Anonymous
March 3rd, 2017 12:59pm
Sometimes it is difficult for us to say no or get rid of someone who has been a major part of your lives or been there with us for quite a long time. Perhaps you've been with/around them for so long that you don't recall what it is like without them and when you are not with them you wonder what to do
colorfulUnicorn23
April 23rd, 2017 5:44pm
I feel that we go back to toxic relationships because we like security and everyone is restrictive and avoids change, we feel the next is going to be worst so we stick to what we have . Furthermore the partner in a toxic relationship is often controlling thus we follow what they say its like being stuck in a web where you feel you cannot do without them
LightlessCandle934
July 26th, 2017 9:40pm
Misery can be comforting. We seek to go to places we know even if they aren't the best for us. You have grown used to a toxic relationship that it feels easier to give your partner another shot than to try to love someone new.
Anonymous
December 17th, 2017 11:53am
Because we think they're going to change. We keep on hoping for a change. Also, we know that every bad person has also a good side. And we know their good site. And if you think about their good sites and maybe the most beautiful experiences with them, you keep on hoping to experience their good site once again.