Why do I keep going back to my toxic relationship?

183 Answers
Last Updated: 11/17/2019 at 8:25am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

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
April 8th, 2018 7:33pm
A toxic relationship can be quite addictive. The ups are so much better due to the contrast. Plus, love can be quite powerful. It’s hard to leave someone you care about, no matter how much they hurt you.
April 26th, 2018 4:58am
It is hard to leave someone that you have developed feelings for. Most people go back to toxic relationships because they think 1.) I still love them and we need to try 2.) The other party still loves me and doesnt mean their actions and 3.) You are used to the abuse. You need to understand that this is not love, nothing will change, and you need to move on for yourself and your own happiness 😇😇😘
August 18th, 2018 6:47am
Because you have the fear of letting go. You have an innate belief that you won't get anyone better than the one you have/had. You don't trust your positive energies enough that it will attract again someone you will genuinely share a great bond with! We always feel like the next one won't be this good, while entirely overlooking the current flaws in the current scenario. You will always attract more of what you focus on. You need to force yourself to believe that the next person will be just as good, if not better, than what you had/have. Initially. And the, before you know it, someone will come around. Always does.
April 14th, 2017 1:43pm
Because it is the relationship you have been used to. It is scary to finally go out and have new experiences. In the beginning it will be scary but over time you will see that it is worth the try
September 24th, 2017 5:19am
I was in an abusive relationship for 3 years but kept constantly going back because I felt as though he was all I deserved and that maybe things could change and so on even if they never would. It is not uncommon but with time, realizations will eventually arise and you will learn to be without this person and see that there is better for you.
October 12th, 2017 8:21pm
Maybe because there is a gain in going back. Sometimes that gain works as the drug in an addiction, when you realize the gain is smaller than the damage thats when you can start making a real change, you get to see it coming, the temptation, and you get to see the exit door to it. Somewhere in the path of learning you'll get to learn when to take the exit door.
October 22nd, 2017 12:31am
Leaving toxic relationships and staying away is much harder than it seems to be. It is easy to go back with the thought that things may change, although we are lying to ourselves. The real challenge is gaining the strength to stay away and obtain self love. Not impossible, I would suggest turning your attention else where and keep busy. Try to build yourself back up.
January 25th, 2018 2:08pm
I’ve come to notice individuals (including myself) who grew up in an environment where they seeked approval from a parent or guardian who was hard to get approval from seem to stay in these relationships longer. I’m in another toxic one myself. The relationships that are horrible for me I stay in for years and years, while the ones that would be perfect, for some reason I end within 6/mo. Always. I need to change and love myself first. It feels wrong though and I’m sure it will for awhile, but we must love ourselves first to create a reality we no longer want to run from. You deserve anything you want, but some of the things you want will never come if you have negativity in the way of that good positive energy.
February 7th, 2018 1:03pm
We believe that they will change if we continue to give them a second chance and things will turn out differently
April 6th, 2018 5:40pm
Toxic relationships are often hard to break from, as you often develop a dependency they have created, to keep you with them, from personal experience, my ex boyfriend isolated me and made me feel alone, unless he was with me, which made it incredibly hard to leave, however with the right amount of strength, and support I was able to break free, and you can too, just don't let them back in no matter how hard it is. It will be better in the long run, and you will find love again
April 12th, 2018 5:21pm
You obviously think that it’s going to be different every time you go back and you enjoy the feeling you have when you’re with that person but it’s not healthy
May 4th, 2018 5:46am
Sometime we get caught up in toxic relationships due to trauma bonding or codependentancy... we need to really take time to learn and understand what it is we are seeking or trying to get ... moving forward can be scary. Change is scary. Life is hard, however if we can at least be aware of trauma bonding and want change we can learn and change.
May 4th, 2018 4:43pm
Because it's hard to move on from one person whom you've loved with all your heart as you werent aware of how the relationship would turn out to be but since you love them, you keep focusing on the good side of the relationship which makes you always go back even if it hurts you. Just like a moth and fire.
May 23rd, 2018 4:12am
I guess because is toxic and creates you a dependence. The best is trying to work on making your personality stronger and try to live a happy life on your own before being attached to a relationship.
June 3rd, 2018 5:34am
It’s probably because you are scared of change and want to live with something you are used to. Leaving a person would mean making a major change and your entire outlook on life could be affected, but normally change is a good and healthy thing. If you push yourself to explore your options then there would be so many benefits.
July 5th, 2018 10:58pm
You may go back because even though you know it’s bad, you remember the good and ignore the bad. Or you may just feel lonely and don’t want to be by yourself
July 19th, 2018 2:17am
You go back for one pr two reasons. One reason is feeling like there is no where else to go and that it is the best place for you. Yet deep down in your heart you know that it is not true. The second reason is that you are not sure how to leave without having somewhere safe to go from the toxic relationship so that you never ho back to it.
July 25th, 2018 11:10pm
Maybe you go back to that toxic relationship cause you know no other way. That is what you are attracted to. You can find out "why" if you talk with someone you trust. Share on how you feel and how things are. Mostly know you deserve better.
August 11th, 2018 7:12pm
you can’t help loving them, it’s not your fault but you also have to love yourself because if you don’t love yourself you can’t get out of a toxic relationship because your wanting someone to fill the love you don’t have for yourself but there love will never be enough if you don’t love yourself
August 22nd, 2018 9:57pm
Sometimes we go back to a toxic relationship because we love the person dearly but also, sometimes we don't miss the relationship, we miss the routine or the connection and time we spend with a person. We may know that the relationship isn't good for us yet we keep going back because we feel like we need the person in our lives or you feel like you can't handle being without them. Once you learn to start having a new routine and spend time with different people, you will eventually be able to stop going back to that toxic relationship.
January 6th, 2019 4:51am
Because you are a caring, considerate person, who likes to see the best in everything. You don't like to give up, especially on something you love so dearly. That's okay, because that shows resilience and loyalty, You don't run away when times get tough. The problem is that you're not showing this care and consideration to yourself, and if it's toxic, the other person isn't showing it to you, and possibly towards themselves too. They take your good nature for granted. They feel that you will always be there for them no matter what...until one day, you aren't. It isn't because you don't want to be, because once you love someone, that's it, you can't undo it. Its because you've reached your limit, you've given all that you could and now you're empty, and have little to give. Your tolerance levels waver, and soon it all becomes your fault because you allowed it before, and now you're not allowing it.
March 13th, 2019 2:25am
From a psychological perspective, it is likely that your significant other in the relationship has manipulated you and changed the way that you think about yourself. This is a common abuse tactic because it can make you feel like you are worthless and need this other person in order to survive. This toxic relationship feels comfortable with you, even though you know it's toxic, simply because it is what you are used to. I would suggest going to therapy, as a therapist can help you to notice your unhealthy habits and change them. This is an important thing to do because you are especially likely to end up in another toxic relationship after having already been in one.
October 25th, 2019 8:38pm
Something addictive is something toxic, isn't it? There are many reasons why we cannot leave addictions behind: we "think" we need them to survive, our brain wants them desperately even when sometimes very deep inside us we know they are not good for us. In toxic relations, the addition is that the other person may keep making promises he/she will change but then does not. We get used to that relation, and since we are also intoxicated, we cannot accept a change. There are times when our toxic relations are a complement to our own toxicity, and our system will not allow a separation. Other times, we just keep there because we are afraid of the change.
April 16th, 2015 4:01pm
You value the feelings you get when you and your toxic partner had good times. You would rather suffer through pain then be alone. This you hopefully will get over with time, but it does take separation.
October 22nd, 2016 7:32am
Maybe because you're still not moving on and that makes you remembering those happy, memorable memories than the sad ones.
November 2nd, 2016 3:34pm
Sometimes it hurts you, supposedly you should leave that sadness and start a new one. But you can't move on because you are already got used to him/her.
November 5th, 2016 8:08am
Because the heart gets used to it and we feel that maybe we deserve to be in one, or that somehow the stuff that goes wrong with the relationship is our fault. All thanks to the abusive freak we stay in the relationship with.
April 29th, 2017 3:50am
Sometimes we keep going back to people who arnt good for us becuase we are scared of trying something new. The unknown is scary. Your toxic relatiobship is comfortable vecuase its familiar
June 20th, 2017 11:22pm
It is very likely that you go back to a toxic relationship due to low self esteem. You might think that you do not deserve better than that person because nobody will like you like that person does. You might think you are useful to that person and you do not want to be someone who is useless. Of course, these unconscious and impulsive thoughts are erroneous in some way. I hope you work things out with your sense of self.
July 13th, 2017 10:40pm
Because it feels familiar. And when something feels familiar you find comfort in it. No matter how bad or good it is