Why do I keep going back to my toxic relationship?

186 Answers
Last Updated: 01/09/2020 at 5:49am
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 15th, 2018 6:58pm
Because you love that person and no matter how many times they do something to you, you choose to forgive them and love them unconditionally
April 19th, 2018 8:35am
I've read some things about this. 1. It might be that you have had a bad upbringing /broken family/ been neglected, so trying to make this relationship a good one is a way to try to resolve the past. Also, it's what you was engrained in you to be "family" and "love" and in a way it makes you feel comfortable cause that's what you grew up with. 2. Maybe you have a good past, but you still can't let go and want to solve it. If you let go you are accepting you can't fix things, it's not in your control and that you are not good enough. Not saying this IS the case, and it's mostly something that happens on an unconscious level. I'm a bit in this situation, so I can relate.
April 22nd, 2018 2:18pm
This could be because of numerous reasons. Maybe because you get the attention that you want and dont get otherwise. Or because you need someone else to love you because you still dont love yourself.
May 2nd, 2018 12:22pm
In the beginning the relationship was blissfull. As it slowly went down hill you both held on to the piece that made you the happiest. You have to ask yourself now “Is the pain worth it.”
May 3rd, 2018 8:44pm
Humans are creatures of habit, and much more comfortable in the familiar than in new situations. So even if you know (which it sounds like you do) that a different situation/relationship would be a better one for you, it is different from what you are used to so you are less likely to go for it. But know that you deserve to be either single or in a healthy, supportive relationship, even if it's scary at first!
May 4th, 2018 4:06am
Sometimes we get so dependent on our significant other, or more specifically what they stand for. Are they the primary social support in our lives? Have they been there so long that they are no longer just a person, but an actual extension of what makes us what we are? Much like the way a child needs his security blanket, we need that toxic person as a source of comfort even if their actions speak otherwise.
May 10th, 2018 3:55am
Ideally is cutting off all contact to stop going back, reviewing what's making the relationship toxic and how much you get hurt is knowing what is bad, then you can start self care looking for something you want in your relationship
May 12th, 2018 9:22pm
As said we get addicted to bad things more easily. Once caught you cant escape. You get frustrated, tired you run away but you cannot go far. You will be back. It is addivtive.
May 16th, 2018 1:41am
Sometimes we get into an unhealthy relationship and become manipulated by our partner. This then leads to a toxic relationship especially if it becomes abusive. The cycle of an abusive relationship is hard to escape leaving the victim with serious emotional damage which leaves the victim to easily run back to the abusive partner. Another theory is that we get into relationships with people who remind us of our parents/family and if they were abusive in any way, you may subconsciously choose to be with someone who brings up those same negative feelings the way your loved one did in the past.
May 18th, 2018 12:19am
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of what you’re used to. Changes are very difficult but that’s what makes a human develop. Can you tell me a little more about that?
May 26th, 2018 9:05pm
Obviously something might still be there or there might be something you crave from that person that only that person can provide
June 8th, 2018 2:56am
sometimes it is hard to leave someone who you think is a good person and may be for a little bit but in the end you think they love you when it is just making you feel bad
June 15th, 2018 2:04am
If you go back to a toxic relationship it's because you feel drawn or connected to that person. You probably retain strong feelings for them and you think leaving them will be unbearable.
June 15th, 2018 2:29am
That's a valid feeling, because attachment is hard to break after a long period of time. Sometimes you'll feel like you owe them, or that you might not find anyone else, but believe me you will. There is so much more outside that toxicity, and we are here to help you on your journey to find it.
June 21st, 2018 12:48am
Try to figure out what is it that you get from that relationship on a deeper level. Maybe it is the familiarity of it, maybe you feel in a comfort zone, maybe you are scared of not being able to find someone better or you don't trust your own worth of deserving something better. Analyze your own thoughts and work on yourself.
June 22nd, 2018 9:32pm
You may be thinking that one relationship is better than none, or that your significant other - and they alone - will love you. If you really consider this relationship to be toxic, beware of those pitfalls and think whether you're doing the best for you, or not.
June 24th, 2018 9:12pm
There are many reasons why people go back to toxic relationships. It might be something you are used to and you do not have the tools to enjoy a life without toxicity. Or it might be the drama of it. It could be a self-esteem issue. If you believe you are in a toxic relationship, it is wise to explore these feelings with a licensed therapist.
June 27th, 2018 11:38am
Sadly enough, some people that are given affection in a toxic matter is the only type of affection they know of. This is why people go back to toxic relationships as a comfort. Instead, they should learn to be comfortable, aware and love themselves to prevent them from doing that.
June 27th, 2018 3:43pm
Sometimes there are just too many good memories we want to go back to, no matter how much toxic a relationship is.
June 28th, 2018 3:44am
Well, the person you are in the toxic relationship with is pressuring you to get back with them. It’s hard to say no when they are threatening self harm or something similar, but you can overcome the urge with some support, you’ve got this.
June 29th, 2018 1:29pm
Toxic relationships are often hard to leave. When you're in a toxic relationship, you often aren't even aware of it. When a partner starts acting in a way that's "toxic", we tend to ignore it because we think that it's alright, or that they won't always act like this. (Some people even blame themselves for certain actions made by their partners.) People say that they still love their partner, even if it IS a toxic relationship. It's generally hard to leave someone you love,and it's hard to break up with someone because you don't want to put any emotional stress on somebody. So, you keep going back to a toxic relationship in hopes of it getting better, and because you hold onto all the good memories, but sometimes it's better to let things go.
June 30th, 2018 9:35am
Honestly you probably go back because they promise to change, they spend some time acting like the perfect person and makes you think they will change, You need some time out, you need to think about this before going back, how many times have you been back and how many times have you been hurt, I wont lie, it will hurt walking away however in the long run this will be good for you and you will realize you are worth so much more.
July 18th, 2018 4:04am
Going back to a relationship that you know is toxic is something that is called "the comfort zone". You go back to it because it is what you know.
July 18th, 2018 3:37pm
Because we learn wrong ways to deal with day to day life. We go back to what is familiar to us even tho it can be harmful, like toxic relationships. To get out of a toxic relationship you need to be strong to not go back to past ways and past safe zones. We normalize aggressive behaviors and ways of reacting. To get out of a toxic relationship we first need to understand why we are still there, why we want to leave and be strong enough to keep that in mind when things get tough.
July 19th, 2018 1:13am
It can be a self doubt/confidence issue. That's what I have learned about myself when Ive been there
July 28th, 2018 2:41pm
Toxic relationships are so terrible, and so much worse than regular relationships. You feel that they break you down, that they make you feel worthless, insecure, unwanted and even once they are over. You ask yourself, why is it that I've ever let such an individual have so much power and such a negative impact on my person? It's a simple question of having your doubts, mixing the love with the toxic, and the love always stands out more. But by reminding yourself of the toxicity of the relationship and just how badly it's affected you, you learn to identify the real reasons for why you are better off letting go of it and focusing back on yourself and taking care of yourself since you do it much better than they ever could have, more constantly and consistently too. Despite the really deep scar it's left on you, you've got to try and heal from it, and not hurt yourself again in that same wound (which would be extremely painful). You've got to try and find peace with what happened, and that doesn't mean to just forget about it, it means to forgive what happened; that also doesn't mean forgiving the person, but forgiving what happened overall (atleast for yourself). You want to love yourself again, feel worthy, care for yourself more than anyone ever could, to regain confidence, to regain a moral balance, until you feel like you are ready to be loved again by someone else, someone who's going to appreciate you fully and on all levels, someone who you will have identified as 'non-toxic' and who's going to truly cherish your sensitivity and the efforts you've made on your person despite having gone through what feels like hell.
July 29th, 2018 5:02am
The reason why I keep going back to toxic relationships is because I fear that I might end up alone if I don’t, which leads to heartbreak most of the time by rushing into things too quickly.
July 30th, 2018 1:36am
You already know your partner well and it is easier to go back to them rather than find someone new. Try to meet new people and maybe you will find someone you like better and is not as toxic!
August 2nd, 2018 6:29pm
I think people go back to toxic relationships because it is comfortable. They are afraid of the unknown...new relationships.
August 8th, 2018 5:26am
youre used to being in it and you dont want to move foward, you want to stay because you want to hold onto the good times you had with the person when actually the bad out beats the good