Why do we tend to keep wanting to go back to the person who has hurt us the most?

39 Answers
Last Updated: 11/26/2018 at 4:55pm
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Kristin Noyes, MSW, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Depression and anxiety can feel overwhelming even on the best of days. I believe in helping clients understand these disorders and help them to reduce and manage symptoms.

Top Rated Answers
wonderfulComfort29
March 29th, 2015 1:57pm
Sometimes its difficult for us to forget the person who hurt us the most because we loved that person selflessly with whole heart. A loving heart can forgive and forget easily even if the person has hurt us to the level that can break us. One feels helpless without that person. The idea of leaving that person makes us sad and depressed and to avoid those feelings we forgive the person and go back to them because it makes us feel happy with them, like nobody else could make us feel. But in my opinion, this is not good. Doing such thing will only get us more and more hurt and this is just not a right thing to do to yourself. One should learn to let go...
TheSavior
March 1st, 2015 2:53pm
Well, sometimes, it usually seems like that person was a good person before, and they filled the void in your heart that was always empty. Once they leave, you feel empty and alone again. You feel as if no one is there for you anymore. I have been through this feeling, and I still feel it right now. I question why they have left, what I have done wrong, things like that. I try to make up reasons for them to speak to me, but to no avail. Mostly, you usually go back to those people because you're stuck in the past when they have loved you and you deny the fact that they no longer enjoy your company. You keep reminiscing, not being able to find someone else to replace that person.
sweetlinda22
November 9th, 2015 10:07pm
it could be that we aren't trusting of the future, obviously because it is unknown, truth is you have to want better for yourself and be patient. Don't give up and look back too soon, be open to something better and don't be afraid.
Shikaa
April 8th, 2015 4:54pm
Because some where or the other we know that we still like them. No matter how much they hurt us, we always want to give in because we tend to believe that they deserve it and that they're going to change. Don't worry, you're not alone.
DipityEnigma
May 23rd, 2015 1:23pm
While the person is the one who hurt you the most, they're often the one who made you care about them the most. People keep saying that "they changed" but people don't change; they show you what they want you to see and then when you're hooked, they show you everything else and emotionally manipulate you. Some people don't realise that they're doing it but those that do, will do it the worst. I don't know exactly what you're referring to so this is only an example of what it could be that you're going through.
specialSunset18
April 6th, 2015 3:50pm
Only those who are important to us can hurt us the most. If you didn't care they wouldn't have hurt you as much as they did and those feelings aren't easily turned off. Eventually there will come a time when you realise that although you loved them, and probably always will, you can live without them.
Munmundewi
April 5th, 2015 2:41pm
Because that's just human nature. I think subconsciously we find pleasure in pain, including heart-broken type of pain. It could also be our ego that tells us that this person will love you eventually --so it's more to prove a point. It could also be a confidence-issue. When you're dependent on someone and they hurt you, you don't feel worthy enough so you keep coming back to this person that you know will stay with you (even they hurt you).
secretAcres4388
February 10th, 2016 7:21am
Sometimes when you been hurt once to many times you, you start to be okay with people treating you like shit. Because sometimes pain is all we know so we think it's normal and we accept it.
Alinium
August 16th, 2016 11:55am
because we need to learn something; and until we do we are locked in that relationship. Mind you, even if the faces and the names change, we will go back to the same situation until we figure out what we need to learn
OfTheSpotlessMind
February 9th, 2016 5:34am
Someone who has made such a deep emotional impact on us is hard to let go of. We might want answers, or a reason for the anguish this person put us through. Until You come to terms with yourself about a person that has wronged you, .... that person may constantly be on your mind.
Anonymous
March 29th, 2016 2:08pm
I think its because of the memories with them. even though they hurt us, we still remember the good times and thought "maybe he/she is not as bad as i thought" and you consider to go back to them.
strongskies
July 14th, 2015 6:21am
Humans tend to go for comfort. We are attracted to things that we know. When somebody hurts you, you've been allowing yourself to think that nobody else out there will like you. That said person who hurt you are the only one who could put up with you. You know them and in fear of being hurt by someone else we just tend to go back to the usual toxic relationship.
Anonymous
August 25th, 2015 7:47pm
The person who can hurt us the most.. hurt us because of how much they mean to us. It hurts because we care what they say or do. We opened our hearts to them enough to get vulnerable.
ThatWeasel
September 21st, 2015 11:55pm
Often the people who are able to hurt us most are the people closest to us. Partners, family members, close friends. Rejection by these people can be extremely painful, and we can desperately want to reconcile these feelings, fix these relationships. But it is important that we let go of them, otherwise we will not be able to move on with out lives.
heavenlySpring75
May 13th, 2015 12:58am
Because the person who once hurt us the most used to be a person that we used to trust the most. We expect that person to be the same, but they usually never are.
Anonymous
March 1st, 2015 6:56pm
because we feel like they know us inside out. we feel like we need them to function and breathe when in reality we haven't weaned ourselves off them yet
Anonymous
July 18th, 2017 8:00am
From my experience, we see the good in people and overlook the bad. So we go back because we see the good and we want the good back in our lives. But then their true colors always show somehow, but we still go back because of this hold they have on us. Once we distance ourselves from this person we are better as people and more confident.
liam1537
May 1st, 2018 5:36pm
whenever I see this, its most often because that person is more familiar, we know them, and they know us. so it would make sense to go back to them, but if they are hurting us, we need to try and break the cycle of leave and return. we just need to stay away, at lest until they are better
Anonymous
January 4th, 2018 11:04pm
I think a lot of the time, we convinve ourselves that its a one off occurrence, and that the person is sorry for hurting you and would forgive you if you had done the same to them. I’m in a similar dilemma now, and i can’t bring myself to let this person go. Maybe I’m scared of being lonely, scared of losing someone i love so much, scared that I’ll never find someone as good as them, but chances are that i will. Everyone deserves to be treated kindly and fairly, and we need to remember that each of us matter and that we deserve more than what we think. I’m still guilty of going back to those who hurt me, everyone is. But each of us need to make a realisation at some point that we are worth more.
ElectricSky202
January 31st, 2017 11:16am
It's what you're familiar with. You know this person well enough that you're used to having them around. And if you care for them, even if they've hurt you, you subconsciously want them to get better so you keep going back to them. Without any drastic change or discussion with them, they're likely to hurt you still.
Baneton
November 7th, 2017 12:34am
The person who hurts us the most is usually the person that we put above all other aspects of our life and love unconditionally. At the beginning it may not seem like leaving is the right option, but changing ourselves for them because we believe that it is us who is causing ourselves the pain. We go back to the people who hurt us the most because we always hope that deep down they will realize what pain the caused us and when they do, stop hurting us and love us unconditionally as we do with them.
JustaguyfromFL29
April 16th, 2018 1:13am
Because it is human nature for things to work right. And if something wasn't right you sub consciously feel the need to go back and correct it. What has helped me is that I started focusing on myself and not the other person. Because when they leave you, they continue to grow and you don't. So if you focus on yourself and do what is good only for you and your life goals you will grow. And that is how to get over your EX and become the person you want to be!!! Focus on you, you will feel better. The worst that can happen is they see you working on you and they want you back. Godbless
Anonymous
September 21st, 2015 4:25pm
Because love can make things seem harder to everyone. But you will find something better who won't hurt you.
Anonymous
March 29th, 2015 8:06pm
You feel a sense of comfort even when they do something to you. its hard to let go sometimes. It takes time to realize.
Anonymous
June 13th, 2015 5:49pm
Because at this point, they're comfortable, they're what you remember. You don't remember what it's like without them fufilling (the need they helped you meet) .
ClaireyMarie
July 20th, 2015 1:01pm
Because they obviously matter a lot to be able to hurt you in such a way, and we love them so much we keep going back in hope to see the parts of them that make us love them.
MindfulnessMedley
August 15th, 2017 5:19pm
I think there are two main reasons for this. One, the person is afraid of being alone. Two, the person has gotten used to abuse and thinks they deserve it/ think that is how people who love you always act. Either one is usually cause for help from a mental health professional.
Allears247
November 26th, 2018 4:55pm
Fear of starting over is a big one. Its so much easier togo back to someone you once had because you are familiar with them and your relationship with that person. There is less unknown to worry about which in a way makes it a less risky situation than to start something entirely new. Sometimes you feel that you will not be able to feel the same toward another person like the way you do for them. This is def untrue and you should seek out other people despite this feeling. When people hurt us it feels like they take something deep inside of us that we cannot ever get back. They didn't take anything. Its all still there.
Anonymous
November 14th, 2016 6:02am
We tend to latch on to what is familiar despite the hurt. Also sometimes, we care too much and are hopeful in the sense that maybe that person could change.
goldenWatermelon8024
February 11th, 2018 1:22am
I think the reasoning is the relationship started off perfect and he was the perfect person but now that he’s shown his true color you can’t seem to believe that that’s really the person you fell for. It’s always hope that he will hopefully change back to who he was in the beginning. Sometimes the things that hurt you the most make you the happiest so you stay anyway