Why am I attracted to abusive relationships?

My last two relationships have been abusive, but abusive in very different ways.

With ex number 1, it was more subtle - I got constant cristism and he'd say things which would offend me but of course I was oversensitive and being stupid as he was only joking. He used 'always' and 'never' a lot, for example in his mind I never appreciated him and I was always wrong apparently my feelings were wrong too. He namecalled, I was a bitch etc. He also didn't understand it was hurtful to namecall people I cared about, like my dad and my friends. He didn't seem to able to take any responsibility for his actions, everything was my fault and he continually painted himself as a victim. I felt like I was walking on eggshells the whole time.

With ex number 2 I got a bad feeling because when he was stressed he'd kick objects around, etc but he seemed perfectly stable at the beginning - then he had some severe psychiatric problems, it started with waking me up at 3am to tell me how fat I was and how disgusting I was for being so fat (I was 117 pounds...) he got counselling after that. But it wasn't enough, he was hallucinating and delusional, and during one of his delusional episodes started to strangle me. I stayed in the relationship thinking the person I had known for a couple of months was how he was when he was well. Rationalising it as you wouldn't leave someone because they were physically sick, so I thought it was wrong to leave someone who was mentally sick too. After eight weeks of treatment he seemed to be doing really well, and he was generally a brilliant boyfriend in that time frame... he was reliable, affectionate and supportive. However, he got into a fit of anger overnight, probabaly exam stress. We'd just had a really nice two days visiting his family together - he announced he was breaking up with me because he couldn't stand how fat I was for a second longer. I was shocked, it got really bad - I've been left with a few bruises and five partially dislocated ribs. I think the only reason why we broke up for good was because the commotion woke up his family, and his sister sent him a text with nasty comments so he's seemed to think I have disrespected his family by keeping them up (not accepting that he was keeping them up too) and he is too good for me like his sister told him (she has no idea what went on, and when his mum found me I presumed my chest pain was psychological from the stress of the situation, vomited a bit and got my friend to take me home.

After ex number 1, I thought I'd really built up my self confidence up, and I wouldn't let someone treat me disrespect me again but as you can see ex number 2 was worse!

I think I have a soft spot for mental health problems, as my brother has schizophrenia and my best friend has depression.

In fact I'd say my confidence before these two relationships, was above average for my gender (young woman are generally REALLY insecure) . Could my self confidence, be a challenge for abusers


Most Helpful Girl

  • I understand you completely...I used to be such a confident girl, so much fun to be around, talking so openly and rationally about everything...I seemed like the most confident girl with such a bright future ahead. Until I got in a relationship that I wouldn't call abusive (I am not being insulted or physically abused), but it's certainly making me afraid and it made me lose some friends, important values, beliefs that I used to have. I let myself be completely changed and even regarding sex I got such a huge trauma.

    People usually associate girls who get into abusive relationships as dumb or innocent. Actually, it's a consequence of being smart. The more intelligent you are, the more open minded and the more you are willing to understand your partner and forgive all their crap. But no more.If in your next dates you even realize one single sign of controlling personality, WALK AWAY. Don't even think twice: don't think they will change, they will understand, they will be saved. JUST GO. WALK. It is not your duty nor your responsibility. Think of the kind of person you want to be (confident, safe, etc) and SURROUND yourself with people who are like that. Meet new friends, join new activities, sports, learn a new language, join art classes, anything according to your interests and that can make you isolate yourself less and give you access to a whole new crowd. It seriously helps.

    PS: I wouldn't say they consider your confidence a challenge: they do feel frustrated when you get too happy or rational about it and destroy that bubble of attention and misery that they got used to. They don't do it with a bad intention. I can say that there is nothing more annoying for someone who is in depression than seeing everybody so happy, having party and celebrating life when all you can think about is killing yourself in the next chance. People just get used to a certain dark lifestyle, they can't live without that attention anymore. They consider themselves heroes for surviving everyday inside their misery. DON'T FALL FOR IT.

    • I wouldn't say I suffer from depression, but I've had a lot of things to deal with and occasionally I do get really down. Maybe that's a reason why I am attracted to abusers. Both my abusive exes had bad life stuff and so I felt they can understand my low moods. Where as my unabusive ex, he was kind of clueless when I was upset to how I felt.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 4

  • I just don't understand why so many girls get in relationships like this, and why they don't leave when the guy starts being abusive. Really makes me wonder if I need to be violent to get a girl (though I would never do that!)

    • Like I said with ex number 2, I thought he was just sick. Ex number one it was so subtle I didn't know it was abuse until I read up on it, and when he wasn't being horrible he was whisking me on romantic dinners and doing sweet things like handwriting a love letter. When I was having a bad day he'd drive straight after work just to make sure I was okay even though he'd only be able to stay an hour (it was long distance).

      No one would stay in a relationship if it was bad all the time.

  • what u hav to prayer hard and change yr taste in men

  • You have a bad boy fetish

  • Because you're a woman.


What Girls Said 2

  • I don't think it's attracted, but it's why you stay. There are many reasons for it. First, you are putting yourself in danger and especially with strangling? No. You can sympathize, but you end up forgetting about yourself in the process. It is NOT selfish to watch out for yourself if your life is in danger.
    For me, I have a fear of abandonment and "daddy" issues that I'm currently going to therapy for.

  • Maybe you are not necessarily attracted to abusive relationships so much as you are not able to see the warning signs that most of us can see. I did not know what the warning signs were before I ended up in one but I learned from it and have not had an abusive relationship since because as soon as I see red flags, I am gone.

    • Maybe, but after ex number one I saw warning signs in 2 people who weren't ex number 2. One of them was actually a girl in college who was in the same dorm... no-one else in the dorm could see it and it made me really unpopular as everyone else was completely charmed by her! I just couldn't see it in ex number 2

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    • Thanks but I'm an idiot. He came crawling back and I said yes... he said he's started psychotherapy and found it so insightful and he has agreed that we won't meet in person until he's sorted himself out some more.

      Is it impossible that he could stop being abusive?

    • It's possible. Rare for someone like that to change but it does happen. I say go for it but if the red flags start popping up again, run like hell and don't give him a third chance.

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