What makes people return to a toxic relationship?

Which option is more true to you?
Which option is more true to you?
  • They believe the other person can change or they think if change for real this time, the toxicity will dissipate
    Vote A
  • People tend to look back after a short time through rose tinted glasses instead of questioning the future of the relationship
    Vote B
  • It is easier for most people to get back with a toxic ex partner than it is for them to find a new partner
    Vote C
  • They've put in a lot of emotional or financial investments and are too stuborn to admit they were wrong about their partner
    Vote D
  • Something else
    Vote E
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2310

Most Helpful Girls

  • Believe it or not, there have actually been multiple scientific studies finding that a lot of people will end up in relationships with people who behave similarly to their more difficult parent, ie their more toxic parent, because subconsciously, they'd rather deal with a brand of crazy they're familiar with. There's also evidence to suggest that a lot of people also do it as an attempt to redo that bungled relationship with that parental figure.

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    • 7d

      I've read about this too lol. So people in these situations have to consciously select "boring" partners who are supposedly good for you if your childhood was toxic?

  • For me it is always focusing on good times than the bad. I believe in trying to fix things and don't give up easily

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Most Helpful Guys

  • Because toxicity itself can become addictive in nature and people tend to miss addictive behavior whether it is good or bad.

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What Girls & Guys Said

218
  • Scared of loneliness and not being loved or receive love

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  • I think it's a combination of several things. Abusive people are always very good at apologies and seeming sweet and perfect for a while after, so you think they have changed. And they usually don't become abusive right away. They start off as the perfect partner and wait until you love them. Then they slowly cut you off from friends and family, and then they slowly start to show abusive tendencies. But by then you love them and brush it off because they are so perfect 99% of the time. But it slowly gets worse until they hit you, or gaslight you, or degrade you, or any number of other things. But then they apologize and maybe even cry and swear it will never happen again. And you believe them because they've never done it before and you're sure that's not who they are. So you stay. And then it happens again and again they apologize and shower you in gifts and favours so you let it go. And then it keeps happening but by now you are isolated and you don't know if anyone will believe you because that abusive person is always so charming and nice and helpful around everyone else, so who would ever believe they are abusive?
    And often by that point you are reliant on them in some way. You have a house together, or you can't afford to leave, or you have kids with them, or they won't agree to a divorce, etc. Abusive people will always find some way to make you feel like you can't leave

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  • All of the above. Besides sex. Sex is the #1 reason to return back into a toxic relationship if it was sexual, intimate or they lost their virginities to each other. The next one is loneliness and abusive pasts. If they have familial issues, no parental guidance, emotional neglect, they will return.

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  • People who fall back into a toxic relationship often start to believe what their abuser is telling them, with lines such as "You'll never find someone as good as me." or "No one will ever love you.". And sometimes they'll act all pathetic and desperate in a lame attempt to get their girl back, and sometimes she'll fall for it and realize it was all just an act.

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  • for me it was because i was very lonely and i also believed from the bottom of my heart that he would change his cheating ways for me. i let him cheat on me so many times and to this day would probably have still been w him if it weren’t for him almost abusing me physically. it’s very tough and someone looking into the relationship from the outside could never understand it really.

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  • For me it was I don't think I allowed my self to get over it before jumping back into the realtionship.
    My best friend is in a massively toxic relationship with an asshat. She has abandonment issues and stuff and think she just wants a "mum+dad+kids" situation like she never had.

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  • I believed in trying to fix things too and spent far too many years believing I could influence someone else. If one person has started out bad early in the relationship, that is the time to leave.

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  • Reasons vary. I think most of them revolve around "damages".

    - he broke me so hard on levels that nobody shall ever be interested in me, I'll be lonely for the rest of my life...
    - I'm a bad person, I deserve this all
    - I'll absorb his love whichever way he gives to me (even in the form of abuse)
    - I've nobody else to have my back, I can't lose him too
    - I'll never be good enough for anyone, he's so kind to still ask for getting back together
    - he's going to change, it's just a phase that's all
    - all relationships face hardships, I must learn to endure! I need to have him back...

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  • They hope and believe that either they can change the toxic person or the toxic individual can change on their own, adding that with the fear of being alone and the desperation to have someone with them makes leaving even a non-beneficial relationship harder than it seems.

    Even when the person isn't even being loved, the feeling of not having that person with them will make them be afraid of moving on and if they can move on, almost believing that this is the best they will ever get so they stick with it until one day, they crumble from the way they are treated and finally leave.

    I would say just leave but for the person in the relationship, it isn't that simple so I can't say that, because I'm not the one in the relationship. <3

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  • Probably a strong feeling of loneliness or lack of self woth

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  • They believe the other person can change or they think if change for real this time, the toxicity will dissipate

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  • neediness and insecurity. Somewhat touched on in poll option C

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  • I think that all of these can be valid answers for why someone would return back into a toxic relationship to be honest!

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  • Hope of change due to love or just not wanting to be alone in this world

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  • I think they kinda like it, or think they chance for them or their in the twilight zone.

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  • When you look at someone through rose coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.

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  • People hang on to the hope that the toxic person will change. They rarely do.

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  • Codependency

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  • The idea of change

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  • It’s hard moving out of your comfort zone for sure

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  • stupidity mostly...

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  • All of the above. I’ll never understand

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  • Lack of options.

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  • Stockholm syndrome

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  • They think the other person will change.

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  • Desperation

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  • Loneliness mostly

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  • Sex sex sex

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  • First of all I can tell you why although I never went back, but to do that, I'd have to sort-of put you in the mindset I was in, and the only way I could do that even in part is to tell you my story, take you on the same emotional trip.. even though it would never be fully my experience, (I wouldn't want it for anyone anyway). Because you don't have the emotional connection, and you're thinking with a clear mind for a start, but I could likely make you feel it to a degree - if you ever wanted me too, I'll write it for you.. but another time.

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    • 7d

      I've just gone to add you for now.

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