10 thoughts on “What Attracts Us to Bad Relationships?

  • August 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Great read! This applies to friendships too.

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  • August 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Also, I believe that abusive relationships that are less abusive or of a different type of abuse than experienced can seem healthy, and, heck, comparatively speaking, may well be.

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  • August 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

    If we grew up in a abusive home and saw my dad hurt my mom numerous times since I was little. I grew up to think this is normal psychologically and Married men that abused me. Twice I been married to abusiveness men and I am trying so hard to break this chain of violence. But it is hard and your article makes me understand why I felt comfortable in this type of environment. Now safe and on my own. I fear to even date anyone to afraid this will happen again. How do you cope with this and How do you change this cycle?

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    • August 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Hi Donna —

      I appreciate your openness, and am glad you found the article helpful to understand some unhealthy patterns. I’d like to be able to give you a cure-all answer, but my recommendation from afar is to start with psychotherapy to gain further insight into your childhood and current relationship patterns. The more you understand where you came from and how it impacts your life now, the more it becomes possible to create positive change. It may take some time, but it will be well worth it in the end. You’ve already done a great job to pull yourself away from these relationships (which not all people able to do), so you already have a good start.

      Thank you again for reading and best of luck.

      -Nathan

      Reply
  • August 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    There can never be enough reminders out there that we attract into our lives what we actually, secretly desire, and find ‘comfortable’, and ‘familiar’. It definitely is our default setting.

    I was able to break this cycle for myself a year before I met my husband, who is one of the gentlest, best, kindest people I have ever known.

    I realized it was not my father who had set the tone for who we were trying to please in our lives…it had been my mother!

    All of the men in my life, I realized, were thinly veiled replicas of my mother—her coldness, her distance; her inability to express her emotions, and unwillingness to teach and communicate as she should have; and her strange, inexplicable, profoundly “unmotherly” unfairness. (I do now suspect she was depressed, most of her adult life, and masked it with alcohol, which didn’t help matters at all.)

    I was trying to pick-up where my mother and I had left-off when she died—-and never suspected that all of my relationships were rife with strong elements of this.

    I would urge anyone with relationship problems to honestly examine their past, and try to think out-of-the-box as you’re doing it—the most important person in your life might NOT be the villain, after all—it could be who you least expect.

    Ever since this realization dawned on me, by the way, I have felt much freer to approach all relationships (family, friends, and important others) in a brightly honest capacity, welcoming change; and seeing myself (and others) as a continuing work-in-progress.

    I have also given myself permission to ONLY allow kind people into my life, as much as I am able to do that. The bitter and the self-absorbed no longer have any sway over me, and I have found a great deal of freedom in that.

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  • August 13, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Loved the article! Well written, very informative & helpful as i have spent a fair amount of time in bad relationships. But this time I started counseling & I am slowly changing the way I function. Which interestingly has had a positive effect on the way my BF has been treating me. I have to say I didn’t really expect my therapy to have an effect on him or on us as a couple? I just wanted to stop the cycle of dysfunctional cycle & be emotionally. Can’t say our relationship is perfect but, it’s getting better & that is a start.

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  • May 25, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Hey this is good I feel it makes alot of sense to me I grew up with my parents beating each other an cheating constantly. Is it my subconscious that has me drawn to the last 4 girls I have dated all controlling playing the victim an completely unfaithful?

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  • May 25, 2013 at 6:52 am

    I am familiar with Imago therapy and your article clarified some of the theories for me. My father was an abusive alcoholic and also very charming. I learned long ago that I am attracted to alcoholics. In fact, my “radar” is so good that if I feel an attraction I have to laugh a little at myself. And I am right, another alcoholic! I am married now and there is hope. I now know how to emotionally distance myself from alcoholics and once in a while I actually like a man who is sober(and not addicted to anything else either.) Its a start!
    Thanks again for writing such a clear and interesting article.

    Reply
  • June 18, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Great Article…I would actually say “Comfortable usually isn’t Healthy”. If you grow up in a toxic, dysfunctional, volatile and unhealthy upbringing your choice in men/women will usually be reflective of that until you recognize the issue & understand the need to change it for your own health.

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  • March 17, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    There are women out there (My Mother was one) that seem to walk around with a sign on their forehead ..I need to be abused ..Please abuse me….My mother would not hear one word said against my father .Not one word .Even after he died.,All he did was treat her like crap and hit her in areas that did not show bruises..He treated her like dirt.,When he died .She was a lost soul and mourned him for years till her death.Where she was buried next to him…Go figure

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