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Jude's avatar

Who do people insist on going back to someone (relationship), who at one time treated them poorly?

Asked by Jude (32134points) January 2nd, 2009

Say, if someone was put through hell while in a relationship; has broken up with that person, then decided to get back together and then, guess what, the person treats them poorly again. So, they decide to break it off, take a year or so off, then decide that they`re ready to date again and they find someone who treats them like gold. They date them for long while. They tell the person that they love them and when one little thing goes wrong, they dump this good person`s ass and decide that they `never stopped loving their (crazy – my words) ex` and they`re really sorry for hurting the good person, but they`re still in love with the ex`...

The ex claims that she is reformed (no longer an evil person) and, so, one has to jump back into their arms as soon as a little thing goes wrong in the new (good) relationship. Is this person seriously cruel and fucked up for leading partner number 2 on, when she later claims that her feelings for her ex had never changed..

Messed up, huh..

Bitter..yup!

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18 Answers

asmonet's avatar

People aren’t perfect. Usually they don’t participate in bad behavior unless they’re being rewarded for it in some way. This person may have low self esteem and finds that a partner who reinforces that validates her identity. Or she could just be a dumbass.

If this is happening to you, move on. Learn the warning signs and be happier in your next relationship.

buster's avatar

Don’t take a bite off the same turd twice.

marinelife's avatar

I am guessing that you are the partner who treated them like gold. If so, I am sorry this happened to you. It is painful. So, a few things to get from this awful experience:

1. Should this person “come to their senses” a third time and call you, don’t answer. (You would then be assuming their role.)

2. Mostly, this is about them. The reason for their behavior varies. Possibilities include a) they are genuinely entwined emotionally with this person and can’t stop b) they have incredibly poor self esteem and on some level seek emotionally abusive relationships. Main thing to take in is that the reason does not really matter.

3. The part you may want to look at in terms of this being about you is to check that you don’t have a pattern of getting in relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable to you.

Feel the pain, and then move on. You can clearly see how hanging on to the past and a painful relationship is destructive. You don’t want that to be you.

Take care.

aprilsimnel's avatar

When I was in counseling about my family, I learned that, paradoxically, people tend to cling to the .00001% that was the “good” times with the abusive parent. One doesn’t remember the 99.99999% of the crap they got from people who supposedly loved them. Imagine heroin. Yeah. It’s like that.

When that kid grows up, their radar will find the person who treats them badly, but once in a while, behaves in a “loving” fashion; it’s what they’re used to. Such people, unless they come into awareness of what’s going on inside them, don’t recognize any real love that someone gives them, if they happen upon it. They don’t get it and reject it. It’s nothing personal, but their wires are mixed up. I’m sorry that you have to go through such a thing.

In the meantime, your responsibility is to take care of you. You did the best you could. Now the most loving thing you can do for that person is to bless them in your heart and LET THAT PERSON GO.

basp's avatar

Some people just like the drama.

Personally, I stay away from drama junkies.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Everyone wants to be the exception to the rule- this girl wanted the ex-bf to really have changed because he loves her so much and can’t live without her. You perhaps, may want to be a bit of a “knight in shining armor” and have the girl choose good over jerk.

The rebound boyfriend rarely gets the girl.

Jack79's avatar

I have been there a couple of times, and my previous gf was very much like that. She actually openly admitted why: she was so pissed off at the guy after giving him so much and getting nothing back, that when she met me and saw how a relationship should really be, she went back with the sole purpose of getting what he owed her.

I made the following analogy and she agreed that this was basically it:
A businessman has invested a huge capital in a factory, which has been constantly losing money. He could of course declare bankruptcy and go work somewhere else as an employee for a decent salary, but instead he insists on putting more and more money into the business, hoping to turn it around. When he actually comes to his senses and closes it down, he gets a job somewhere else where he sees things working as they should. He then gets this idea that he can use the same method to revive that old factory that closed down, so he borrows even more money, goes back and tries to do the whole thing all over again. It has more to do with gambling than love.

So forget that guy and find someone who is willing to have a fresh new relationship without all the baggage of the old one.

krose1223's avatar

It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Just like a previous answer I think self esteem is a big part of it… I think another is people wanting to have a fairy tale. They think it would be ever so romatic to have this love story where they split up but still ended up together in the end. The person that goes back keeps convincing himself (or herself) his/her “crazy ex” has changed FOR him. People like to think that because it would be romantic to say “He changed for me” when that will never happen. People don’t change unless it’s for themselves.

So basically to answer your question in one sentence, they are just hopeless romantics waiting for their fairy tale.

cherryberry's avatar

Destructive/toxic relationships are exciting for many people. Think endorphins. It is unfair, but true in many cases. Sadly, I have no sage advise on this matter, only my opinion.

Jude's avatar

For me, I think that I’m more hurt by how it went down. Her sending me an email (cowardly, as far as I’m concerned), telling how she realized that she is still in love with her ex and that her feelings for her ex had never changed. So, my question is, if that were the case, then why say to me (for months and months) that she loves me more than I’ll ever know, that she wanted a life with me, maybe a family? She would say things to me like ‘I wonder if I’m the right person for you?’ (near the end of the relationship). And, since we don’t live close to one another, ‘I don’t know what you do in your daily life”. She claimed that she was worried about this one friend of mine (we’re all lesbians, btw) and she felt threatened by her. Was this all a crock of shit, what she was saying? Maybe, it was her guilty conscious because she herself was feeling something more for her ex. I know that she is insecure and her self-esteem is pretty bad. I know that she’s got a few skeletons in her closet. I now know that she was still very emotionally connected to this ex. —and dysfunctionally so. But, why drag someone else along? Were all the things that she told me lies (her feelings towards me) and everything that we shared, did it mean absolutely nothing to her?

People who know her say that she is one of the nicest people. My family who met her are stunned because they truly liked her and thought she was a genuine person. So, that’s where I’m a bit stumped.

Like I said, I’m more hurt/angry about the fact that I felt that I was being used (?). The not having in her in my life part, is a lot easier, then being played for a fool.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@jmah, And, since we don’t live close to one another, ‘I don’t know what you do in your daily life”. I we talking about an internet relationship losing out to an in-person relationship?

Just out of curiosity, how old are you?

Jude's avatar

Yes, I live further away than her ex. But, we’ve been seeing each other quite a bit this past year. But, no, no day to day in person contact. I’m 36 and she’s 30.

The plan was for me to relocate in the fall of this year.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Distance could be a factor, and my observation for “breakup boyfriends not getting the girl” holds in same-sex relationships as well.

Jude's avatar

Yup, you’re right. That’s pretty much it. It was a big old rebound situation. Well, that sucks…

Jack79's avatar

you were the rebound? hey you should have just said so! Why did you even bother? Poor girl…these cases are so messed up.

(btw I should have guessed you were lesbians…the use of “person” instead the gender started getting confusing after a while)

Jude's avatar

And here’s the kicker. I got a call from her last night. She was sobbing (for an hour and a half); saying that she’s going to talk to a counselor about what she had done in regards to me. That she hasn’t been able to eat, that she hates who she is and that she still doesn’t understand why she did what she did. She insists to this day that she was thinking about ‘us’ and whether she wanted to be with me on Christmas Eve and that it wasn’t until after Christmas (a matter of a day or two) that she realized that she was still in love with ex (right…). Now, she’s saying that she doesn’t know what she wants. She feels numb towards everyone. She said that her and ex aren’t working things out. She says that she hates herself for what she has done. She doesn’t like ‘that Cris’ and needs to know why she did what she did (bullshit as far as I’m concerned). She said that part of her felt as though she didn’t deserve me.

Soooo, I told her, I’m sorry, but I don’t trust her and have hard time believing anything that she says and that I agree that she needs some major help. She said that if she didn’t have me in her life, she’d be devastated.

I don’t know what to believe, but, all that I know is that this had nothing to do with me, I don’t trust her and I truly hope that she gets all of the help that she needs. She’s a frickin’ head case. Time to stay clear!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@jmah, Way to go!!! Very healthy response.

Jack79's avatar

It’s so good that you managed to think clearly in this situation. Most people would have just taken her back (and got hurt again).

If she really means it about wanting you, she should first break up with that ex for good and stay alone, then make a conscious choice.

Hmm…I have to remember all this when my own ex breaks up with her ex and comes back crying.

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