Navigating Toxic Relationships: Longing for Your Abusive Ex Despite Being in a Healthy Relationship

Navigating Toxic Relationships: Longing for Your Abusive Ex Despite Being in a Healthy Relationship navigating toxic relationships: longing for your abusive ex despite being in a healthy relationship
Photo by Diego San on Unsplash

Today, I’ll be addressing the question I came across in a Facebook group: Why do I want to go back to my abusive relationship when I’m in a healthy one? I say ‘healthy’ in quotes here because I’ll explain later why it’s not really that healthy when you’re not healed. I’ve explained it in a past article how you make your relationship unhealthy when you’ve not healed. You can read it here.

Healthy Relationship is ‘Boring’

The main reason you might want to go back to them is, of course, that a healthy relationship can seem a bit boring. Imagine someone just calling you, not cheating on you as much, someone just being there for you — normal things you expect every day. It can look a bit dull, especially when you’re used to the highs and lows of a toxic relationship.

In a toxic relationship, especially early on or during attempts to pull you back into the relationship (hoovering), you’re bombarded with constant messages, such as someone sending you videos or being taken on an awesome vacation. Occasionally, you’re even fed grandiose fantasies. They might not be that extravagant, but because such moments are rare, you tend to overhype every ‘breadcrumb’ or every hint of affection you rarely receive from them. Imagine your relationship as a journey through a barren landscape where your partner occasionally drops breadcrumbs — small, rare gestures of affection or attention. These breadcrumbs are infrequent, creating a sense of emotional hunger. In this scarcity, each tiny breadcrumb gains exaggerated importance, becoming a momentary relief in an otherwise desolate connection. It feels so exciting and pumps your dopamine to high levels, but it’s also full of many lows.

In contrast, A healthy relationship may seem a bit flat, and if you’re not used to the ‘boring’ nature of life or a healthy relationship, you may miss the toxic one. It’s like a place where you consistently receive a similar amount of bread — moderate and steady, lacking extreme highs and lows. It may not be that extremely ‘exciting’ but it’s healthy or normal.


Another aspect is familiarity. When you’ve been used to a toxic relationship for most of your life, your mind finds comfort in the familiar. It knows what to expect — stress, anxiety — and it feels like something it can handle. When you find a healthy relationship, which you’re not used to, the mind may feel it’s not where you’re supposed to be, and going back to the familiar seems safer.

You might even crave the toxic relationship at the expense of someone treating you well, as it’s something familiar. It’s like addiction; you might know it’s bad for you, but it’s what you’ve gotten used to.

This is why seeking a healthy relationship when you’re not healed is not advisable. You might unintentionally sabotage it or hurt the other person due to self-doubt and you feeling undeserving of being treated well. You may also end up in another toxic relationship because when you rush without healing you will not be seeing clearly. Pain, anger, and bitterness from your past will cloud your judgment. Desperation not to be lonely may even lead you to rationalize abusive behaviors as healthy and that relationship you really think is healthy may just be another unhealthy one but on its early stages.

In conclusion, it’s normal to want to go back to your abusive relationship and leave a healthy one and that’s why you need to always prioritize working on yourself, dealing with past pain, before considering a new relationship.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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