While some people can stay in abusive relationships and have a hard time leaving, other people can leave an abusive relationship, only to return shortly after. And this is often hard to comprehend. Why would anyone return to something that is clearly dysfunctional and even dangerous?
The person has experienced the relationship before and left, so do they really believe that it is going to be any different? These are just two questions that might be asked by observers of this kind of behaviour.
And even though the person who returns to an abusive relationship can be asked these questions and one can mull over these questions inside their head, it doesn’t mean that they will be adequately answered.
Although one may go back to an abusive relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know why either. To them, it could be something that just feels right.
To look at this logically, it is not going to make any sense. One is unlikely to consciously think that they need to be with this is other person or that this other person is right for them. And this is due to the power of one’s emotions and how they can take over.
When this happens, one can lose their ability to think rationally or to function as they normally would. And with the minds capabilities no longer available, ones emotions can take over.
Even though the relationship was dysfunctional and unhealthy it doesn’t mean that one can simply let go and move on. Just like how a drug addict can feel a sense of withdrawal when they don’t get the drugs that they need; so can the person who has left an abusive relationship.
This person is still going to crave being around them. This can lead to obsessive thoughts and a feeling of emptiness. Their very survival can seem to depend on being with the other person.
Through being with this person, their ego mind has associated them as being familiar and familiar means safe to the mind. And so the ego will have become attached to them.
The mind doesn’t create this associations based on what is functional or healthy, it creates them based on what is familiar. As this means that one can become attached to anyone. The only requirement is that they are around them enough or they are around them during a moment of heightened stress or trauma.
The Next Step
So if one has left an abusive relationship and feels an intense pull to be around the person again, it can only go two ways. Either one goes with the bodies pull and goes back or they resist this pull.
The easiest option is probably going to involve going back to the abuser. The other option is not going to be easy, but it could be easier if one sought some kind of assistance; either through a friend or a therapist for example.
Or one may end up going straight into another relationship and while their face is different, they may end up being just as abusive.
What it comes down to is that fact that ones emotions and feelings are going to need to be dealt with in some way. Now, these can either be faced directly through a therapist or they can be repressed and pushed down by returning to the same person or someone similar.
To go back to the abuser is not healthy, but what it will do is settle one down emotionally. Perhaps in the long term it will lead to even more emotional unrest, cycles of abuse and drama and yet in the short term, it will lead to some kind of inner balance.
Out Of Control
The situation could lead to one feeling as though they have no control and that they are enslaved to their emotions. In their mind, they may be angry, frustrated and fed up, but their body is leaving them very little choice.
Their body is calling out for what is familiar and therefore safe; as it feels comfortable. And to be without what feels comfortable is creating fear and uncertainty. And yet part of them knows that although it feels this way, it’s not what they truly want.
What exists in the body can not only have been due to what was created by being with the abusive partner, it can also have been formed during ones childhood. And this can be one of the reason why the pull to go back with them is so strong.
All of the emotional pain that one experienced during their childhood years, can be retriggered by their experiences with the present day partner. It is then projected onto them and the real cause may not be known.
This could relate to feelings of: rejection, abandonment, loss, emptiness, hopelessness, aloneness and even suicidal feelings. And by leaving the abusive partner, these feelings may come to the surface.
Although someone who returns to an abusive partner can be looked down on and even seen as having no self control, this is rarely a laughing matter. It doesn’t matter how much will power or mental power one may have, if they have all this stuff going on in their body.
To let go of the need to be in a relationship with someone who is abusive, one may need some kind of external assistance. This can come through a therapist, healer, support group or a trusted friend for example.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.