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How to Break the Cycle of Bad Relationships

By Edited Jun 21, 2016 1 2

A person who consistently finds his or herself in bad relationships may have difficulty breaking this cycle at first. The reason for this is often because chances are the person has trouble recognizing why there is an attraction or tendency to become involved in unhealthy relationships.

This pattern could be related to self-esteem issues or feelings of inadequacy; the latter meaning the person feels they don't deserve better. Inner unhappiness can contribute to a cycle of bad relationships and, as a result, the person is constantly seeking console from others without really addressing the core issues.

It could also be an addiction to bad relationships as a way of emotional escape and detachment from being satisfied in a happy relationship. Some people have difficulty accepting healthy relationships because it's unfamiliar territory.

heart/relationships
Credit: TanteTati via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/heart-love-deco-decoration-1318850/

Whatever the reason for the cycle, there comes a point in life where people caught up in it realize it's time to break the pattern and stop getting involved in harmful or abusive relationships. If you find some or all of these descriptions fit you, you can begin making changes in your life. Breaking the cycle does take some soul-searching and self-evaluation, not always an easy thing to do.

Recognize the Problem

The first step to breaking the cycle of bad relationships is to recognize the fact all your relationships seem to be destructive on some level, whether emotional, physical or a combination of the two. Once you recognize there is a problem, this is a big hurdle will have crossed because now you can focus on doing something about it. At this time you can take the first step in changing your life for the better.

Parting ways (geese)
Credit: Paul Aloe on Flickr/CC by 2.0 with Attribution

Ask yourself - "Why do my relationships continuously go bad?" When you consider the answers,  does it tell you that you need to swim a different route?

Reflect on Choices and Behavior

The next step to take is also often a difficult one because it takes a lot of self-reflection, evaluation, and involves a willingness to come face-to-face with the reality of your problems. And maybe you might find you have to slay some demons along the way. This is more often than not a hard thing to do. You may find yourself encountering some emotional pain along this journey as certain things from your past (or present) come to light, but it is necessary step to follow if you want to break the bad relationship cycle.

While problems in a relationship may be with the other person due to their undesirable behaviors, the question that needs asking is why do you keep choosing these types of maters?

At this point, some of the things you want to reflect upon will relate to your own choices and behaviors. Ask yourself a few questions to help you try and see where your behavioral patterns contribute to choices of bad relationships. For instance -

  • Are the types of partners you choose to be involved with possess similar attributes?
  • Are you attracted to someone who treats people badly?
  • Are you contributing to negative behavior in the relationship by being too needy, clingy or jealous?
  • Do you tend to get angry quickly and react badly?
  • Do the mates you choose frequently get angry or react badly?

The answers to these questions may play provide some insight as to how and why people choose unsuitable partners. Whatever the reason, it's important to be honest with yourself.

Bad relationship quote
Credit: India7 Network on Flickr/CC by 2.0 with Attribution

Evaluate Past Relationships

If you can correctly identify any common link either with the type of partners you choose or within your own behavior, you can discover what it is that made past relationships so destructive.

  • Do you search for partners who need to be taken care of and do you tend to assume the role of caretaker? As a result you end up resentful of always doing all the giving?
  • Are you truthful with your partners or do you choose people who tend to be dishonest and don't openly share information?
  • Are the people you tend to get involved with verbally or physically abusive?

Once you do this you can then work on knowing how to recognize ways to stay away from those types of people and also how to change your own behavioral tendencies.

Change Own Behavior

No matter what the cause of your bad relationships, whether due to internal or external factors, you'll still need to address your own actions and do some inner soul-searching to pinpoint why you have been making the decisions and routes you have been taking. If the issue comes back to self-esteem, you'll want to correct the problems which have led to low sense of worth. A professional may be able to help you identify the reasons why.

If the problem is inner unhappiness, searching out relationships with the intent on finding happiness is not going to solve the problem because the inner depression still exists. A relationship is not going to resolve unhappiness but only serve as a temporary band-aid which eventually falls off because the wounds underneath are not being healed.

Breaking the Pattern

When it comes down to breaking the pattern of bad relationships, what it fundamentally comes down to is you and whether or not you are ready to deal with solving some internal issues and then make essential changes. Your feelings, perspectives of yourself, and behavioral patterns will all have to be reflected on and realistically be faced.

If you are truly honest with yourself, you should have an easier time breaking the cycle of bad relationships. It is almost certain you'll hit a few bumps along the way, but in the long run you'll be so much happier for investing the effort.

Once you are honest with yourself and willing to do some serious soul searching, you can then make the necessary changes. As a result you will find yourself in a healthy, happy relationship which is satisfying and fulfilling.

The road to breaking the cycle of bad relationships is a difficult one, but well worth the journey. When you reach your destination, a better life awaits you!

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Comments

Apr 21, 2015 4:37am
maria52gr
A very informative article. True change must come from within. I also like the quote that you picked. The fear of being alone should not be underestimated. People are too eager to jump into a relationship head first. Thank you!
Apr 22, 2015 4:58am
LeighGoessl
Thanks very much for your nice comment about this piece. Agree with all you've said, thanks for sharing. Too many people I know jump from relationship to relationship their entire lives (including right from their parental homes). Most, if not all, ended up in disaster for them.
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Bibliography

  1. Dr. Kevin B. Skinner "Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships." Self-Growth.com. 21/04/2015 <Web >

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