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Violent relationships

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
When someone who is the victim in a violent relationship finally ends it, it's very common for him/her to begin a relationship with another violent person soon after. Then after that relationship ends, start a relationship with yet another violent person - then repeat that over and over again. Why do many people choose violent people to be their partners over and over again? Why are they so strongly attracted to violent people? In the large majority of cases, the victim knows the attacker to be violent either before the relationship starts or early on in the relationship. They don't have years of blissful peace before (s)he turns violent - and it isn't coincidence if a person has many relationships that have all been with violent people.

Why do many people stay in a relationship for months or years after the frequent violence starts? Why do many of them have children with someone whom is frequently violent to them. Why make the situation worse and why bring a child into such a horrific situation and saddle him/her with a violent parent?

In some cases when DV victims are asked why they chose to start a relationship with someone whom they knew to be violent, they often say: "Yes, I knew (s) he was violent - but I didn't think (s)he'd be violent towards me!" Why would they think that a violent person wouldn't be violent to them?

What are the repeat victims thinking when they choose to have a string of relationships with people whom they know for certain are violent?

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    SienaSiena Posts: 15,557 Skive's The Limit
    This is a bit negative. Tbh
    And sounds abit like victim blaming. They can't control them, and aren't telling them to be volient. There shouldn't be any violent relastionships. At all. It shouldn't matter why they choose to stay. They shouldn't be violent in the first place.

    But I guess people stay in violent relastionships relationships - because like you said - theh may turn violent within a few months and for some people that is enough to fall in love. And that alone can be hard for someone to leave. And then there's the fact they might being threatened if they do leave. And I dont think it's as black and white as it seems.

    I think you should have more questions about why people are violent to others ??
    “And when they look at you, they won't see everything you've been through. They won't see the **** that turned to scars that began to fade with time. They won't see the heartbreaking things that shook up and changed your entire world. They won't know how many tears you cried or even what it was you were crying about. They won't see how strong you had to be because you had no other choice. What they will see though is how compassionate you are because you experienced pain. What they will see is how kind you are because you experienced how cruel the world is. What they will see is how good you are because you've seen how bad things or people can be. The difference between you and your experiences are who you choose to be, despite everything that could have turned you cold and unkind.You are the good the world needs and the best of us.” ~ Kirsten Corley
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not saying that it's the victims' fault. I'm trying to understand the reasons that the victims are attracted to violent people. I'm opposed to violence, but I know what the motives are for being violent.

    I know someone who was in a relationship with someone who was violent to him. He knew full well, months before starting the relationship, that she was violent, because he knew her and saw her being violent to other people. He chose to move her into his house, where she then was frequently violent to him - punching him, kicking him and throwing hard, heavy objects at him. Everyone whom he knew at the time told him how awful she was. When he was asked why he chose to move a person into his house whom he knew to be violent, he said: "Yeah I knew she was violent - but I didn't think she'd be violent in my house!" He certainly didn't love her. During the several months between meeting her and starting the relationship, he went on dates with a few other girls. For some reason he rejected all of them or they rejected him - and he settled for the violent sadist instead. He spend thousands of pounds on her, paying for everything - and just got victimised by her. He also did all the housework, shopping etc. Throughout the relationship he complained about her to various people whom he knew and never said anything positive about her. All of them told him to get her out of his life, but it took him years to see sense. He bizarrely kept thinking that she would undergo a massive change for the better, despite her having made it crystal clear that she had no intention of changing.

    He's now cohabiting with someone else whom he dislikes; yet again, he pays for everything and does all the housework etc. He frequently complains about how fat and lazy his partner is and never says anything positive about her. He wrongly believes that very soon she will get a job, pay her way and lose several stone. I have no clue where he gets that ridiculous idea from, because she's made it very clear that she has no intention of changing.

    He could easily get someone who's much better, so I don't know why he doesn't. When people tell him that he could do so, his reply is: "yeah, I know".
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    SienaSiena Posts: 15,557 Skive's The Limit
    I understand - but some people think it's all they are worth and don't realise there are people who will treat them with respect. And think its worth it. Some families have only seen violence and can be normalised. But not their fault.

    Theres a reason for everything someone does. Whether it makes sense or is justifiable. There's a reason and back story.
    “And when they look at you, they won't see everything you've been through. They won't see the **** that turned to scars that began to fade with time. They won't see the heartbreaking things that shook up and changed your entire world. They won't know how many tears you cried or even what it was you were crying about. They won't see how strong you had to be because you had no other choice. What they will see though is how compassionate you are because you experienced pain. What they will see is how kind you are because you experienced how cruel the world is. What they will see is how good you are because you've seen how bad things or people can be. The difference between you and your experiences are who you choose to be, despite everything that could have turned you cold and unkind.You are the good the world needs and the best of us.” ~ Kirsten Corley
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, for some people it's all they've known - so they see violence as the norm. My acquaintance who was the victim in a violent relationship didn't have a violent upbringing. He'd previously been in relationships in which there wasn't any violence, so he couldn't have thought that violence was a compulsory/usual/typical part of a relationship.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can be a form of self destruction. There might not always be a really logical or rational reason why someone has decided to be in a relationship they know is harmful. But even if the rational reasons are missing, there will be something in the mindset that triggers it. I honestly think some people's self worth or self value is so low that they feel they deserve to be hurt. At least, it has been like that for me.

    The person you're referring to may have also had a completely unrelated stressful or traumatic incident in his life that lead to him exposing himself to a violent relationship. Or perhaps he was already too far in when the violence started, and lost all confidence to be able to do something about it. Also remember that physical abuse can often be accompanied with emotional abuse as well. His partner could have been very manipulative and made him feel like it was his fault. (even though it's never the victim's fault)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He's not self-destructive in general - just in relationships.

    He projects high self-esteem and confidence - he's a bit narcissistic. He spends so much time, money and effort on his appearance, making sure that not a hair is out of place. It's so strange that he chooses ugly, stupid, coarse, uneducated women who shout at him and call him a cunt in public as well as in private.

    I'm not aware of him having had any event that could have triggered this. He had previous relationships which were not violent at all. He then decided to choose the worst women he could find - I have no idea what triggered that change.

    Her violence started years before he met her. He knew her well for several months before their relationship started and was very aware from as soon as he became acquainted with her that she was violent.

    Her manipulation was very basic: violence and threats followed by crocodile tears. She was uneducated and of well-below average intelligence. She was similar to Aileen Wuornos - in looks and personality.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well in that specific experience, I guess we'll never know unless we can climb into his mind. There's usually a lot more underneath the surface. A lot of people who put effort into their looks are more insecure perhaps rather than vain. It might be simply that the wrong conclusion has been drawn. But either way, people are very complex, chances are there was something he struggled with that nobody else could really know or guess.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It makes no sense for him to spend such a huge amount of time, money and effort on his looks, then to choose ugly, coarse, violent partners who make him look stupid and insult him loudly in public.

    Many people say that choosing bad relationships is down to something bad happening to them early in life. However, he previously had normal relationships which did not involve violence. What's bizarre is that, at the age of 30, he changed and from then on he has chosen only ugly predatory women who victimise and exploit him. How can someone suddenly be strongly attracted to an Aileen Wuornos clone when he would never have wanted anything to do with anyone like that previously?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You're using one person's unfortunate choices to work out the motives of millions of people in violent relationships. Nobody is the same and a lot of things don't make sense. People are not always logical. Perhaps try opening your mind a little bit more.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You're using one person's unfortunate choices to work out the motives of millions of people in violent relationships. Nobody is the same and a lot of things don't make sense. People are not always logical. Perhaps try opening your mind a little bit more.

    I'm trying to find out why huge numbers of people choose to enter relationships with people whom they know for certain are violent. Why do many victims repeatedly choose violent partners?

    I'm giving the details of one person whom I know who used to be in that situation. I didn't say that he's typical of people in violent relationships. I never said that everyone is the same.

    Even if it doesn't make sense and isn't logical, there must be a motive and reason on their part.
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    Louu__Louu__ Posts: 24 Boards Initiate
    This post has hit a nerve :/ & to be completely honest with you - Unless you've been in that situation yourself, it's not something you can begin to imagine or even try too. Everyone's situation is different but I do believe no-one 'chooses' a violent relationship, or 'chooses' to be in one. Often a person is trapped in some way, most often alongside violence there is blackmail, mental and emotional abuse - so it can be very scary to up and leave a relationship, especially if by doing that you are putting yourself more at risk. But as I say, every situation is different, there is no 'norm' for violent relationships and unless you've experienced it (god forbid you ever do) it's not something you can fully understand
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    Louu__Louu__ Posts: 24 Boards Initiate
    A lot of people who have been in dv relationships suffer for years from mental health problems and often deemed as being vulnerable or at risk of similar situations - for some dv is all they've known so life free of that can actually be pretty scary. I can't explain it because it's seriously complicated. However, if it's that important to you maybe try contacting a specialist service who could help you better
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They find the idea of a life free from violence to be scary?

    I contacted several relevant organisations during the time that the person whom I mentioned was a victim of his violent partner at the time. Most of them wouldn't give me information or advice. The two 'reasons' that most of them gave for not helping me to understand the situation and help the victim were: 1) Some would only speak to the victims themselves. That couldn't happen because he wouldn't contact an organisation for help and if he had done so his partner would have punished him for doing that. 2) Some organisations would only help female victims, even though they didn't mention a gender restriction in their advertising.
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    Louu__Louu__ Posts: 24 Boards Initiate
    Exactly! & that's what I mean, some of peoples reasons behind things are so personal to them & for others to understand is really hard at times. If something you've known and lived with for so long suddenly stops there is a huge sense of relief because there is freedom & you're safe from harm. But, at the same time (for some) it can be an unknown feeling and that can be pretty scary at first because it's like learning something new. It really is such a difficult feeling/situation to explain. I do appreciate confidentiality with services and yea there are a lot more services aimed for women only. But somewhere I'm sure you can get better professional help with this than I can give. What I've said is all from personal experience, I've tried and I'm sorry it's not been much help. But I can't help no more as this is really affecting me tonight.
    Perhaps talking to your friend may help too - understand from their perspective
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I certainly didn't intend to upset anyone. I'm trying to become informed and helpful.

    None of the many organisations that I contacted would try to help me to understand the victims of DV, nor would they help me to help any victim.

    I realise that not all victims have the same thoughts, plans, situation etc. I'm trying to understand the more common ones - particularly in the many cases of people who choose to start relationships with people whom they know for certain are violent. Could any victim complete this sentence: "I chose to start a relationship with someone whom I knew to be a predatory violent sadist because .................."
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    Louu__Louu__ Posts: 24 Boards Initiate
    That is an extremely personal question to ask anyone :/

    Also, myself like lots of other people in this world aren't victims, we're survivors - hopefully many more victims will become survivors too & show the world how strong they really are deep down.

    Bye.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what I read we're not talking about those who encountered the abuse down the line. we're talking about those who knew the person was abusive.



    I've heard that some individuals believe they can change the person or that things will be different with them because they understand the person on a deeper level. Or simply because they are attracted to them as a person and completely disregard their abusive traits whether that be it intentionally or unintentionally.

    Notice how I said unintentionally. For some victims of abuse if they've been exposed to abuse for so long or from a young age it's the only template they've had of a relationship,some of the things they experienced or witnessed became normalised.

    So if that's the template of a relationship you've been exposed to, you're going to think that that's how relationships are, no big deal and anyone displaying those behaviours might then be disregarded because it was the norm. You're already dealing with psychologically affected people, it leaves a lasting impression.


    -I've been in therapy with victims of abuse and spoken to people in similar situations.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I take it that in regard to this situation we're defining victim as a person who is currently in a relationship with someone who is violent to them and a survivor as someone who used to be in that situation and no longer is. One of the things I'm trying to find out is why survivors are far more likely to become victims by a future partner than people who've never been in that situation are. It can't be coincidence. Are they attracted to violent people? Do they think that they can change sociopaths into good people?

    When I was finally able to get the violent idiots who targeted me at school out of my life, I never became drawn towards wanting that sort of person in my life. I was glad to be free of them.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what I read we're not talking about those who encountered the abuse down the line. we're talking about those who knew the person was abusive.

    I've heard that some individuals believe they can change the person or that things will be different with them because they understand the person on a deeper level. Or simply because they are attracted to them as a person and completely disregard their abusive traits whether that be it intentionally or unintentionally.

    Notice how I said unintentionally. For some victims of abuse if they've been exposed to abuse for so long or from a young age it's the only template they've had of a relationship,some of the things they experienced or witnessed became normalised.

    So if that's the template of a relationship you've been exposed to, you're going to think that that's how relationships are, no big deal and anyone displaying those behaviours might then be disregarded because it was the norm. You're already dealing with psychologically affected people, it leaves a lasting impression.


    -I've been in therapy with victims of abuse and spoken to people in similar situations.

    Yes, I'm talking about people who knew for certain, prior to choosing to start the relationship, that the perpetrator was frequently violent.

    They think that they understand the person on a deeper level? Why do they think that? I thought that DV victims usually have low self-esteem and don't think much of themselves - so why would they think they have an ability that exceeds what most people have?

    The person whom I knew who was in this situation didn't suffer a violent upbringing and he had relationships that didn't include any violence - before choosing his first violent partner at age 30. He's not violent himself. Therefore he couldn't have seen violence as the norm or been used to it. I'm not saying that he's typical, but the violent relationship that he had is the individual case that I know most about. He has never said what attracted him to her. He said "Yeah, I knew she was violent, but I didn't think she'd be violent to me". Everyone who knows him could clearly see exactly what his violent partner was like, hated her and encouraged him to end the relationship. He kept saying that she'd change into a good person. He also kept thinking that she'd get a job, do some of the housework etc. She never did so or even said that she would - so I don't know where he got those ridiculous ideas from. Why did he choose an Aileen Wuornos clone and expect her to magically transform into the opposite of that?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Robert wrote: »
    They think that they understand the person on a deeper level? Why do they think that?

    Because they are able to recognise and understand through talking and analysing the reasoning behind the OP behaviours.

    I can do it too. My non medical analysis of you gives me the impression that you struggle to connect to other people and find it difficult to display or understand emotions particularly empathy. The abuse that you grew up with constantly meant that you were often made to explain yourself over and over again and despite this you were always wrong. You seem to replicate this by, asking questions rather excessively and finding counterarguments (some times unnecessarily) for most if not all things.

    From bits of what you've mentioned on the forums, you experienced abuse growing up behind doors and on the other side. You've either got a condition that explains your lack of emotion and apparent social difficulties or that the trauma you experienced were so great, it caused a disruption to your psychological and emotional development.

    I can almost predict your reaction to this. You may ask another question(to perhaps derail) or tell me that I'm absolutely wrong and rightly so. It's makes you look vulnerable and attacks this so called wall you have built for yourself to protect you from ever looking weak or vulnerable again.You must remain alpha or somewhat indestructible to others and prevent anyone from taking advantage.

    Or I could actually be completely wrong and be trying my hardest not to lose my temper with you because I actually find you quite frustrating and tiresome to talk to but have taken the time to explain things in the detail that you ask because you genuinely want to understand and I am able to recognise that.

    The answer(s) the the question(s) has been answered in bold.



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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your first line definitely doesn't apply to the case that I'm talking about. He doesn't understand much, never has long conversations and doesn't think about things much. Every day for years, he wrongly believed that his violent, lazy, predatory, sadistic partner would suddenly turn into a good, nice and hard-working person. Not only does he start bad relationships without thinking about things much, he also makes other major decisions without thinking them through. He bought a car in the dark a few minutes after seeing it and without taking it for a test drive. Only the next morning did he realise that it was very rusty, scratched and dented, the seats had bad stains on them, the boot was full of rubbish and some of the windows didn't open.

    I'm not trying to find counterarguments. Most of the replies given to me don't begin to try to explain the very strong attraction many people have towards violent predatory sadists and why they continue to choose to have relationships with such people after being beaten black and blue by their type many times before. Due to having been victimised many times by violent sadists whom I couldn't get away from because they were in my classes at school, I find such people repulsive - not that I ever liked that type of person before it happened. I'd never choose to have a violent person in my life. If I started a relationship with someone who later turned violent, I would end the relationship straight after the first time she was violent to me - I definitely wouldn't give her the opportunity to do it to me hundreds of times more and wrongly believe every day that she's going to magically change into a good person and stop doing it. After the relationship ended, I'd be very vigilant for the slightest sign of violence in any future relationships and would end them at the first hint of violence.

    I don't have a lack of emotion. Quite the opposite - I'm overemotional. I have very strong feelings every day.

    I don't pretend to be an 'alpha' or indestructible. I admit that I find life very difficult. I haven't built anything to stop myself from being or looking weak and vulnerable - I don't know how to do that.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "Every day for years, he wrongly believed that his violent, lazy, predatory, sadistic partner would suddenly turn into a good, nice and hard-working person".


    There it is, the answer you were looking for. He stayed because he beleived she would change.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That doesn't explain why he was attracted to Aileen Wuornos the Second in the first place - nor does it explain why he would think such a ridiculous thing every day for years. She made it crystal clear from day one exactly what she was like. At no point did she change for the better, try to or change for the better, nor indicate that she intended to. She enjoyed victimising and had no motive to become a good person. For her, a day without victimising was a day wasted.

    Why would anyone choose someone who is nothing like the type of person whom they're looking for, then expect that they're going to magically transform into the type of person that they want them to be? Where does that ludicrous expectation come from - and why continue to expect that when proven wrong over and over again?

    He very frequently complains about how fat and lazy his current partner is, which she has been since day one. He never says anything positive about her. Every day he thinks she's going to lose a lot of weight, do some of the housework and get a job, despite the fact that she's never shown any inclination to do any of those things. He keeps complaining in an angry and frustrated way to several people that she's still fat and lazy. Why does he keep thinking that she's going to change, when he has many years of bitter experience of bad partners not changing?

    It's like expecting every day that a suitcase full of £50 notes will magically appear in your house, then being angry every day that it doesn't appear and being horribly disappointed and frustrated that it doesn't.
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    JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,336 Part of The Furniture
    Hey guys,

    Looks like things got a bit heated last night so I've deleted some posts to try and get things back on topic. Let's keep in mind that in order for people to understand different perspectives, it's important to give them the chance to say things you might consider to be wrong and then be able to talk things out calmly.

    What Robert's asking about will no doubt touch a bit of a nerve for lots of folks here and this is a very personal issue for some of you, so let's be as sensitive as we can be. If you find yourself getting a bit emotional or a bit angry about anything (and this goes for anything on the boards) then remember to take a bit of time out if you need it. :)

    Look after yourselves and happy posting. *hug*
    The truth resists simplicity.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "Aileen Wuornos the Second" this shouldn't have been funny but it made me laugh.


    @Mike minus the the psychoanalysis I answered the question. I believe the rest of what I wrote should have stayed.
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    JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,336 Part of The Furniture
    @Mike minus the the psychoanalysis I answered the question. I believe the rest of what I wrote should have stayed.

    Fair enough, and looking at them I actually agree - these are some really constructive comments. My worry was that the lack of previous posts would mean missing context, but these are good. :) I restored some others, too.

    Appreciate the poke!
    The truth resists simplicity.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She immediately reminded me of Wuornos - both in looks and personality. She's by a huge margin the worst woman whom I've ever met. A few other people remarked to me their similarities, without me first mentioning Wuornos.

    You haven't answered most of it. Why would anyone choose someone who's very different to what they want, then expect every day for years that they will magically change into someone completely different, despite showing no inclination to change? Choosing someone who has a couple of minor faults is one thing - choosing someone who's horrible and nothing like what they're looking for is a completely different matter. Where does the initial attraction for someone so dreadful come from (when they can easily get someone who's much better)? Where does the bizarre expectation that they will undergo a massive personality change come from?

    Your psychoanalysis of me was very wrong on some points. You said that I lack emotion, but in fact I'm overemotional. You said that I am or pretend to be an indestructible alpha - when in fact I'm acutely aware and honest about the fact that I'm the opposite of that. I'll be very surprised if I live to middle age.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Robert wrote: »

    Why would anyone choose someone who's very different to what they want, then expect every day for years that they will magically change into someone completely different, despite showing no inclination to change?

    Sounds like denial to me.

    Sometimes when things don't work out the way people want them to ,they cling onto hope because it's too upsetting accept the truth for what it is. Sometimes, when people don't wan't to be alone, so they hold onto relationships even if its already complicated.



    - I'd never heard of her until you mentioned it so I googled her *shudders*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's when the person is already deep into the relationship that they're in and find it difficult to accept that they need to cut their losses and end it. What I'm more puzzled about is starting a relationship with someone who's clearly nothing but trouble and is vastly different from the sort of person that they want. Where does the attraction come from - towards a person who has none of the qualities that they want in a partner?
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    JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 5,336 Part of The Furniture
    I've deleted a few more posts and closed this thread now as it looks like things were continuing to get heated. We need to keep civil and respectful of each other for conversations to be productive, so let's try to keep that and the guidelines in mind when posting on the boards. :yes:
    The truth resists simplicity.
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