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why are people attracted to dysfunctional people/
January 12, 2004
4:28 pm
chile lady
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Can anyone explain why some people fall into relationships that are dysfunctional?

January 12, 2004
4:48 pm
gingerleigh
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Habit? Maybe like the question why do some people get addicted to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes? Try a little, and it feels goooood... then it feels bad, so you get some more of the good stuff, so perpetuates the cycle. What do you think?

January 12, 2004
5:11 pm
chile lady
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Is it because of their upbringing?

January 12, 2004
5:25 pm
gingerleigh
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Perhaps... we do what we know. Question is... once we realize that we tend to follow that pattern, now that we are aware of it, what do we do to break out of it?

January 12, 2004
6:10 pm
Tumbleweed8
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I agree that its what we get used to because when we're in a dysfunctional system we have to learn a certain way to adjust to live and survive in it. I guess after a while that is what feels comfortable even though not ideal.

January 12, 2004
6:12 pm
chile lady
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We break out of it by gaining the strength to take control of our own lives.

January 12, 2004
6:36 pm
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I think we (ie disfunctional people)are actually very loving. It's just that sometimes we take it too far, forgetting about our own needs and desires, and putting the other person first no matter what. Look at the MO: we give till it hurts, or practically kills us. While some of these traits are good in moderation, I think it just gets taken too far. (my opinion)

ladyace

January 12, 2004
6:52 pm
wireless
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That is true. When ever I get into a relationship I always wait about two months then something wierd happens. I start to think, ok what can I do to make sure they wont leave... I will do anything to keep them whether it be they are unavailable, work aholics, live chaotic lives whatever. I will focus so much on that person that I will not want to work or anything. My thought process is them. I am now learning that I have to keep the focus on me and I mean it. Most importantly make sure to remember my past only to remember how badly I have had it with unhealthy people. It makes it alot worse when you have issues and you have done your homework and then you meet somebody that is where you use to be. That is a double whammy. When we know that there are bad signs back off. Take it slow from this point on...

January 12, 2004
6:54 pm
Wanttobewell
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I don't know about other people, but I fell into dysfunctional relationships because of my own shortcomings, of being codependent to the point that nothing mattered except this person seemed to like me. Therefore, it doesn't really matter what I think. I'm not important. I must please this person in order to have him continue to like or "love" me, and nothing is too great for him to ask of me. I will lose myself completely in his life and give no thought to my own. Like always being a passenger and never the driver.

I couldn't agree more that we are actually very loving, giving, and kind people, but we lose ourselves. I've yet to see a single incident since being on this site of one of us who doesn't absolutely love children, animals, elderly folks and who would not give the shirt off their backs if it meant helping someone else.

The dysfunctional people who take advantage of us fall into relationships with us because they can spot us coming miles away. Anyway, the ones that I got involved with saw me coming with a neon sign on my head,,,hahahaha,,,,here I am. Let me be everything you ever wanted. I can FIX everything!!!
:} W.

January 12, 2004
7:19 pm
Sukh
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That is so true, W. I have done it all my life too. I have had three relationships in my life my first and the third, the latest were like that. Only the second time, was I lucky enough to find who genuinely appreciated me and loved me back as much I loved him. Unfortunately, I had to leave him to come to US. But definitely, there is something about us, my therapist called it innocence, that attracts people who are truly reckless with our hearts.

January 12, 2004
8:18 pm
wireless
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sukh, you can say that again!!

January 12, 2004
8:34 pm
Sukh
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Wireless,
why are we such suckers?

January 12, 2004
10:25 pm
wireless
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Sukh, where are you from?

January 12, 2004
11:19 pm
Sukh
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India, why?

January 12, 2004
11:20 pm
Sukh
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First generation too!

January 13, 2004
5:58 pm
wallace
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Wireless-your reply about how you let people become the focus of your life descibes me exactly. I let people become so central to my life that I get depressed when they don't behave in a certain way towards me, I lie awake thinking about it, worrying about what I could do to make them stay in my life, I loose interest in eating, working, other people. It's a horrible thing-it's like it consumes me and I have no control. I have irrational feelings of how I'll never be happy unless that person stays in my life-it's like I depend on them to survive. How have you controlled it?

January 13, 2004
7:31 pm
wireless
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Walace,

How are you? I heard something the other day, " people cant make us happy and we cant make our selves happy." We have problems. You know though when I am by myself I am happy. It is always when I meet somebody that I feel like what you just described to me. This is not working for us. I want to stop it. I am at the point in my life now where I know that I have to do work on myself. If I dont then I will always have the same life. " If you keep on doing what youve always done, you will always get what you always got." I found that qoute on this site, increadibly true. I know I have to change and i want to do it. I am now seeing a therapist, always use this site and listen to these people, they have been their, am now making goals for myself, not trying to figure out people, am figuring out me, being selfish, learning commitment and what it means to me, being intimate with me, I am paying attention to my emotions and how I feel, the most important taking care of me, this is what I want and this is what I need..phrases i have never even thought were possible, I cant be scared if I will lose them because whenever I am I lose me, feel my feelings, trust myself. My biggest fear has always been I dont want to lose them because I love them, I dont matter, what can I do to keep them? It has never worked out anyway so if I try the above maybe it will. Oh, also make sure that i take my time with relationships and get to know them as a friend first, take it slow. Most of all do my Damn best and hope that I can do this!

January 14, 2004
8:27 am
wireless
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January 14, 2004
1:35 pm
sixfootblonde
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To answer the original question: I think people are attracted to dysfunctional people because of two things: 1) they see an arena where they can "fix" or "help" and this fixing, helping, makes them feel better about themselves for a variety of reasons. or 2) they see in this person something which connects to themselves, and their image of themselves, and to pair up with this dysfunctional person is perhaps a feeling of being "home", or a situation that while not perfect, is what they feel they deserve, or where they at least know how to cope. It's familiar and therefore safe although maybe to us on the outside it's clearly not safe.

Just a thought....

January 14, 2004
2:33 pm
wallace
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Wireless-when I concentrate on me, it makes this feeling of not being able to cope without that person worse-because that is how I feel. I thought that if I spent some time with this person, I would feel fulfilled and the feeling would go away-but it didn't.

January 14, 2004
10:24 pm
wireless
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Hey six foot, I love what you said! Tell me though, how do you tell which one of the two people that are attracted to one another is the dysfunctional one?

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