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Keep on getting into bad relationships

Community Member

Unfortunately, through all my serious relationships I've been through a lot of mental stress being emotionally abused/manipulated. I seem to always attract a person that is deeply broken or suffering from severe depression because of my kind and accepting nature. But I can't do it anymore, I am trying my best to put my own happiness first instead of someone else's all the time.

I'm not saying I am perfect either, I'm just sharing my experiences of always being with someone that has anger issues and doesn't take responsibility for their actions and how it has affected my self esteem.

Thinking about what I've let myself go through causes me a lot of shame as financially I've always had to take care of everything too. So I get really sad when I see normal couples going on dates and doing nice things together as I've never really had that before.

Has anyone been through something similar where every partner you've have, has mistreated you and how do you not make the same mistake over and over again? I am trying to work on my self esteem through seeing a wonderful psychologist. Just wanted to see if anyone else has been through this too. Or any tips on building self worth would be much appreciated.

19 Replies 19

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi and welcome.

Great question, how do we know we have a great loyal, financially responsible future partner at hand...along with drug free, no addictions like gambling etc.

At 27yo I was in such a dilemma. So I developed a formula.

I would not pursue any dates with a lady beyond 3 dates if certain criteria wasnt met. During those 3 dates the following had to occur-

  • She would display love for animals particularly baby animals so a trip to an animal sanctuary was a good destination
  • she should offer to pay for one meal (as I'd be expecting I'd pay for 2 or 3 myself)
  • That compatibility was evident like values, communication etc

I was however, an eager beaver so still jumped in too quickly regardless of the success of the formula. I married a girl and it lasted 11 years. What should have been a fourth requirement was - establish if laziness was present. It became a severe issue for me as time went on with children. I ended up looking after the kids myself and hold down 3 jobs while my wife never worked. Go figure.

So it isnt foolproof but you can weed out many bad apples and not waste your time.

Computer dating is also good because you get a snapshot of the person before contact. It worked for my daughter and she married her man.

Good luck. Please dont give up.

Ps Eventually I remarried. The love of my life- yes she passed all criteria and we are happy.


Hi thanks TonyWK for your response and sharing your experience.

Developing a formula sounds like a good idea. I know love is supposed to be unconditional, but as you've probably experienced, some things are just unacceptable when you are looking for a serious relationship like how you mentioned laziness.

Healthiness, loyalty and financial responsibility are the main things I will look out for next time. As well as just for someone to bring some positivity into my life, not unnecessary stress as I just want to feel happy and good in a relationship for once.

I don't expect everything to be paid for me but there have been far too many times when money has been spent on drugs/gambling/younameit instead of on me or even worse when they have job and still "borrowed" money from me.

I'm really glad that things have worked out for you and you have learnt from your mistakes. That gives me a lot of hope that one day I'll find the right person.

I think I just need to think about whats best for me next time instead of trying to help the other person and getting nothing in return.

Thank you again TonyWk.

If anyone else has any advice or input please feel free to comment.

Community Member

I dont have any advice but I will be following your post as I am in exactly that predicament.

I keep on thinking I can fix the broken wing. In the end Im the one that ends up broken, and broke right beside them!

My last 2 relationships I have been the sole provider, even when on the dole, both times I was lucky to recieve casual help with a food shop. Ive sent myself broke in the mean time, spending all my time, effort and money trying to prove that Im commited and worthy, only to be walked all over and left feeling all alone, for a person I felt was my whole world, and treated me like an option, who has other options. Meanwhile still serving breakfast in bed and trying to serve each and every need like a good girl, and being told that anyone could do those things.

My self esteem is at an all time low, life isnt getting better or easier no matter how hard I try.

I hope to read comments on this thread that show there is hope in breaking this habit of falling for and loving people that are toxic to a healthy life!

We seem to have a "type" huh! Or maybe we are just the type they see they can take advantage of?

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Knicky

Yes this thread is interesting.

in the meantime google- beyondblue 30 minutes can change your life . Re self esteem


Thanks. I will.

As of just a couple of hours ago the now VERY ex, has not only physically assaulted me, and threatened my life, but given a verbal tirade of abuse meant to bring me down. Right now Im running on adrenaline and feeling just anger and hate, but tomorrow I know I will be a puddle of self esteem issues.

Apparently I'm nothing, I'm worthless, fat, ugly, have a crap personality nobody likes and thats why I have no friends. I'll never amount to anything in life and my life is sh t, because Im the biggest loser he has ever met and will live a long linely life because nobody really likes me.

Good times!

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi w1nn1e

I ended up marrying a nice guy but before that was in a terrible habit of dating 'bad boys' (either narcissists or somewhat 'broken'). Looking back, I acknowledge it was pretty much a self-esteem thing for me personally. By the way, whenever I'd date nice guys, it would never last long because I would end things. Yes, I was a self-saboteur.

white knight offers great advice, regarding the formula. Part of the formula could cover the idea of 'Who do I want to be?' Eg. I want to be someone who's excited, respected, inspired etc. So your list then reads:

My ideal partner must be someone who offers

  • excitement (of the right kind)
  • respect
  • inspiration

In regard to self-esteem, I believe the master of self-esteem is an author named Nathaniel Branden. In his book 'The six pillars of self-esteem', he refers to

  • The practice of living consciously
  • The practice of self-acceptance
  • The practice of self-responsibility
  • The practice of self-assertiveness
  • The practice of living purposefully
  • The practice of personal integrity

As he says, all these take practice.

Glad to hear you have stepped foot on the path to reformation, seeing the psychologist and posting here. Goes to show your self-esteem is already growing. You've made a conscious move to change things. You've accepted the fact that you deserve better and have taken responsibility for your own growth. There is no doubt you have great personal integrity as you assert yourself in the desire for a purposeful relationship/life. Ticking all boxes w1nn1e!

Take care of your self on your path to discovering your most authentic self

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Knicky

Wish I could jump through my laptop and give you the most consoling and inspiring hug.

First, I would advise you pay a visit to your local police station so as to document the event/assault. Never know, you may need the documentation for future reference. I imagine this will be a somewhat fearful move but if you read the 6 pillars of self-esteem list I mentioned to w1nn1e, this might be of some help.

I think this dude who has assaulted you has pretty much covered all bases: Mind/body/spirit is a super significant triad (requiring balance) in life. He has set out to destroy your mind, your body and...well...having anything to do with him sounds like a soul-destroying experience. When the triad is not functioning in harmony, we really do feel it on so many levels. By the way, I believe physically abusive relationships don't just involve obvious physical assault. When someone is regularly assaulting our nervous system (you know that fight/flight/freeze part of us), they're impacting our body on a whole other level.

I hope you realise that this guy actually gave up his true power when he lost control of himself. In losing control of his thoughts, his words, his hands, he became powerless (despite what he may think). Please remember this, in case you decide you have been the weak one in this situation/past relationship. It takes great strength, skill and power for we humans to control our mind, our words and our actions. With 'control' defined as 'effective management' you might contemplate how you're going to effectively manage this situation. Effectively managing this situation will serve your mind (self-esteem included), body and spirit.

Remember Knicky, what this guy has said has come from a place of destruction and lies (a dark place). Always turn toward enlightenment, not darkness. As I often say to people, depression cannot survive within enlightenment for it thrives on darkness. It is the truth which thrives within enlightenment.

Take care and know that I'm thinking of you

Community Champion
Community Champion


Thanks for this very honest and relatable thread. You have been given many helpful suggestions and support so I won’t repeat what has been written.

I just wanted to say I was. It very good at relationships and kept picking men who treated me badly as I did it think I deserved better as I had bipolar and was difficult to live with.

It took me 2 long term relationships to realise this about myself. I suppose I know I am. very flawed so I thought I needed to put up with my partners flaws.

I think when you feel confident and good about yourself , You will be attracted to a partner who has similar values.

Thanks again for your honesty and willingness to share.


Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome tomthe forum.

i too want to you give you a reassuring hug and tell you those words of your ex are all about him and not you.

The rising has given you very helpful suggestions and support so I won’t repeat that.

I just wanted to say you are not alone and we are here to support you.

Knicky, you are most welcome to post here. if you want to start your own thread so you can tell your story you are welcome to do that. it is up to you.

I am a hoping you are ok.

Sending kind thoughts