Sometimes our own feelings confuse us.

We wonder…

How could I be attracted to someone who treated me so poorly? Why would I even consider giving them a second chance? Is there something wrong with me?

First, please hear me when I say this: you’re NOT crazy!

And you’re not alone.

When we become attached to someone who’s toxic or emotionally harmful, we experience something called “attachment ambivalence”.

Attachment ambivalence refers to that anxiety-provoking state of feeling emotionally pulled toward someone that logically we know isn’t good for us. 

Think of it like this: on the one hand, our partner is often our main source of “attachment”.

They fulfill our basic need for love and belonging.

And on the other hand… our partner is also the main source of our hurt.

So we vacillate between loathing them – and loving them.

We’re upset, angry, and hurt, so sometimes we want nothing to do with that person.

But once the anger subsides, we often feel intense emotions of sadness, loneliness, and just wishing things could be “normal” again.

This is when we feel especially tempted to dismiss or overlook the red flags, and jump back into the relationship.

So if you find yourself emotionally swinging back and forth about a toxic ex…

Know that those feelings are totally normal!

However, having those feelings doesn’t mean you have to or should act on them.

Remember that with time, distance, and healthier relationships…that “pull” you feel toward the toxic person will become weaker and weaker.

And your commitment to maintaining healthier boundaries will grow stronger and stronger.

Have you experienced “attachment ambivalence”?

If you’re looking to heal from narcissistic abuse or relationship trauma, I can help! I specialize in helping people heal from toxic, dysfunctional, or harmful relationships. I recommend starting here and getting my free bimonthly newsletter. Or contact me today about working together via therapy or coaching. 











About Me
Chelsey Brooke Cole is a psychotherapist, best-selling author, speaker, and coach specializing in narcissistic abuse and relational trauma. Praised as "Enlightening and Empowering" Chelsey's new book, If Only I'd Known! How to Outsmart Narcissists, Set Guilt-Free Boundaries, and Create Unshakeable Self-Worth is available wherever books are sold.

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