I’ve stayed with some horrendously abusive and destructive people…Its been bad enough that my therapist made fun of me for having a “bad picker”. I’ve been working hard on figuring out how to not end up in another relationship with a Very Bad Person, with a decent amount of progress.
One of my biggest hang ups was dealing with still emotionally wanting to be with previous people, despite *knowing* how awful they were for and to me.
What finally cracked that open for me was framing love: “i love what has improved my life”. The one I was hung up on *had* improved parts of my life, greatly, and it *made sense* to love and want those things back.
But the overall effect she had was very net negative.
Allowing myself to really immerse myself in the parts i loved and missed helped me get a handle on those emotions. They changed from overwhelming anything else when thinking about relationships, to just a useful lens of what i enjoy, a library of happy and sad memories.
And most important, they let me align my emotions with my conscious knowledge, to hold both the awful and the amazing at the same time, and emotionally understand what i rationally already knew: on balance, it was terrible, and i deserve better.