The constant "push and pull" cause distress and stress

The constant "push and pull" cause distress and stress

The greater the number of breakups in the couple, the greater the levels of stress and distress. These dynamics have considerable consequences.

The constant

Last update: May 25, 2022

Ending a relationship is never pleasant. The pain experienced causes many people to get back together without resolving the problems that caused the breakup. When these dynamics become cyclical, the constant "push and pull" undermine well-being.

Serial rupture and reconciliation foster two unhealthy dynamics: repeated pain and emotional codependency. In the long run, it becomes an unsustainable situation.

There is evidence to support the hypothesis that the constant push and pull increase anxiety and depression. It is therefore advisable to be aware of this spiral and the consequences that derive from it, and to avoid it.

Why do some couples base their relationship on constant push and pull?

Some people prefer to go back to someone they know, despite the obvious problems, as they fear they will need to deepen their relationship with an unknown person.

This leads to the following idea: is it necessary to have a partner? The truth is, despite the media bombardment promoting self-love and happiness alone, many people avoid so-called romantic loneliness. Being single doesn't seem like a viable option due to unfavorable myths and other misconceptions.

On the other hand, factors such as poor conflict management (relationship breakdown as a reaction to a strong quarrel, for example), emotional codependency or psychological abuse may also come into play. Each pair is different and requires a customized analysis of the situation to generate valid solutions.

The growing unease of the push and pull

The psychological and emotional processes that occur within a relationship have a strong effect on individual well-being. Specifically, the breakup is often accompanied by distress and feelings of anxiety and depression. This is completely normal, as it is a real bereavement.

However, resuming and leaving a relationship repeatedly means putting your mind in the position of having to deal with this pain over and over again. A study reveals that there is a correlation between suffering and the number of times you return with your partner.

Subjects who broke up with their partner and repeatedly reconciled showed higher levels of distress during the 15-month study period. In addition to being related to bereavement, distress also seemed associated with a lack of tranquility and security derived from the situation.

The pushes and pulls prevent an emotional balance in the couple.

What to do if you are in an intermittent relationship

The many years spent with the partner seem nothing if you think back to the constant push and pull. That person has been in and out of our life so many times that we no longer have a clue what we want in a relationship. Even so, eliminating the partner from the mind and from everyday life seems an overwhelming step.

If these statements sound familiar to you, you will know that the solution to getting out of a toxic relationship is more complex than the typical “Don't get back with him / her” advice. Within this dynamic there are factors that must be isolated.

In the immediate vicinity, the other person is unbearable; in the distance, nostalgia masks what previously could not be tolerated even for another minute.

In these cases it is advisable to contact a psychologist, especially if you want to end this cycle of the relationship and feel unable to do so (or do not know where to start). Some helpful tips to start breaking the SIBI cycle:

  • Identify unresolved problems with your partner and wondering if it is possible to overcome them.
  • Confide in friends and family: their point of view will help to see themselves and the relationship from another perspective.
  • Talk to your partner: It is possible that the other person also feels trapped and a permanent solution could be found.
  • Respect your times: many times we go back together without allowing ourselves the time necessary to overcome the mourning of the breakup. Cutting off all contact with the ex during this time is imperative.


Gaining and cultivating self-respect is a long-distance race. Even so, it is not necessary to run alone, because along the way you will find that romantic relationships are not the only source of happiness. Don't let yourself be crushed by the constant push and pull.

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