NEW YORK (WLNY) — Relationships — whether personal or professional — play an important role in our lives.

But some relationships can end up being toxic, and it’s not always easy to end them.

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Family therapist, Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, visited the Couch to talk with us about what this can mean for you.

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Does your relationship drain you? Do you constantly feel off-base? Are you always on the defensive?

These are all signs you could be in a toxic relationship. Check yourself for signs of what Hokemeyer calls “relationship addiction” signs.

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“We can get addicted to relationships in the same way we get addicted to substances,” he said. “When we get love, acceptance and validation, our bodies and minds respond in ways that mirror the same endorphin rush that a person gets from cocaine.”

This drug-like addiction is what makes toxic relationships so hard to break away from.

“We think we need the approval, validation and love of a person who once gave it to us. We keep chasing the original high, hoping it will come back to us,” Hokemeyer said.

“We deny the truth of the situation, because it’s painful.”

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Be willing to admit there is an issue, limit your time and exposure to certain people who trigger negative emotions in you, and believe in yourself that you fill find a more loving place.