Is it like an addiction?

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Jorainbow

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Is it like an addiction?
« on: December 29, 2019, 09:10:37 PM »
After finding my stbexh old phone which proved the depth and breadth of his infidelity I've been in a tail spin for a week. Sometimes feeling strong  and at times actually thinking I wanted to try again. And then I thought this is almost like an addiction? I certainly don't want to be treated this way anymore. I know I deserve better. I don't dislike being alone. I have friends and family. I know what will make me happy but then he texts.

And my strong head goes yep here we go. Hoover. He will never change. Heard it before. And then there's the other head which seems to be devoid of all sense. Is this normal?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 10:51:25 PM by Latchkey »

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Sunflower_Rising

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2019, 01:43:24 AM »
Hi, Jorainbow. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I can understand why you'd have so many conflicting emotions, it must feel very disorienting. Betrayal is a deep wound, especially when it's from one who is supposed to share the deepest, most precious part of themselves with only you. When a relationship ends, we feel grief, and part of that grief is denial and bargaining. So, yes, I think that this is very normal. Sending love and light to you during this difficult time.

Just an observation: In the text he sent, I didn't see an apology. He's angry, not sorry. And I didn't see any empathy for what you're feeling. What I do see is him wishing he could have changed your mind about what he did ... and the threat of physical violence. He should have shaken you until you came to your senses??? Danger, Will Robinson! And I agree that his reactions were idiotic because they don't include taking responsibility.

I'm sure that you'll be very glad that you left him behind once you process your grief and all of these conflicting feelings die down. Do you have a group of strong women that you can rely on for support, maybe a women's-only therapy or support group? They would probably be able to help you keep your head on straight during this transition.

Sunny

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Jorainbow

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2019, 05:01:22 AM »
Thank you Sunny. Its really interesting to see an outsider perspective on his text as well. He is never sorry. Not the sort of sorry one would be having totally destroyed a marriage. More the sort of 'sorry for not holding the door open' sorry. He knew what he was doing for 6 months and the fact he didn't stop and blames me speaks volumes. Though funnily he said well I stopped a couple of weeks ago. Whoop lucky old me!!!

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2019, 08:48:53 AM »
I think it is like an addiction. The relationship is damaging, yet we hang on and keep hoping for change.

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Jorainbow

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2019, 04:36:08 PM »
One for the counsellor on Friday I think. I'm just glad I'm not in his head as that must be bad

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looloo

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2019, 04:55:57 PM »
Yes, it is very much like an addiction. Or being under one’s spell or influence to an extremely unhealthy degree.  Consider your distance from him a much needed detox, or a voluntary quarantine  :).

The more time you spend away from his intrusive presence, the clearer you’ll hear you’re own voice.  I guarantee it.
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

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Whiteheron

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 06:04:42 PM »
Kris Godinez (youtube) says it is an addiction. That's why it's so hard for many of us us to break away and why some of us repeatedly go back to our PDs.

You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2019, 09:07:58 PM »
It's not always an addiction. I'm stuck for different reasons. I have no addiction whatsoever to being treated this way. I'm not even used to it.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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Sunflower_Rising

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 05:33:38 PM »
I was thinking about this some more and I remembered something. When I was in college, I had a psychology professor who talked about staying in these relationships as a result of intermittent reinforcement. You can get a person to keep doing just about anything (and I mean anything) if you space out the reward in just the right way: A lot at first, and really good, high quality rewards (love bombing, etc.), then less and less over time, but always randomly and unexpectedly, until the good happens so infrequently that no one in their right mind would put up with it. It's a form of sadistic training, sort of, in that you become a highly reliable resource that requires the least possible amount of effort on your PD's part. In that sense, it does start to resemble an addiction because you're working continuously for the love jackpot, and you never know if/when it'll happen. It's just like gambling. Here's an article that talks about it: https://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2017/11/this-powerful-manipulation-method-keeps-you-bonded-to-your-abuser/

Sunny

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2019, 06:15:04 PM »
Thanks for sharing the link, Sunflower_Rising.  The excerpt below makes me think of comments written on this forum by people who are in relationships and haven't left.

"Abusers and controllers are often given positive credit for not abusing their partner, when the partner would have normally been subjected to verbal or physical abuse in a certain situation…Sympathy may develop toward the abuser and we often hear the victim of Stockholm Syndrome defending their abuser with ‘I know he fractured my jaw and ribs…but he’s troubled. He had a rough childhood!’"

Even if a victim's or target's behavior doesn't rise to the level of an addiction, people who stay in situations that clearly are bad for them probably would benefit by asking themselves, "I am in a situation that is bad for me.  If I can leave, why am I staying?"

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Sunflower_Rising

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2020, 01:32:16 AM »
Even if a victim's or target's behavior doesn't rise to the level of an addiction, people who stay in situations that clearly are bad for them probably would benefit by asking themselves, "I am in a situation that is bad for me.  If I can leave, why am I staying?"

Yeah, but I think that this is a simplification of what feels like a very complex experience. Chosen relationships usually don't start out bad, but they change so slowly that sometimes we don't really notice. That sounds weird, but many people don't realize how bad things were until after they've left and have some perspective. For those of us with PD parents, love basically is pain, and we have no other frame of reference. So, when others treat us badly, it feels normal.

Here's to finding a new normal in 2020!  :)

Sunny

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startwhereyouare

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 11:58:53 PM »
Trauma bonding is real.
Trauma bonding is difficult to break.

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Sweetbriar

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2020, 06:38:18 PM »
Some have written above that it is trauma bonding and I agree and it does come from intermittent reinforcement, the same type of thing that happens to the brain when one becomes addicted to gambling. It is why it often takes generally about seven times for a person to leave an abusive relationship. You have to fight that dependency as well as all of the other practical reasons for staying. This is when you need to use every single bit of strength and determination and self-love inside of you.

Sandra L Brown has a lot of excellent information about this. Here's a link. https://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/?s=trauma+bonding

This stuff is not easy. Don't be hard on yourself, just understand that to get out of these sorts of relationships, no contact is very very important. There is a cycle of abuse and it must be broken. It does feel like withdrawal when you leave the relationship but once you've done it is the best thing you will ever do for yourself.

Good luck.

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Jsinjin

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2020, 12:10:03 AM »
I know that I have the addiction.   I don't actually hope she will change but I fear hurting her or her hurting the kids emotionally if I leave.   That's what I fear.   So I stick around and try to build peace.
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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Jorainbow

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Re: Is it like an addiction?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2020, 11:30:58 AM »
I thought I'd update and let you all know I'm still no contact! I was expecting the hoovering love bombing to increase but it didn't. There was no trying, no protestations of love and changing. There was nothing. I'm in a much better place without him!  Him leaving and me finding all that stuff was the worst but best thing to happen.