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ASK DR. LEEDOM: I don’t understand why I still care

One of our readers wrote the following, nearly everyone of us has expressed the same sentiments:

One phone conversation with him could go from loving words in the very begining to total ugliness toward the end and he would often get really mean and hang up on me. It was like he was Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde all rolled into one. You never knew what he was going to be like…

In spite of all this, I still love him and can’t stop thinking about him. I guess it’s just that I remember the good times and what a loving and caring man he could be when he wanted to. I know I am still grieving over this, because he still haunts me and I can’t seem to get him out of my system. And I know now that he’s not the man who I thought I fell in love with, but I am still having a really hard time with this. I don’t understand why I still care. I’ve tried to rationalize but it’s not working. You would think I would hate his guts after all he’s done to me.
Love is not something we can control

It is part of human nature to develop strong bonds of affection in connection with an intimate sexual relationship. These bonds involve activity in the parts of the brain that are outside of our conscious awareness. These bonds are also not easily subject to conscious control.

Since understanding is helpful, I want to review some of what is known about the behavioral neurochemistry of love. Some of this information comes from studies of animals who “bond.”

1. Intimacy produces bonding. Sexual intimacy especially produces bonding. There are hormones released during sex that go right to the bonding parts of the brain and turn them on. Since sex with a sociopath is often more intense, so is the bonding.

2. After some bonding is already established, fear and anxiety increase the bonding. This is responsible for the Stockholm Syndrome, a syndrome where victims feel bonded to attackers. Sociopaths know how to suck you in with intimacy and sex, then intensify the bond by creating fear and anxiety.

3. Although we cannot consciously undo the bond, we can consciously decide not to act on our feelings.

To carry out this conscious decision requires will-power, so read all you can about strengthening your will power. Briefly, will-power is like a muscle. It can become exhausted. It is weaker when we are tired, sick, malnourished or intoxicated. Stay away from alcohol, exercise and take care of yourself.

4. Fortunately, humans are designed to be serial monogamists. That means will be bonded for the life of the other, not for life. With time these bonds fade if the other is gone. That is because in the past people frequently outlived their partners. I can say for sure that time does heal this wound, provided depression and symptoms of PTSD are addressed.



173 Comments on "ASK DR. LEEDOM: I don’t understand why I still care"

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  1. bluemosaic says:

    Gm All,

    I am learning that I still cared b/c of the deep psychological-trauma bond that occured with my spath.
    I think I am in the process of that bond deteriorating.
    Things I noticed through my year plus with him make me wonder at several points.

    I was so attracted to him due to a hyper-alpha presence. I have seen this presence in him affect all sorts of women in his midst. I now think of this kind of “energy ” from a man as dangerous…not something to bow to, but to run from.

    The first time his ex-wife saw me with him, she cried. They had been apart several years, or so he says. I spent time around her all year in social and family events. I often noted she was still attracted to him. She is still single, he would comment to me she has not moved on successfully. She even attended events of his work, that she had no other reason to be present for than to watch him perform in his part time work that was really his passion and not primary profession. I just took this as her supportiveness of him and freindship that remained. But the reality is that he cheated on her for over a 20 yr, marriage, why would she still put herself around him?

    I got free…maybe she is still tied up in his sick soul. I pray for her and her children, all of whom I was very fond of. She was very nice to me and I genuinely liked her….I can understand why she still looked at him with…longing? I still have a small desire for him that is not based in self respect or reality…he is a pig. It is a longing for a smokescreen.

    The power I saw him wield over women was astounding. He had such a commanding presense and energy.

    The other woman he played in tandem with me all year, got to see me regularly. It must have cut her deep for him to shove me in her face all year. I did not know that this was the case till well after I had left him. Once I knew, so much of the years events made more sense, he was torturing her with me all year and she ran back to him, as soon as I left!

    Do some of us…never figure this out? I am grateful I did…despite the pain of the realization of “loving a man who never loved me”…that I meant nothing to him other than flesh, companionship and a younger/ attractive woman on his arm for appearances.

    Did he contact me for V-day? No, a sting to my heart…proof I am not well yet. I remind myself though that his total lack of interest in me is better than my still living in a fog of deceit and betrayal…and that I could have been the ex who still may love and desire him. God bless her…I say in my prayers, and any woman who has the misfortune of crossing his path.

    Blue



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  2. Truthspeak says:

    Bluemosaic, some of us never “figure this out.” It’s not about figuring something out – it’s about “accepting cold, hard, and ugly facts.” The fact that I wasn’t “The One” that would change the spath. The fact that the spath never cared – on any level. The fact my own core-issues fed the predator. The fact that there really are people out there who deliberately, intentionally, and with malice aforethought target, bait, lure, snag, gut, and discard other human beings for their own entertainment and purposes.

    Yes, pity the women that this spath has harmed, especially the ex-wife. Imagine having children with something like him, and then imagine the games, the torture, the manipulations, and the horrid discard that the children experience.

    We hold on to the illusion because the facts do not fit into our system of beliefs and it hurts our minds and who we believe that we are to acknowledge the truths.

    You’re moving right along, Bluemosaic. It takes time, a lot of pendulum thinking (back and forth), but one step at a time, one day at a time, and some serious grieving, and it does get better. It ceases being all about THEM, and begins as a journey of self-understanding.

    Brightest blessings



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