Reply To: Failed at No Contact
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Jaybird, seven years is a long time. Outside of my family of origin, I have never been in a relationship that has lasted that long. There is a lot of bonding that has gone on during that time, and those feelings must run their course. No one can say how long it will take to grieve. It’s very individual. The longer you stay, the harder it will be. There are people here who have been involved with disordered spouses for 25 years. I cannot even imagine what that would do to a person and how it would change their brain chemistry.
I do know from the experience I’ve had with certain men that after a while, bad behaviors become normal, and you get into this desperate plea to try and get them to start caring and stop hurting you. This alternates with periods of feeling like you are not good enough and then the hopeless feeling like this is the best it can get. This is how your mind keeps you stuck.
The important thing to know is that you alone can decide your self worth. But if you find the right counselor/s and supports, they can help mirror to you what you are worth, as well. Once you know his behaviors are just not good enough for you, and you know you have to leave, it will feel like you are having to bite off your own arm to get out of a trap. The emotions are strong and will pull you back. They will tell you that you are committed for life, that he is your husband (even if you’re not married), and that bond will be very strong. It takes an enormous act of will to walk away into the unknown and trust that you will get over him and find love again. Your mind knows the truth. Your heart will eventually follow your mind, but it takes time to heal. I wish you the strength to walk away and claim your life back. Take comfort in knowing you are not the only one going through this. You are now part of a community of strong people taking back their power.