Counselling in Melbourne offers counselling services for emotional & relationship difficulties, depression, anger, anxiety. Nancy facilitates couples to get in touch with what underlies their reactions, so that vulnerable feelings can be expressed in a way that gets an attuned response from their partner.
The real reasons why men and women cheat on the person they love
For over a decade I’ve seen countless couples where infidelity and betrayal has occurred. Why men and women cheat on the person they love became an interest to me, given that it seems more often than not. This led me to explore the underlying reasons why people cheat on the spouse they love.
As a relationship therapist, I noticed a pattern occurring that can explain why individuals cheated on the spouse they love. This inspired me to find the antidote for how a cheating spouse can heal themselves and their relationship after having an affair.
Firstly, I want to uncover a myth. Not all people who cheat are narcissists.There can be something else causing an affair to occur.
In most cases, I hear that the person felt as though their emotional needs were not met in the marriage, causing them to feel alone and unable to get their needs met.
Often, I observed that these needs were unmet in childhood and got displaced onto the relationship, creating feelings of disappointment or rejection when their partner could never meet these needs.
Lack of connection or intimacy can trigger these earlier longings, creating a deep yearning for love that feels fulfilled in the marriage.
These are the particular ways that couples protect themselves, that leads them feeling deprived in the marriage.
9 Reasons that causes a cheating spouse to betray someone they love:
You avoid expressing your feelings to avoid conflict.
Sometimes conflict can be overwhelming or you do not want to say things that could hurt your partner. Expressing your feelings can result in feeling shame, guilt, or rejection. So you avoid expressing yourself and push your feelings down in order to avoid conflict.
Getting close and expressing ones feelings can re-activate attachment stress, so its safer to pull away when you’re afraid of the other person reaction.
2. You distance to protect yourself from feeling hurt or rejected.
If you internalised the belief that your needs do not matter and felt unsafe expressing yourself growing up, this can create an enduring pattern of shutting down and not communicating your feelings.
You may appear cold, aloof and stonewall as a way to protect yourself from feeling rejected for how you feel. This may cause you to turn inwards and distance from your relationship, keeping your feelings locked inside. It can feel unsafe to share how you are feeling with your spouse.
If your feelings become overwhelming you may confide in someone else who may understand your feelings. Then you start to build feelings for this other person who understands you, causing a stronger rift between you and your spouse.
3. You feel lonely and reached despair
The end result is usually a feeling of loneliness and despair in your marriage once you’ve detached yourself.
The desire for a safe connection becomes stronger, so you attempt to get your needs met with someone else.
4. You pretend everything is fine so your needs get ignored
You may have pushed your partner away by not letting them know how you feel. You may be wondering why they do not pick up how you’re feeling, when you’ve brushed over your feelings.
You may secretly resent your spouse when the relationship feels all about them and not you. You can’t hear how they’re feeling when the relationship feels overwhelming for you. It feels like it becomes about the other person needs and not yours, causing you to shut down further and want to run away.
The relationship can feel depriving, causing you to look elsewhere for a safer haven. You may say all the right things in order to avoid conflict and keep the peace, but deep down there is a longing for connection and an emptiness that leaves you feeling unsatisfied with your relationship.
5. You have unmet emotional needs and craving for love.
The affair is often a last resort to get your unmet emotional needs met, when you cannot express yourself or reach your partner.
When deep down you’ve felt unloved and lack self-love, you can end up looking outside yourself to feel loved, hoping to find that special person who will make up for your unmet needs, longings, and yearnings.
When you’ve searched for your perfect soul mate your whole life, you can put everything into your relationship in order to capture the feeling of being loved. You can project your hopes and desires on them, even forgoing your own needs and losing yourself, in order to get the love you always wanted.
6. You lose yourself and negate yourself for the relationship.
Sometimes, it can feel like you’re catering for everyone’s needs, until you feel your own needs do not get met, and fall out of love, hoping to find someone outside your marriage who can meet your needs.
No matter how much you love your partner, you can end up losing yourself for the sake of your marriage or family. You supress your needs or give up yourself, focusing on making everyone else happy in the hope that it will make you happy.
The ways you protect yourself from feeling unloved cause you to negate yourself. You can distance from your ‘self’ and not know what your needs are, or how to express them in your relationship. So you automatically assume your partner will meet your needs, without expressing them or sharing your deepest feelings. So your needs do not get met.
7. You blame your spouse when your needs do not get met.
The truth is, you are not in touch with your actual self and cannot express yourself in order to get your needs met. Instead, you focus on how your partner is not fulfilling your needs, feeling unloved and rejected.
8. You cannot express your yourself or your needs
The more you blame your partner for how you feel, the more you distance yourself from your partner, and do not express yourself, needs or feelings within the relationship. So you look outside your marriage to get your needs met.
9. You want to escape the empty void within yourself.
Sometimes, the anguish and despair of falling out of love is actually the crushing feeling you get when you realise your partner cannot fulfil those unmet needs or longings, but nor can anyone else.
Instead of dealing with the pain, the search for love continues outside your relationship. Nothing ever feels enough to fill that void and emptiness of an inner child who was deprived of love.
Ways to heal yourself and your relationship after an affair has occurred
You can end up destroying your life or family if you do not get in touch with your actual self, and get in touch with your needs or feelings.
The more you hold onto a fantasy of obtaining unmet love and putting this onto your partner to fulfil, you could end up reliving the feeling of depriving yourself by not meeting your own needs within the relationship. This can cause the feeling of rejection or feeling unloved.
The actual truth is, you’re rejecting your ‘self‘, resorting to having an affair in order to escape the emptiness within yourself.
The grass can look greener on the other side, until you go there and find a dishevelled paddock.
Displacing your unmet needs onto others, in the hope they can make up for them, will cause you to repeat the pattern of rejection, until you deal with your feelings.
The real antidote to healing yourself and your relationship is getting in touch with your actual self, as an attempt to get your needs met within your marriage.
When you can make yourself vulnerable to take the risk to open yourself up to your spouse in order to express how you feel, you can transform your pain into moments of connection. You can find real satisfaction when your partner responds to your needs and feelings.In couples counselling you can get in touch with your feelings by finding safer ways of expressing how you feel.
As a relationship therapist Nancy Carbone specializes in infidelity, who has a M.Soc Sc (Couns). If you want help dealing with an affair you can contact Nancy on her website or follow her for expert advice on relationship matters.
What Causes Men to Ghost Or Get Spooked? (Reasons Men Disappear In Relationships)
If you’ve been heartbroken, you might be wondering what causes men to Ghost or disappear when they have feelings for you, by vanishing from your life, for no apparent reason.
Ghosting occurs when someone you have developed feelings for suddenly cuts off contact with you. This can leave you feeling rejected and absolutely bewildered, especially if you felt hopeful about the relationship.
So why did he Ghost and vanish from your life suddenly?
One of the common reasons for ghosting usually occur during dating scene when the person is seeing a number of people and will chose someone else over you. The other reason is the discard or devalue stage of a narcissistic person.
What causes Ghosting in other scenarios?
What happens when he is totally into you and backs away? What happens when you’ve developed strong feelings for each other, and they start pulling away and then finally disappear?
So what caused him to ghost you, or was he spooked?
When someone is spooked or scared, they tend to run the other away or escape for emotional safety. They look for the quickest exit route or way out. This can occur for various reasons. They may freeze out of fear. It can refer to being frightened, being scared or startled. Sometimes an old survival mechanism kicks in.
As a relationship therapist, I heard men use the word ‘spooked’ to describe how fearful they were and wanted to get away, even though they wanted the relationship.
Children can feel spooked by a terrifying parent who scares them into submission, so they obey against their own will, to avoid punishment. But, deep down they want to escape and get out, so they can be free to be themselves.
If your man feels he must meet your needs, he may want to go the other way to be free of the internal jailer who entraps him. Relationships can feel like a life sentence in jail, when a person has a jury in their own mind, who punishes them.
When a man is scared to get close, he may have strong feelings for you, but he is afraid that the relationship will be scary for him. He enjoys the relationship when he has freedom, is not tied down and has no obligations.
It is a risk free relationship when he has no commitment to you, so he can feel close to you. He is not vulnerable to get hurt, so he can be himself with you.
As soon as you become attached, it soon becomes scary for him.
When you feel close and the fear of losing him kicks in, you can end up protecting yourself from getting hurt in ways that end up spooking him to vanish from your life, by scaring him away.
He doesn’t understand women’s emotions, needs or wants. He hears these as demands, attacks or control. So, he distances for emotional safety.
He may not have ghosted you, yet, but he feels spooked by your reactions, when he does not meet your needs, hurts your feelings or upsets you. He is afraid that his own needs for independence will destroy the relationship.
It feels safer to disappear and ghost you, then bring himself closer to express himself, because he fears your reaction when he speaks his own mind.
He’s not sure how to meet your needs or if he wants to. He hasn’t owned the decision to commit to you, or feels spooked when you bring up your feelings. It’s scary for him to lose himself in a relationship, because he feels obligated to meet your needs, even though he doesn’t want to yet.
Like the lucky band effect, the more you want the relationship, the more they resist the relationship, feeling backed into a corner, wanting to get out.
When he feels spooked, he escapes, when he feels unsafe to express himself and he comes back when he misses you.
You’ve become haunted by the feelings of closeness and then suddenly being left all of a sudden. The surge of hurt and anger can enrage you, and cause you to push him away. So, he disappears again, until he eventually vanishes from your life.
5 Ways spooking leads to Ghosting in Men
Misreading his cues
It can be hard to read the signs that he wants to go slow. Instead you think you’re being rejected when he’s not attentive to you. So, you protect yourself by trying to get closer, when he wants space to get to know you.
When he feels you’ve misread his needs or misattuned to him, he pulls away to reassess the relationship and work out if it is what he wants.
You seek reassurance.
When you haven’t heard from him straight away, you feel anxious about losing him, so you keep messaging him to seek his reassurance. When a relationship feels forced it can kill the connection and the other person loses the desire for you.
When a person is spooked they become scared of your emotions or needs. When they feel responsible for your feelings or making you happy, it can feel like effort that they have to keep putting into the relationship in order to satisfy you.
You talk about your future early on.
You are afraid of being strung along, so you want answers and do not want to waste your time. This is actually a wise thing to do, but if you have this conversation too early, when the other person is not ready, it can push them away because they feel trapped into giving you something you want.
You test his feelings for you.
When you fear rejection, it’s scary to put yourself out there to get hurt. So, you may test his feelings by saying things to make him jealous or let him know that other men are keen on you. You are trying to get a response from him to see how he feels about you.
Instead of letting him connect with your underlying vulnerabilities, you’ve pushed him away because he thinks you’re waiting for someone better. So, he feels spooked away from being interested or fears getting hurt.
You take out your hurt and anger on him.
Like a toddler protesting for love and attention, you can end up acting-out your hurt by letting him pay the price for the pain you’ve endured. Blame, accusations or contempt are pathways that can scare someone away.
When a person feels spooked or afraid of your reaction, they do not feel safe to open up and get closer to you. They act like a deer in headlights; they freeze or become immobilized.
If someone is spooked, they can’t respond to your needs when they’re protecting themselves. They get away to clear their head and figure out what they want, rather than communicate with you.
Opening up can cause them to become anxious about your reaction, if they do not tell you what you want to hear. Of course this is not always about you. So do not take it personally. They do not realise they’re hurting you by pulling away.
The real antidote for bridging a connection is to take your hands off, instead of trying to get them to respond to your needs. Instead, tune in and listen to what they need or feel, and the chances are they will do the same, when they’re not spooked.
Once they feel safe, you can let them in, and break down your walls that protect you.
If you can get in touch with your underlying feelings and express them, rather than react to protect yourself, you can transform your hurt into bridging a stronger connection.
If you can take blame or judgement out from your vocabulary and replace them with statements that begin with “I feel”, you are more likely to be heard.
If you do not let your needs take over your relationship, you can truly listen by responding to what the other needs. Sometimes, letting go of seeking reassurance or love allows you to be truly available for each other.
The real reason why men ghost is because you don’t love yourself and require men to feel good about yourself. You deserve to be loved, but loving yourself means you don’t need a man to feel good enough.
Men will feel spooked if they feel you need them to feel good about yourself. This can cause men to Ghost in relationships.
If someone loves you, let them go and see if they’ll come back . You can’t force a horse to drink the water if the horse doesn’t want to. But you can be emotionally available, if you learn to love yourself and not rely on a relationship because you don’t feel good enough on the inside. If you love yourself, you do not need to protect yourself from feeling not good enough for someone, because you’re already good enough. If you allow yourself to shine, real love will come your way.
Subconscious Ways Self-Saboteurs Destroy Their Happiness
If you are a self-saboteur, you can be prone to self-sabotage that destroys your chances of success and your relationships. You can trip yourself up, when you don’t feel deserving of the good things in life.
If you’ve internalised that you’re not good enough, then this can cause you to see the worst in everything that happens to you, when your internal saboteur takes over.
When you were constantly asked “what’s wrong with you?” from childhood, it becomes the inner voice or self-critic within, and you end up believing there is something wrong with you.
The only way to protect yourself is find a way to escape these feeling, or act upon them by self-sabotage
What are the signs of a self-saboteur:
You give up on yourself
When you don’t believe in yourself, you can do everything to avoid failure, including giving up, putting things off because don’t feel that good things will happen to you in life.
You let your internal saboteur take over the way you see things, letting it control you and sabotage you
You can’t see the bigger picture
You end up seeing the glass as half empty and distort the way you see things as always being negative. You see things as being catastrophic disaster, rather than a simple bump in the road.
You can’t take a compliment or feel uncomfortable with praise, thinking it’s untrue. This is because you don’t see your real self and over look the good aspects about yourself.
You fall apart when you make mistakes and give up or beat yourself up, instead of picking yourself up, learning from the mistake and continuing on the journey.
You destroy your happiness and relationships that matter to you
When you feel negative, you end up seeing only the negative in your life. You think your boss doesn’t like you, you expect to lose your job or you believe your partner is going to leave you.
When you expect the worst to happen, you act-out your fears by not turning up to work, putting off your goals or accuse your partner of things to destroy the relationship before they leave you.
You may do things to harm yourself or destroy yourself with drugs and alcohol to escape the negative feelings.
You can be jealous for no reason, because you think you’re not worth it, letting your insecurities kill your relationships
5. You draw negative conclusions
You jump to negative conclusions and make your mind up before examining the evidence or being open to learning alternative ways of seeing things
6. You externalise your feelings and blame others for them; you are critical of others
You think that your partner doesn’t care about you or doesn’t love you, assuming that they will leave you to find better, so you set out to prove this, pushing your partner away.
You are hard on yourself and imagine everyone is criticising you or having a go at you, so you react defensively, blaming or accusing others of things that you’ve concocted in your mind.
Because of how you see yourself, you misread things and think others have bad intentions towards you. You feel like the victim and others are the villains.
You project your negative feelings onto your partner and see the negatives in what they’re doing becoming critical of them. You look for things that reflect the way you feel about yourself and make it fit, even if it’s not true.
Your fears and anxieties can push loved ones away, seeing only the negative in them and complaining or being critical toward them. You think to yourself that they forgot to buy the milk because they’re inconsiderate, or they don’t care about you because they forgot to call you back.
Because you believe that others don’t like you, you might not bother with relationships, because you fear rejection.
You see your wife as attacking you, instead of offering you constructive feedback.
When you don’t feel loved, you may even protect yourself and become defensive, accusatory or attacking. You do this to protect yourself from the feeling unwanted, wrongly accusing others of not wanting you or rejecting you.
All of a sudden your partner feels pushed away and withdraws from you because they do not feel loved or accepted. In fact, you have blocked yourself off from receiving love from your partner, due to your internal saboteur which sabotages love.
A love saboteur is someone who destroys their chances of receiving and giving love to protect themselves from getting hurt.
You can end up acting-out in destructive ways to alleviate these feeling and repeat the pattern of feeling alone and rejection by doing so.
The real antidote to overcoming the self-saboteur requires accepting the feeling within yourself by recognising them and understanding how they get in the way of seeing yourself and others. This allows you to transform the pain, fostering insight and self-awareness.
Once you recognize the internal saboteur you can be aware of it, notice your triggers and become more open and curious about considering other ways of seeing things, rather than forming fixed conclusions. When you overcome your internal saboteur, you can have more control over yourself instead of resorting to self-sabotage.
Signs You’re A Relationship Saboteur & Ways You Sabotage Love
Relationship Saboteur Tactics That Can Push Love Away
If every relationship ends the same way and causes you to become anxious about being left gain, this can be a sign that you’re a relationship saboteur. If you’re struggling to find love or feel loved, and are afraid of rejection, then your fears could be pushing your partner away. So, what are the relationship sabotaging tactics that destroy your chances of love?
If you find yourself a naturally loving person and cannot understand why someone doesn’t love you back, then there may be a reason for this. Or, find out the reason why you feel your partner is distant towards you.
A relationship self-saboteur finds ways that protect themselves from feelings of abandonment or feeling not good enough, in ways that push their partner away.
You can push love away by protecting yourself from feeling rejected. You can sabotage yourself from getting the love you want.
If your a saboteur in relationships, you may identify with some of these behaviours that sabotage relationships.
6 Ways That Subconsciously Sabotage Your relationship:
Do you find yourself feeling jealous or insecure for no real reason
Maybe deep down insecurities are controlling your relationship, because you do not feel good enough and fear your partner leaving you.
It’s hard to connect with you if you’re anxious about your partner leaving you, fearing that they will find someone better. If you accuse them of not wanting you, you might be driving him/her away. Unknowingly, you may believe you do not deserve to be loved; despite the fact you want so much to be loved.
You can become threatened by another woman or man who you feel will steal your loved one, because somehow you feel not good enough, waiting for them to leave you. So, you sabotage your relationship to prevent them from leaving you.
You can accuse them of cheating or wanting someone else, when there is no real evidence, except your own fears of abandonment driving your thought processes.
You think your partner is causing your feelings of abandonment, instead of looking within.
If you have a fear of abandonment, you could be sabotaging your relationship and not realise it. Instead, you blame your partner or accuse them of causing you to feel abandoned, when they trigger your feelings deep within yourself.
When these feelings of being not good enough, or feeling abandoned, are outside of your awareness, you think that it is your partner causing you to feel this way.
You end up blaming your partner for how you feel, thinking that they’re abandoning you or rejecting you, by displacing your fears of abandonment onto them. You think they’re the person rejecting you, by reading into things that are not there, to prevent yourself feeling abandoned
You blame your partner and accuse them of things they haven’t even done, instead of being open and curious.
Your fears of losing your partner drive you into reading into things that do not exist, when you blame them and accuse them of things they haven’t even done. You become paranoid or suspicious that he/she will leave or cheat on you, so you question them or monitor them.
You find fault in your partner to escape feeling of not being good enough or abandonment.
You can protect yourself from how you feel by finding fault in the other person. Instead of locating these feelings deep within yourself, which stem from repressed childhood abandonment, you end up blaming them for how you feel.
You may attack the character of the person, accuse them of not caring about you, when they forgot to call.
You make your partner responsible for changing how you feel by changing their behaivour, instead of identifying your triggers
You attempt to change your partner, fix them, get them to be more loving towards you.
You can end up projecting your past wounds onto your partner and want them to pay for the hurt that past caregivers have caused you, even hurting them back. This is an attempt to make them responsible for hurting you and getting them to make up for it, as if they’re responsible for the pain that was done to you.
Putting your unmet needs of love onto your partner is an attempt to get them to make you feel better or feel loved. But, often this is too much for a partner to deal with, and pushes them away from loving you.
You perceive that it is your partner causing you to feel abandoned or unwanted, when they focus on their own lives and don’t focus on you.
If you prevent them from being themselves, they will become pushed away because they can’t be themselves around you or walk on egg shells around your feelings, because they have to cater to your needs to avoid you feeling abandoned. Eventually, they may feel controlled and want out of the relationship.
You threaten to leave to avoid feeling abandoned.
If you feel abandonment is imminent, you can threaten to leave, as a protest to bid for their attention, as a last attempt to escape feeling abandoned in order to get your partner back.
If the fear of abandonment is so pervasive, you can threaten to leave, before they can leave you. If you leave the relationship, then you don’t have to worry about them leaving you, so you kill the relationship.
Do you identify with these signs of relationship sabotaging behaviours and ways that destroy relationships?
I would like you to ask yourself – Is this fear of abandonment real or imagined? Are you sabotaging love because of your fear of abandonment? Are you looking into things that are not really there and accusing your partner of things they haven’t even done? Or, do you sabotage the relationship using these self saboteur tactics, causing them to leave you, or push them away to the point they cheat on you?
Why would you re-create the same destructive pathway all over again.
The more you externalise your feelings as being caused by someone else, by blaming your partner for how you feel, the more you do not address the feelings deep within yourself. You continue to repeat the pattern of abandonment in relationships.
When the other person feels accused for things or attacked for things they haven’t done, you drive them away. This self-sabotaging tactic will destroy your relationship, even though you think it protects your feelings or protects your relationship. This pattern enacts the original pain and repeats the pattern of feeling abandoned, until you acknowledge the feelings, deal with the pain and become unstuck from these destructive patterns that push love away. Overcome the relationship self-saboteur and transform your relationships.
How to tell if you are trauma bonded with an abuser
If you find yourself in a pattern of being magnetically drawn to toxic relationships then you could be trauma bonding with an abuser. In fact, you can overlook the signs of abuse, when they feel so madly in love. How can you tell if you are in a trauma bond with an abuser and recognize the signs of a trauma bond in an abusive relationship?
In order to recognize if you’re trauma bonding with abuser, you may notice that you will do whatever it takes to get the love from an abuser in order to escape the despair of feeling unloved or discarded. This is because love is a fundamental need, but why does a person seek love from an abuser?
How to detect if you’re trauma bonding with an abusive partner? Trauma bonding occurs as the result of ongoing cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates powerful emotional bonds that are resistant to change. Therefore, abuse is accepted with the reinforcement of love that can form a strong bond that is difficult to break. So how does the illusion of being loved camouflage the abuse?
In trauma bonding the attachment bond is so strong that it stops the victim seeing the abuse, confusing it for love.
In the love bombing stage of an abusive relationship, you can quickly feel deeply in love when you’re being idealised, when they hook you into the relationship.
Once you’ve been lured into a relationship with someone who confesses how much they love you, you don’t really notice the red flags of abuse when they slowly creep in. The feeling of love overrides everything else.
You can convince yourself that the insults or put downs can mean that he or she loves you so much, telling yourself that they’re just being honest with you.
When they turn the problem around to be your fault, you end up believing them because you trust them, more than you trust yourself or your judgement.
Slowly, you lose yourself because you feel your abuser knows you better than you, because you believe they love you so much.
Gradually, the abuse becomes accepted and tolerated, when you find ways to get them to love you. You’ll do whatever it takes to get the love you crave for, at the expense of yourself.
You can get hooked on the love bombing and want more. When you get abused you learn to behave so you get the love.
The actual truth is, the abuser often needs the relationship for supplies in order to fuel the empty void within themselves, or controls the relationship to make up for their own insecurities.
You can be punished if you don’t comply, forcing you to give into their every need, until you gradually become controlled and fear the person.
The neediness, possessiveness and jealously can be disguised as love. Their actual insecurity can look like he or she wants you so much, but in actual fact, it’s a way to control you.
In order to maintain the fantasy of being loved, you end up feeling sorry for them or want to help the person who is abusing you or controlling you. The more you focus on them, you lose sight of yourself.
It feels like love, but it is not real love. A person who loves you will not abuse you.
Signs of Trauma Bonding with an abuser
You deny or justify the abuse as being your fault, as though you deserved it.
You do not believe the threats, you think they’re just venting their frustration.
You feel a strong powerful bond that stops you seeing the actual person’s behaviour.
You interpret the abuse as signs of love – he wants to spend all his time with me
You see their best intentions and do not reconize the harm to you.
You want to fix your partner.
You hold onto the hope they can change, no matter what they’ve done to you.
You make escuses for your partner and placate their anger.
You stop expressing yourself, needs and wants to avoid conflict.
You end up walking on egg shells and pleasing them.
You listen to them because they love you.
You sacrifice your needs and wants to meet their needs.
You will be good and comply to feel loved and avoid being discarded or punished.
You eventualy submit out of fear
You fear leaving will escalate the abuse
What causes you to be trauma bonded in an abusive relationship?
If you survived childhood abuse or trauma, you may have learned ways to cope that allowed you to put the pain out of your awareness for safe keeping. You can feel loved if you don’t allow yourself to feel the hurt towards loved ones, so you can suppress painful feelings. It’s a survival need to feel loved and you’ll do whatever it takes to feel loved.
According to attachment theory, an emotionally attuned and loving attachment to a caregiver is required for the child to feel secure within themselves and their relationships. If their emotional needs were not met, the child feels insecure about themselves and relationships.
Feeling securely attached and loved is essential in obtaining self-love, otherwise the person keeps searching for love in whatever way worked with a care-giver. This search for unmet love can repeat itself into adulthood.
In order to derive the feeling of being loved the child learns to adapt their behaviour in particular ways in order to get the love that they need. These attachment strategies allows them to obtain the intermitted feeling of love from a care-giver.
Trauma bonding develops during the attachment bond that is created through repetitious abusive or traumatic childhood experiences that causes this pattern to become internalized as a learned pattern of behaviour.
If you related to your parent through a trauma bond, you’re familiar with adapting your behaviour to fit in with an abuser in order to get the love you needed from them. This may mean walking on egg shells to avoid conflict or pleasing them so you can feel loved.
It is easy to put the abuse outside of one’s awareness when you crave love from an abuser.
You can suppress yourself to accommodate the needs of an abuser in order to avoid their emotional outbursts. You can end up putting up with abuse in the hope of feeling loved.
If you had unmet needs of love, such as emotional neglect, or abuse, you can also develop feelings of love towards an abuser in relationships. Being drawn to an abusive partner allows you to vicariously stay attached to the parental abuser, with the hope of making up for unmet love.
You can sacrifice yourself for love, giving up your own needs in the never-ending conquest of finding love.
If you experienced abuse in childhood, the way you sought love can become a familiar pattern, being drawn to abusive partners in ways that feels familiar to you. This traumatic attachment bond allows you to become hooked on the toxic relationship by finding ways to get the love you long for.
But what happens when the other person discards you or abuses you? Once you experience the withdrawal of love, you end up chasing your abuser to get back the original feeling from the love bombing, going back to the abuser and ignoring the abuse altogether.
In trauma bonding with an abuser, you can end up minimising and denying the abuse, in the hope of getting love, when you’ve become emotionally dependent on an abusive relationship. The bond is so strong that you fear losing it and you will try hard to fix your partner.
The desire for love can be the perfect bait that an abusive narcissist hook into. When you’re meeting all their needs, you feel loved and good enough, which allows the abuse to continue.
If you internalised that you were not good enough then you can learn to please your abuser as a way to get the love you want. You end up attracting abusive partners with the wish to be good enough for them, so you get the love and approval you’re looking for.
Abuse can feel normal because it’s the internal bond that keeps you attached to the parental abuser, so that you do not face the underlying pain of abandonment.
Sometimes, it is hard to break the cycle of abuse with an abuser and face the feelings of abandonment, because it brings up the pain of the original longing, causing the person to find ways to re-attach themselves to the abuser. So, it feels more comfortable staying attached to the abuser through a toxic trauma bond, in order to hold onto the feeling of being loved.
Being attached through a trauma bond allows you to avoid facing the pain of unmet love in the hope that an abuser can make you feel good enough.
How to spot if you’re trauma bonding and how to fix it
A big clue that you’re trauma bonded with an abuser, is when you ignore the signs of abuse and mistake it for love.
Sometimes it is hard to give the relationship a reality check that it deserves. The real antidote to letting go of abuse is recognizing the signs of abuse.
You can recover by learning to trust your own judgement, identify the red flags of abuse and not let your need for love blind you into a fantasy that is not real love. If you ground yourself in reality, you can notice the signs of abusive and not confuse it for love.
You can tell if you’re trauma bonded with an abuser because the loving feelings are magnified and disprotioate to how the person really treats you. In a trauma bond you can overlook the abuse or controlling behaviour because you think it’s love.
If you learn to find love within yourself, you can give up the hope of obtaining unmet love and go for healthy relationship that you truly deserve. If you heal the attachment wounds deep down within yourself, you can rebuild yourself, while recognize the red flags of abuse, and not distort it as love.
How to recognize the red flags that are signs of a toxic relationship
How to tell if you’re in a toxic relationship
How do you know if you’re in a toxic relationship? Are you in a toxic relationship and convinced that the problem is you, by taking on board the negative criticisms of a toxic lover. It can be confusing when you are blamed to be the problem or told you have all the issues. What are the red flag signs you’re in a toxic relationship?
You may be in a toxic relationship and not aware of it. Toxic marriages can be deceptive, on the surface they can look perfect. But, often this is because it is easier to shut off from what is really happening, in order to avoid facing what is really going on.
How to spot the signs you’re in a toxic relationship
Is your partner envious or jealous of your success
Do you have a partner who acts polite but underneath they have envy and hate towards you? They may be secretly competitive or comparing themselves to you. Do they feel intense pain when you are successful or happy?
Many who feel unsatisfied with their life will hide how disappointed they feel when others have success or share good news. Toxic partners feel excruciating pain of feeling inadequate and they cover up by smiling, not say anything or comment on something negative to minimise their disappointment, to protect themselves from the painful hit to their self esteem.
They feel failure at other peoples success and it highlights how they’ve not met their own expectations. It seems unfair that others have done better, its a competition or a race to be best.
You cannot rise above them or they will crush you with destructive envy.
2. Do they criticise or devalue you to rise above you
If you’re in a toxic relationship with someone who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder , they can feel pleasure when they put down the success of others, by defeating them or making devaluing comments so they can rise above them.
So, they do not feel deflated or inadequate, they end up criticising others in order to modulate their fragile self esteem. They inflate their grandiosity to convince others of how good they are.
Since they feel superior, they openly disapprove others.
3. Toxic people turn the problem around to by your fault and cover their actions
Toxic people blame others for their mistakes and find ways cover up their actions so they’re never at fault. They will find a way to turn the problem around to be your fault.
They avoid the humiliation of shame induced judgement by distorting the truth and avoid taking responsibility to cover up their mistakes. They do this by finding fault in others, whom they blame for their shortcomings.
They lost their job because their boss was threatened by them, their ex partner was the crazy one, they cheated because you never gave them sex when they wanted it, you’re told that you should get over issues and not bring them up. It is always the other persons fault and they’re perfect.
4. Toxic people push their view to prove their right, not consider your point of view
You may be falsely convinced that they are always right, but they seek admiration when others need them as the expert for advice. They always know better than anyone else, feeling above others. When they see others as beneath them, they feel special and it takes away the deflating pain of the empty self.
5.They use you for their own agenda, while discard or bring you down if you expose them
These toxic lovers pretend to be Mr right in order to lure you into a relationship, in order to seek admiring supplies, but will discard you or devalue you, when their needs are not a priority.
They may even spoil your happiness or success, or talk you down. You are simply there to give them something they need, such as approval, money, sex, love, support.
After a date you may not hear from them unless they need something from you. They pretend to be interested in you as long as they’re getting something from you.
Before you enter a relationship you should know the red flags you’re in a toxic relationship.
Sometimes they just want someone to admire them or inflate the ego when it’s deflated. Other times, they stonewall or withdraw to avoid exposure of not being perfect. So, no one discovers who they really are.
They feel good by promoting themselves and focusing on themselves, and acquiring others in order to achieve their aims.
6. They portoray a false persona to mask who they really are.
The toxic relationship feels empty and vacuous since the toxic person cannot open up about themselves. They pretend things are fine, not revealing any weakness.
In narcissistic fusion, they will tell people what they want to hear, and mimic what they need, so they can obtain their own objectives. The truth will be revealed when they are unable to be emotionally available for the needs of others.
7. They have no empathy or no remorse.
They have no empathy or remorse for how they treat people, because they feel they have the right to behave in whatever manner meets their own needs, with no regards to others. When others fail to serve their expectations, they justify cheating or having affairs.
They portray themselves to be kind or pretend to have empathy so that people are there to give them what they need.
You are only wanted if you serve a need for them, otherwise your feelings do not matter.
8. The see everyone through their own behaviour
Toxic people project their sense of inadequacies onto others, by finding things wrong with others or finding fault in them to protect against these feelings. They are delusional and see everyone through their own projections, distorting the way they see others and relate to them.
They see others like them, the part they hide. They accuses others of cheating, being useless, being selfish or a fraud. You will be attacked or insulted for things that do not represent you, because that’s how they see you.
If you’re in a toxic relationship you can learn to not take on board the criticisms, but see the person for who they really are.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you might notice that toxic partner had parents who were envious and criticised or humiliated them, so they hide their real self.
Perhaps your partner had to measure up by doing what ever the parents wanted and being good at it. They felt like a failure if they didn’t meet their expections or needs.
Some were told they could do no wrong and the world re-evolved around their needs.
They will not take ownership and see the part they play in marriage problems. They will feel injured when issues are raised and turn it back on their partner for attacking them or criticising them. So the partner feels beaten down and gives up, feeling wrong.
If you detect you’re in a toxic relationship, you have to be careful taking on board negative feedback, which may not pertain to you. Your self-esteem can be diminished. If you can separate yourself from the abuser, you can protect yourself from destructive envy or toxic abuse. If you see the person as wounded, you can learn to let go of blame or feeling at fault for things that are not your fault.
If you cannot assertively express yourself or raise issues because you get abused, then perhaps you need to consider why you allow yourself to be in a toxic relationship, and find out how to have self-love within yourself. If you recognize these red flags that are signs for a toxic relationship then perhaps you need to do something about it.
How To Get Over Unrequited Love Or One-Sided Relationship
If you’ve ever passionately loved someone who didn’t love you back, then you understand the pain of getting over unrequited love. You can stay stuck in a loveless relationship and not let go to find real love, if you remain in denial about a dead-end relationship. You can prefer the company of a relationship that goes no-where. So, how do you get over unrequited love or a one-sided relationship, when you deeply love that person?
It can be devastating to realise that the person you love does not love you, so it can feel more comfortable to hold onto your hopes and dreams about the relationship.
If they truly love you, they will want you.
Wanting something more and holding onto hope can keep you stuck, because you’ve not accepted the truth to allow yourself to let go of unrequited love.
Not letting go of a one-sided relationship keeps you feeling more alone and rejected, creating more pain when you are stuck there.
Sometimes, it is hard to be honest with the situation. Your hopes and dreams can cause you to believe whatever you want, rather than see the truth.
In order to let go of unrequited love, you must accept the actual truth, that you love someone who is not in love with you, so you can move on with your life.
If the person you love doesn’t actually love you or doesn’t feel anything towards you, then it’s time to let go of your relationship.
You could be flogging a dead horse, by putting effort into a dead-end relationship when the feelings are not reciprocated.
Subconsciously, you can find it hard to let go of a one-sided relationship in order to avoid feelings alone or unwanted. You may stay stuck in a dead relationship as a way to get back the love you longed for in your childhood.
The antidote to letting go of unrequited love is working through these feelings, undoing the patterns from the past, and not holding onto false hope about the relationship.
You can hold yourself back when you stay stuck in requited love.
You cannot let go of someone who cannot love you for who you are, when you try to make them love you.
Perhaps its time to let go of wanting someone who is not yours anyway. You will be unhappy and feel more alone when your needs do not get met.
If you make your partner your entire focus of your life, you can lose yourself and feel more empty . So, how do you move on from unrequited love?
14 Ways to let go of unrequited love:
Acknowledge the truth and stop fooling yourself.
If the signs are clear, then do not waste anymore time on someone who is not ready for you.
Acknowledge the reality that the relationship is over.
Make the decision to let go and stop contact.
It makes it easier to move on if you don’t see their feeds on social media and not hear from them, so you don’t get drawn back. It can take you back into hoping for something that is not there.
Having constant reminders about your ex-partner can hold you back in the past, and prevent you from moving on with your life.
Seeing them on social media can make you feel worse. If you see them move on with someone else, it can hold you back from building your confidence and prevent you from moving on yourself.
Stop going backwards by reminding yourself of past memories together, re-living your hopes or dreams.
Manage the temptations of holding on to your ex-lover, by not getting drawn into false hope to rid yourself of feeling alone.
Feel the pain and loss.
Allow yourself to sit with the feelings and acknowledge them, so you can naturally allow yourself to grieve and let go.
Denying your feelings or staying stuck in anger can keep you from moving on, by holding on to your ex-lover.
Do not get caught in self-blame or wallowing in self-pity.
Instead of berating yourself for your part in any mistakes, learn from the part you played in the relationship, so you can heal your actual ‘self’ in order to break the cycle of repeating patterns.
Letting go means breaking up with your past.
Sometimes letting go of an ex-lover requires breaking up from your past patterns to effectively break the cycle
Work through the loss and underlying feelings in order to undo the past patterns so they do not repeat themselves.
7 . Manage the temptation to go back or message your ex-partner
Take your focus off your ex-partner with healthy distractions (exercise, visit a friend)
Remind yourself how destructive it is to hold onto a dead-end relationship that goes nowhere. Tell yourself what you will miss out on if you go back.
Remind yourself of the gains instead of the losses
When you catch yourself looking back at the relationship, remind yourself how holding on to requited love actually stops you from moving on with your life and finding real love.
Focus on yourself.
Get in touch with your ‘self’, by exploring your goals, outlets, friends and pursuits.
Make your ‘self’ the focal point for your happiness, not a relationship.
Rebuild a life for yourself, rather than make your happiness reliant on a relationship that gives you nothing. Build a stronger platform for yourself, rather than putting your self-worth in the hands of others.
Give yourself natural space and time to let go.
Allow yourself the time to process your emotions, reflect on your relationship, heal and learn from it, so you do not repeat the pattern.
Avoid escaping the pain with impulsive behaviours
Be careful about seeking instant comfort with drinking or moving on to partners too quickly, to avoid your feelings.
Its not healthy to jump straight into another relationship to escape the abandonment feelings.
Avoid texting when you are drunk to fill the empty void of loneliness.
You could be acting-out to rid yourself of your feelings, which can keep you stuck in grief and further hold you back.
Maybe it’s’ time to look at why you do not love yourself and seek love in others in the hope of feeling good about yourself. This pattern can cause you to stay in relationships longer than their use by date.
Embrace things that make you love your life and give back to yourself, before you give yourself up for others.
Embrace Real love. Discover your self-value and what you want from a relationship, and when you are truly ready go out there and get the relationship that you truly deserve – with caution.
These are the 14 stages to get over unrequited love.
You can’t force the horse to drink the water. The horse has to want to drink the water. Similarly, you can’t force someone to love you. So, why do you want them, if they do not want you, anyway?
If they do not love you for the person that you are, why do you love them?
Maybe you are wanting to fill the lonely void within yourself and fear being alone.
When you want someone who does not love you back, you put your happiness in the hands of others.
You can hold yourself back in a dead-end relationship that goes no-where, staying stuck in denial in order to avoid the dreaded feelings of not being good enough and fear of being alone.
If you let go of one-sided love, you can allow real love to enter your life and move on with your actual life, when you start giving love back to yourself. Break free from unrequited love so you can go for what you really want, and obtain real love in your life.
Love comes when you love yourself and feel deserving of finding real love in your life, rather than settling for someone to escape the void within yourself. If you do not let go of unrequited love then you can not make room for real love to enter your life.
Are you addicted to someone who doesn’t love you back?
When you crave love, you can’t live without it. Love is intoxicating when you chase someone who doesnt love you back. You can’t get enough of them, whereby you end up addicted to loving someone who doesn’t love you back.
Like an addiction, it all feels good at the beginning. Relationships can seem distorted through an altered perspective, when you’re hanging out for it.
It all feels good, until the intoxicating effects of the relationship wears off. After the rush and excitement, it all comes crashing down, until you want more to feel the same high.
You’ve become hooked on the relationship. But, what happens when the other person doesn’t want more? You can’t get enough of them, chasing them, waiting for the next feel good moment.
You can look to others to feel good about yourself, when you feel not good enough. You can project them to be everything you ever wanted. So, you end up getting hooked into feeling good about yourself, through the lens that you see them.
You can end up on a high from chasing someone who doesn’t love you back, due to the intoxicating feeling. The anticipation of seeing them excites you, and overrides ones sense of reality.
You may feel the urge for more, and they don’t want it. Somehow, you get drawn to a person who does not want you back. You’re addicted to the excitement of chasing them. When you pine over them, you want them more, so you can feel good again.
When you are craving for love, you might ignore the signs that you are not loved back. Having a love addiction can distort your perspective when you hold onto the hope or the fantasy of obtaining unmet love.
So, why are you addicted to someone who does not love you back?
As a relationship therapist, I hear the agony of unrequited love from those who feel stuck loving someone who doesn’t love them back. Love can hurt, when the love is not shared.
The pain of realizing that the other person doesn’t share these feelings can be executing to come to terms with.
It is easy to stay attached, be in denial and not accept the truth because it feels better than accepting the reality that the relationship could be over.
Love is an addiction, love can feel good, even if it’s not good for you.
You do not want to acknowledge the actual truth, because you do not want to be alone, so you’ve created this fantasy that you are loved.
You can project your hopes and fantasies onto them, feeling intense passion, that is one-sided. You see them as whatever you want them to be, to fulfil you unmet needs.
You can look to others to feel good about yourself, when you feel not good enough. So, you end up getting hooked into feeling good about yourself, through the lens that you see them
You ignore the signs that love is one-sided, because you cannot stop yourself from holding on. You can end up chasing them and put effort into a dead end relationship that goes no where.
They may even tell you the relationship is over, but you do not believe them.
You may even be misguided to think that if you fight for the relationship, you will convince them to love you back. Like an addict, you’ll do what ever it takes to get that high.
Having an addiction to unrequited love means you hold onto those who do not love you, because it feels better than getting over them.
It can feel worse to go without – temporally.
Dealing with someone who doesn’t love you
Loving someone who doesn’t love you back diminishes your self-worth and self-esteem, so you feel worse about yourself. This can cause many to put more effort into a dead-end relationship that goes nowhere.
Sometimes, it is hard to be honest with the situation. Your hopes and dreams can cause you to believe whatever you want, rather than see the truth.
You end up addicted to someone who doesn’t love you back. The only way to recover is to withdraw from the relationship
The truth is, you’ve become addicted when you get hit with the intoxicating feelings, so that you end up wanting more. It can be hard to give up something that feels good, but is not good for you. So you settle for someone to escape the empty void within yourself, of feeling not good enough from unmet love. When you stop looking externally to feel good about yourself, and look within yourself, you can heal the addiction of loving someone who doesnt love you back.
How A Victim Mentality Can Self-Sabotage And Ruin Your Life.
It can be depressing to be around someone who is always negative, and constantly finds things wrong or complains about everything. Those who possess a victim mentality self-sabotages and ruins their life, because they feel they do not deserve the good things in life, leading them to find things wrong with their life.
Having a victim mentality self-sabotages and ruins a person’s life, when they look at the glass half empty as a reflection for what is really going on deep down inside, within themselves.
Sometimes, pointing out that you do not think things are that bad, or offering them some hope, can feel like you do not understand them, so they will complain more to show you how miserable they are.
If you offer a solution, they will give you another problem to that solution, to make excuses for why nothing will work out.
Nothing you say will help because they have a self-defeating attitude or a mentality that they are the victim which sabotages their life.
Somehow, there is some masochistic pleasure in seeking support while being in crisis because a person gets love and support.
It’s not our job to rescue people who do not want to save themselves. All we can do is be there, and ensure the negativity doesn’t rub off on us. If we get caught up in trying to make them feel better, we can get caught in the chaos and go down with them.
The best antidote to helping someone who lacks gratitude and self-love, is to point out directly that no matter what you say, they always find excuses or find things wrong. Once they can see they’re caught up in the victim mentality, they can own their actual behaviour, and see how self-defeating it actually is.
So how do you know whether you are self-sabotaging with a victim mentality that is ruining your life?
How To Recognise If A Victim Mentality Is Self-Sabotaging And Ruining Your Life
Behaviours that ruin your life when you feel like a victim
Your internal critic tells you that you don’t deserve the good things in life, that you’ll be rejected or someone else will get the job. You end up sabotaging the things you want in life, so you do not get them.
You feel like a victim of circumstance. Bad things always happen to you, so you expect it, or give up before you try. It feels inevitable that things will not work out, so why bother putting the effort in.
Signs your ruining your life with a self-sabotaging Victim mentality:
You do not take action or you give up.
You find any possible reason why it’s not going to work out, making excuses and giving up before you get started.
It’s not fun to put effort into something if you are not confident it will work out.
You lack self-confidence and self-belief
You don’t believe in yourself, causing you to not follow through on your ideas. You put things off, find excuses, avoid being accountable, find escape routes or coast along, rather than live life.
You let others take control over your life
You let others tell you how to live your life, since you feel that they know more than you. By following others, you do not take control of your own life.
If you put your life in the hands of others, you have no control of your life. You do not take responsibility for your actions and blame others when things go wrong.
You let negative self-beliefs sabotage your choices in life.
You settle for things in life which support how you see yourself, not feeling good enough.
You deplete yourself until you need support.
You run around trying pleasing everyone, to the detriment of yourself, until you hit a crisis and need to be rescued. You stop functioning for yourself when you are running on empty. Then it is everyone else’s fault because you carried them and forgot to think about yourself. Then you can blame them for not meeting your needs, when you didn’t meet your own needs.
You feel bitter and resentful that your not living your life.
You end up meeting the needs of others because you fear being alone. You give to everyone else, but you are not there for yourself. You don’t focus on yourself but living everyone else’s life, rather than live your own. When your life falls apart, you end up bitter and resentful at life, not feeling in control.
You feel good when pleasing everyone else, rather than focusing on yourself. You rely on your happiness coming from others, rather than fulfilling your own self. You can feel like a martyr, but you’re not there for yourself.
You make excuses for why you give up to avoid the fear of failing, being judged or being rejected.
You make excuses or justify why things will not work out, sabotaging your chances because you do not want to put yourself out there to go for what you want and risk failure.
You end up escaping the fear of rejection, avoiding failure or being judged. You are avoiding your feelings of not being good enough, but actually end up feeling worse, when you give up and never get to where you want in life.
You engage in self-destructive coping behaviour.
You seek instant relief when you’re not feeling good about yourself, so you attempt to feel better by engaging in addictions, affairs or other self-defeating behaviour.
You end up destroying yourself and ruining your life by running away from these unwanted feelings.
You beat yourself up or self-punish.
You attack yourself with self-blame, punish yourself and berate yourself when things go wrong, when you feel like victim by self-sabotage and ruining your life.
In childhood, you can internalise the belief that there is something wrong with you when you felt unlovable. By holding onto the internal critic within yourself, you can end up acting-out these self-loathing feelings with self-destructive behaviour that works against you.
You may not see the self-critic deep within you, when you lack self-love, this is because you are the master at running away from your feelings with self-sabotaging behaviours.
You self-sabotage by giving up on yourself and making excuses, in order to run away from how you feel about yourself.
If you’re a victim, it is always someone else’s fault.
The actual truth is, that you are your own worst critic, and you let your internal saboteur shoot you in the foot.
You feel like a victim because nothing ever goes your way. The truth is, you blame life, others or situations for things that go wrong, rather than looking at how you run away to escape the feeling of not being good enough.
By ignoring your internal-critic you will continue to self-sabotage, unless you deal with the critical part of you.
Living within the victim mentality will sabotage you and ruin your life, if you let these feelings take over and impact you. You can ruin your life with a victim mentality and sabotage yourself.
Having a victim mentality can sabotage and ruin your life, when you do not allow yourself to deserve the good things in life, finding things wrong with your life by complaining and seeing the glass half empty. If you’re a victim, it’s everyone else’s fault, you find excuses or you blame life for things that go wrong. You can end up ruining your life when your inner self-critic sabotages you
If you ever found yourself unable to break free from trauma bonding in an abusive relationship? When you cannot break away from a trauma bond, it is easy to confuse abusive as love and become stuck in an abusive relationship. There may have been several reasons why you couldn’t break the chains of trauma bonding.
What is trauma bonding? The Stockholm Syndrome depicts those who were kept hostage who developed strong feelings for their captors, forming a bond that allowed them to feel rewarded when they were kept alive. Therefore, pleasing an abuser kept them feeling safe, by forming an attachment to them, while denying the trauma in order to cope with the life-threatening situation. Therefore, blocking out the trauma and staying attached to an abuser allows a survival mechanism to kick in.
In trauma bonding this same coping mechanism allows the victim to stay attached to the abuser in an abusive relationship. These self-protective coping mechanisms or defences prevent the victim from recognizing the abuse, preventing them from breaking free from trauma bonding.
Have you ever found yourself drawn to abusive relationships and haven’t been able let go? When you’ve been longing for love, you can become captivated by the charms of someone abusive and believe that you are being loved, ignoring the signs of abuse.
How to detect if you are trauma bonding in an abusive relationship?
If you’ve fallen in love quickly, and all of sudden found your partner to act abusively towards you, then you can be trauma bonding with an abuser, especially if you felt so attached and you couldn’t break away from the toxic relationship.
In a healthy relationship the love builds gradually once you connect to your partner and get to know them. It is not always so intense and heated at the beginning.
If you are becoming attached through trauma bonding you might notice that the feeling of love is magnified and feels so intense, so you believe you have strong feelings for that person. But, this bond can blind you from the abuse, when you attach through the wound.
When you find yourself putting up with abusive behaviour and cannot let go, you are most likely relating through a trauma bond due to past childhood attachment wounds.
Trauma bonding occurs when the attachment relationship is created through repeated abusive exposure with a caretaker, causing this abusive relationship to become internalized as a learned pattern for attachment.
If you experienced abuse from a caregiver then you may have learned to associate love with abuse. You might feel attached to your abusive caretaker when they give you love and approval, so you learned how to adapt your behaviour to meet their needs.
If you were abused as a child, you might have felt berated, abandoned and unworthy for misbehaving and upsetting your parent. Deep down, you believed that it‘s your fault for causing trouble. So, you wanted to make it up to them so that you can to feel attached and good enough. You pleased the caregiver in order to comply to their needs in order feel the love you wanted from them.
You inherently believe that you are ‘bad’ and deserve the punishment, so you want to be ‘good’ for your abuser, so that you can feel loved. You become drawn to abusive partners where you replay this pattern.
You may not always be aware that you feel this way, because the feelings are deep in the subconscious.
You can end up taking the blame for abuse, believing it is all your fault for misbehaving, and end up pleasing the abusive partners in order to feel good enough for them, and avoid the abuse.
The wish for reunion with the loved object actually ends up destroying you, reliving the abuse that was already done to you. The hope for unmet love becomes the fantasy that blinds you and prevents you from protecting yourself.
When you blame yourself or think something is wrong with you, you end up believing the abuser and putting up with the abuse, because you’ve internalised that it is all your fault.
You relive this pattern of putting up with abusive relationships in order to be reunited with the internal parental abuser.
A woman who felt loved by a narcissistic father feels drawn to men who violate her, because it ties her with the love that she received from her father. She wishes that she could get the love he gave her in the form of trauma bonding with abusive partners. Many individuals will connect with their partner through the wound, by trying to get back the love they yearn for. In this way, they stay trapped in their past and are unable to move on, until they let go of these patterns in relationship counselling.
A woman may feel good pleasing an abusive partner and meeting all his needs in order to avoid the fear of losing him and not getting the love she yearns for. When she pleases him she feel good about herself and loved, forgetting about the actual abuse.
If you were abused, then, you most likely felt unworthy or blamed yourself as the problem. It’s easy to put up with abuse and blame yourself, if you hold onto these negative views about yourself.
If you believe you are the person at fault and blame yourself, then the abuse becomes a form of self punishment for the things you do wrong.
When you’ve internalised the repeated abuse from a caretaker, you can end up abusing yourself by being addicted to abusive relationships, destroying your actual self.
In order to feel loved with the abusive caretaker, you end up denying the abuse by burying the pain and turning this anger towards yourself, as a form of self-hatred.
To protect your relationship with the caretaker, you internalise the abuse inside yourself, so it forms the way you feel about yourself.
Internalising the abuse can distort how you see yourself, believing you are not worthy. This is not your true self, and gets in the way of moving forward, unless you work on yourself.
You put up with things that are destructive towards you, since you believe it is what you deserve. You have no other template for love.
You can end up repeating this pattern of protecting the abuser, so that you feel loved by avoiding abuse in relationships.
Protecting yourself from the abuse may have helped you to survive your childhood, but it works against you now.
As long as a partner is abusing you, you do not have to beat yourself up, because they already do.
Attracting an abuser keeps you attached to the parental abuser, in the hope of being loved within the trauma bond.
When you justify the abuse by blaming yourself, you end up denying the abuse. Like the child, you protect your abuser, so that you can feel attached.
You end up living the fantasy of being loved, which is much more preferable then not being loved at all.
If you became aware of the abuse, this would stir up the original feelings of abandonment from the lost love object. Therefore this would be defended against by denying it and blaming yourself.
Breaking the trauma bonds
If you let go of this fantasy that you are loved, it will bring you closer to the fear of losing the loved object, awakening the feeling of not being good enough, and reactivating the same attachment pattern with the abusive parent. So, you cannot let go of the abuser, and must be good to get them back. It feels like survival.
The person being abused cannot let go of her abuser due to the trauma bond. This is why it’s difficult to break the chains of the trauma bond, because the person feels abandoned when they are not closely attached to the abuser.
Love is not meant to be abusive, it is not supposed to be based on pleasing someone, but being yourself. Mastering self-love means letting go of the ties to the abusive parental object, in order to free yourself from the abusive attachment patterns of seeking love and approval.
How to break free from the trauma bond?
Breaking free from the trauma bond means acknowledging that the relationship is abusive. You will not feel safer if you please your abuser, nor will you get the love you are looking for.
The survival mechanisms protect you from recognizing the abuse, so denial sets in, and this can keep you stuck in an abusive cycle, rather than doing something about it.
Minimising the abuse and placating the anger only keeps you stuck in the cycle of abuse.
Change occurs by letting go of the trauma bond and breaking the fantasy that you are loved, and seeing the relationship for what it really is.
Replace the relationship with things you love, invest in yourself, so you can rebuild your life, and let go of toxic bonds that destroy you.
Ask yourself what you are getting out of the relationship and how being abused makes you feel, so honour yourself.
Break the trauma bonds by reaching out to your supports and remind yourself that you are not to blame.
Seek therapy to help yourself to break free from the trauma bond and rebuild yourself
Breaking free from a trauma bond in an abusive relationship will bring up the associated pain of losing the loved object, but it is necessary in order to move forward and rebuild ones life.
The antidote for change is working on yourself in order to overcome the negative self beliefs that bind you with the abuser.
Staying in an abusive situation will not make you safe, it will expose you to more abuse and diminish your sense of self. Furthermore, it can be far worse if you expose your child to abuse, because the trauma bonds repeat themselves.
When the old survival mechanisms kick in, it causes the victim to placate the actual abuser and put up with abuse. It inevitability exposes them to more abuse, rather than making it safe for them.
How to break the cycle of abuse in trauma bonding
Breaking free of trauma bonding means breaking the denial that prevents you seeing the abuse, overcoming the patterns of attachment to an abuser, stop meeting their needs to feel loved and letting go of the fantasy of being loved. Breaking free from toxic abuse means loving yourself and protecting yourself from abuse.