Recovery is a life change. It's not a quick fix to get out of pain like Ativan or Xanax. Read More
I can testify to the yearning we experience when someone we love threatens to leave or hurts us. We are drawn towards the abuser, not away. It defies common sense and if we are yielding to emotions as our guides, we’ll go right back to the abuser because that is our pattern. That is our part in the dysfunction. That is our unconscious 'pull to the perpetrator' and only we can change it.
We can learn about pathological relationships, but the question is: can we change ‘our’ behavior? Well, as you write, we can’t change what we can’t see so the ONLY way to live a gentle life is to be rigorously honest with ourselves and commit to doing the hard work. The truth is that for many of us, recovery will be a life-long process. However, most of us would have walked through fire to please a pathological partner. Why aren't we willing to commit to the same effort for ourselves?
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Sandra L. Brown, M.A., is CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education.
Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?