Over the past month or more we have been talking about healing from pathological relationships and what is involved in that. It requires that you face the damage that has been done and recognize any stress disorders or PTSD that you might have now from the relationship. Then it requires that you change your life in order to heal--change your environment physically and learn how to develop a life style that helps you heal emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and sexually. Today, we're going to talk about the sexual effects of pathological and dangerous relationships. (To read past issues of our newsletters about this subject, go to our website.)Last few weeks we have talked about the spiritual effects of a pathological relationship. Ironically, the sexual effects are also often spiritual effects. That's because alot of the spiritual effects have to do with attaching and bonding on many levels--including spirtually.  In a spiritual sense, we have been designed to bond during sexual experiences. Especially women.

(WARNING--THIS IS GONNA GET GRAPHIC!!)....recent hormonal and sexual studies have indicated that orgasms achieved during sex, release the same brain chemicals that are released during BONDING with your baby! This phenominal aspect gives great insight into WHY it's so hard to leave a relationship even if it IS dangerous. Many of the dangerous man types are hyper-sexual--so there is ALOT of sex. Alot of sex = alot of opportunities for sexual bonding through orgasm/hormone stimulation.

Women are by nature, NOT abandoners. Those they 'attach' to or 'bond' to--they stay with. So the more bonded you feel to him, the less likely you are to leave. The more sexually attached (when often feels like spiritually attached) you are, the more confusing it is to detach.Additionally, many pathologicals who are hyper-sexual bring to the relationship alot of deviancy. For the first time in you life, you may have been exposed to sexual behaviors or aspects that you have never experienced. Since pathologicals are great at manipulation, guilt, and rewarding your loyalty, you may have been coerced into sexual behaviors that violated your own morality or normal sexual boundaries.

Perhaps pornography, sexual acts you were uncomfortable with, group sexual experiences, relationship rape, or other sexual violations. Additionally, most pathologicals in their hyper-sexuality are NOT monogamous so maybe you have acquired an STD from him.These deep soul wounds harm more than just your emotions--it harms you spiritually and infiltrates your sexual identity. Women often feel so 'perverted' in what they have experienced they feel like they have to stay with him because no 'normal' or 'healthy' man would want her after what she has 'done' in the sexual relationship with him. In some relationships, true sexual addiction may have occurred. You may feel like you are addicted to him, the sex with him, or sex with anyone.  What you have experienced IS sexual abuse within the relationship. However, pathologicals have the wonderful way of making you feel like a willing participant or that it's YOUR deviancy he is responding to sexually.

Remember--they twist and pervert every aspect of truth.The sexual side effects of the relationship can contribute to your overall stress disorder or PTSD. It is an aspect that should be treated in order to re-claim your sexual identity. Untreated, your skewed sexual identity can cause you to continue to sexually act out, continue to cooperate in his sexual deviancy, use drugs/alcohol to numb out your painful feelings, cause increased PTSD symptoms/anxiety/depression or leave you despondent to stay in pathological relationships out of a sense of feeling 'dirty' or 'unworthy' of healthier relationships. It can also impact your spirtuality--driving you away from the solace and help you find in your own connection to God.

From this standpoint, the ONLY way to live a gentle life is to heal your sexual side and to see the damage done to sexuality as part of the overall picture of the after-effects of a dangerous and pathological relationship. Please talk to your counselor about the sexual effects of your relationship.

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know.  The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships.  Information about pathological love relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions.  See the website for more information).

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Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.
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About the Author

Sandra L. Brown, M.A.

Sandra L. Brown, M.A., is CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education.

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