–Falling in love occurs to us–usually before we really understand our spouse. It occurs to us because we are at the mercy of unconscious forces, commonly called”chemistry.” Do not judge yourself for loving someone who does not treat you with respect and care, due to the time the connection turns abusive, you are attached and wish to keep your relationship and love. There might have been indications of abuse in the beginning which were overlooked since abusers are good at seduction and wait till they know we are hooked before showing their true colours. By then, our love is cemented and does not die easily. It’s tough to leave an abuser.  It is possible and even likely to know we are unsafe and love an abuser. Research indicates that even victims of violence generally experience seven episodes before permanently leaving their spouse.It may feel humiliating to keep in an abusive relationship. People who don’t know ask why we love someone abusive and why we stay. We don’t have great answers. However, there are legitimate reasons. Our motives are outside our control and awareness, because we are wired to attach for survival. These instincts control our feelings and behaviour.Denial of Abuse to Survive If we {} treated with regard to our loved ones and have low self-esteem, we’ll often deny abuse.  We won’t expect to be treated better than how were commanded, demeaned, or penalized by a parent.  Denial does not mean we do not know what is happening. Rather, we minimize or rationalize it or its impact. We may not realize it is actually abuse. Research shows we deny for survival to remain connected and procreate for survival of the species. Truth and feelings that would ordinarily endanger love are lessened or twisted so that we overlook them or blame ourselves to be able to keep loving. By appeasing our spouse and linking to love, we stop hurting. Love is revived and we feel secure.When we fall in love, if we have not worked through injury from our youth, we are more vulnerable to idealizing our spouse when dating. It’s very likely that we’ll seek out somebody who reminds us of a parent with whom we have unfinished business, not mandatory of our opposite-sex parent. We might be drawn to someone who has aspects of both parents. Our unconscious is trying to fix our previous by reliving it in the hopes that we will master the situation and get the love we did not get as a kid. This helps us overlook signs that would be predictive of trouble.Following an abusive episode, often there is a honeymoon period. The abuser may find connection and behave romantic, apologetic, or remorseful. Regardless, we are relieved that there is peace for the time being. We believe promises it won’t ever happen again, because we want to and because we are wired to attach. The breach of the psychological bond feels worse than the abuse. Often the abuser professes to love us. We want to believe this, and feel confident about the connection, hopeful, and adorable. Our denial offers an illusion of security. This is known as the”Merry-Go-Round” of denial which occurs in alcoholic relationships following a bout of drinking followed by promises of sobriety.Low Self-Esteem As a result of low self-esteem, we consider that the tiger’s belittling, blame, and criticisms, which further decrease our self-esteem and confidence in our own senses. They intentionally do so for electricity and control. We are brainwashed into believing we have to change to be able to make the relationship work. We blame ourselves and strive harder to meet up with the abuser’s demands. We might interpret sexual overtures, crumbs of kindness, or only lack of abuse as signs of love or hope that the relationship will improve. Thus, as trust in ourselves decreases, our idealization and love for an abuser stay intact. We might even doubt that we can find anything better.A lot people have compassion for the abuser, but not for ourselves. We’re unaware of our needs and would feel ashamed requesting them. This makes us vulnerable to manipulation when an abuser plays the victim, exaggerates guilt, shows guilt, blames us, or discussions about a troubled past (they generally have one). Our compassion feeds our refusal system by providing justification, rationalization, and minimization of the pain we endure. Most sufferers hide the abuse from relatives and friends to protect the abuser, both from compassion and shame about being mistreated. Favorable Factors Undoubtedly the abuser and the connection have positive aspects that we miss or enjoy, particularly the early love  and great times. We remember or look ahead to their recurrence if we remain. We imagine if only they would control their anger, or agree to get help, or just change one thing, everything will be better. This is our refusal.Often abusers are also great providers, provide a social life, or have particular talents.  Narcissists can be exceedingly interesting and charming.  Many partners claim that they like the narcissist’s business and lifestyle regardless of the abuse. People who have a borderline personality can light up your life with enthusiasm… when they are in a fantastic mood.  Sociopaths can pretend to be anything you need… for their particular purposes. You won’t realize what they are up to for some time.As soon as we get occasional and unpredictable positive and negative intermittent reinforcement, we keep trying to find the positive. It keeps us addictively hooked. Partners might be emotionally inaccessible  or have an avoidant attachment style. They may sometimes want closeness. After a wonderful, romantic day, they pull away, shut down, or are abusive. When we do not hear from the individual, we become anxious and keep searching for closeness. Especially people with a personality disorder might intentionally do so to control and manipulate us with rejection or withholding. Then they randomly meet our requirements. We become addicted to searching for a favorable reaction. With time, periods of withdrawal are longer, but we are trained to stay, walk on eggshells, and wait and hope for relationship. This is known as”injury  bonding” because of repeated cycles of abuse where the intermittent reinforcement of punishment and reward generates psychological bonds that resist change. We might completely shed ourselves hoping to please and not displease the abuser. Bits of kindness or closeness feel even more poignant (such as make-up gender ) because we are starved and are relieved to feel loved. This feeds the Cycle of Abuse.Abusers will turn on the charm if you threaten to leave, but it is just another temporary ploy to reassert control. Expect to experience withdrawal once you depart . When we feel completely under the control of the abuser and can not escape from physical harm, we could create”Stockholm Syndrome,” a term applied to captives. Any act of kindness or even lack of violence feels like a sign of friendship and being cared for. The abuser appears less threatening. We imagine we are buddies and can love the abuser, believing we are in this together. This occurs in intimate relationships which are not as perilous because of the energy of chemistry, physical attraction, and sexual bonding. We are loyal to a fault. We wish to protect the abuser whom we are attached to instead of ourselves. We feel guilty talking to outsiders, leaving the connection, or calling the police. Outsiders who attempt to assist feel threatening. By way of instance, advisers and Twelve-Step Programs may be seen as interlopers who”want to brainwash and separate us.” This strengthens the poisonous bond and isolates us from aid… what the abuser wants!Measures You Can Take If you are feeling trapped in a connection  or can not get over your ex:Seek support and expert help. Attend CoDA meetings. Get advice and challenge your refusal. Report violence and take action to protect yourself from violence and psychological abuse. When you overlook the abuser or are longing for attention, in your head substitute the parent whom you are projecting on your spouse. Write about and grieve that connection. Satisfy your wants . Learn how to place  boundaries. Take steps to enhance the connection using Dealing with a Narcissist…and Difficult People. Get Breakup Recovery and How to Increase Your Self-Esteem. ©Darlene Lancer 2019– If you think in the work we’re doing here at The Great Men Project, please join like-minded people in The Great Men Project Premium Community. ◊♦◊Get the best stories from The Great Men Project delivered right to your inbox. ◊♦◊We’ve pioneered the biggest worldwide conversation about what it means to be a fantastic person in the 21st century. Your support of our work is inspirational and valuable. The Great Men Project is an Amazon.com affiliate. If you store via THIS LINK, we’ll find a small commission and you’ll be supporting our Mission while still obtaining the excellent products that you would have bought, anyway! Thank you for your continuing support! ◊♦◊

Undoubtedly the abuser and the connection have positive aspects that we miss or enjoy, especially the early love and good times.

The article Why You Can Love an Abuser appeared on The Great Men Project.

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Ask Dr. Nerdlove: If I Hold Out for Something Better?

I am having trouble handling the many impulses between my connection, my livelihood, my balls and my thoughts.

For a timeline: I have been dating this woman for 7 months now. Due to a family divorce and job relocation conditions, we are essentially living together today and have signed a year lease.

One on one, she is very enjoyable to be around. We are both flirty and weird with one another, are extremely experimental in bed and love doing daring things together. When I am with her it seems like nothing else matters; we are literally like kids together most nights. Her character and character are admirable: she has made me aware of my own shortcomings, has taught me the value of creating a shared story with someone I trust and her optimism is infectious. However there are two triggering scenarios that make me rethink my relationship situation:

Firstly, I always see pictures of other women and feel like I’m settling. I will admit there are angles and clothes and lifestyle changes that she works to her advantage, but sometimes it {} feel like enough. She is acutely aware of me feeling this way, as I am bad at hiding feelings, and blames my feelings on the entire’Tinder creation’ if there always being something greater. She might have a point, but to what level should I suppress this urge?

Secondly, to add fuel to the self fire, I recently got a big job promotion and will be in earnings. It is a tough enough job as it is, where I will need to be focused and sophisticated with my social interactions, but it also provides me a massive ego boost. I believe that the money, status and chances I will be presented with will be last feeding the monster within me that desperately needs all of the spoils life offers, which would contradict a monogamous relationship. I am 24, and while I have screwed many women already, I have become such a high quality person and feel that I deserve more.

Can you help me know if this is something many men feel? If so, how long is it before I can not take it anymore? Meanwhile, what can I do to keep myself satisfied with her?

Alright SDSF, I am gonna be blunt: it seems to me as if you’re searching for a reason to dump her without feeling bad about it. And if that is the case, then yes, you must break up with her. For her sake, not yours.

I mean shit dude, you are already hurting her. How you have been conveying the concept of”You are great but I believe I could do better” is a pretty shitty thing to do to someone you care for, even though she is blaming it on”the Tinder generation” rather than your having a watch out for the newer, sexier version.

So straight talk: yes, you are settling. It does not matter who you date, whether it is your present girlfriend or some unspeakably sexy Instagram model: you are always going to be settling. That is because nobody will get everything they want in a relationship. There are always going to matters that you’re going to need to let go of to maintain a relationship with someone. It could be accepting the person you’re dating is not as sexually adventurous as you would like and so there will not be some threesomes or sex clubs in your future together. It might be that they are not a bikini model and rather are a lovely but-not-unearthly-gorgeous individual. It might be that they are unspeakably beautiful but are not ambitious or do not have a lot of intellectual curiosity or won’t do monogamy. There are always going to be tradeoffs when you commit to a relationship with somebody; you need to recognize what you do get is so amazing that it makes up for the fact that you are not getting those other things.

Now going by that metric, it seems like your girlfriend more than meets that standard. You describe all of the ways that things are great… except for the fact that she does not quite stroke your self as arm candy. And look my dude, I’m not gonna say that you are bound to date her or anybody to show that you are not shallow, but if the problem you are having is that you are worried she is not hot enough to impress your friends then that is a you trouble, not a her difficulty.

The other issue is that you are doing something I have seen plenty of men do in your position: you are throwing off happiness you do have for the possibility of getting something better — something that is not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination. You have gotten the promotion and salary bump but that does not automatically interpret”and now I have access to sexier women” You are going to be the identical person that you are now, with the identical social skills. If the only difference is that you are going to be talking to people who are more impressed by cash or standing… well, good, but you will mostly be attracting people that are into money or status. And speaking strictly for myself, if someone’s only interested in a version of me that is precisely the same but with bigger digits in my bank balance, that is someone I would rather not be dating.

In actuality, many times the very same guys who have been in your position and put aside their existing relationships to be able to”trade up” (as it were) have begun to regret iteven if they date someone who’s physically sexier or more ego-polishing, they still realize that it does not compensate for what they lost in the procedure.

But hey, if you believe you deserve, then that is your call chief. But I will tell you now that aspect of things will make it impossible for you to”keep yourself satisfied with her.” If you would like to remain with her, then everything you will need to do is begin actually appreciating what you have, how she makes you feel and what she brings to this relationship and stressing about the proverbial two in the bush. The more you can concentrate on what you like about your relationship with the more thankful you can be for what you have, the more satisfied you will be.

But if you are always saying”you are great, but I believe I could do better,” then all you are doing is condemning your connection and her feelings into a death by a thousand cuts. At which point, you would be better off simply breaking her heart today rather than slowly bleeding it dry over time; at the way she will have an opportunity to get over you faster and without unnecessary pain.

However, they don’t all bring you lasagna at work.

Dear Dr. NerdLove,

First I’d like to say I am from a South Asian country. We take relationships seriously and culturally. I have a girlfriend (4 months affair). She’s my first love. But she had a boyfriend and I am her second love. I am really suffering that I couldn’t be her first love. She informs it and I am actually feeling that. She always tells I am far better than him and she says”nobody loved me as you do”. We’ve got good sexually and emotionally love life. She’s totally happy with me. But I am really suffering.

I feel as she lies to me since she does not like to broke my heart and she secretly love her ex because it’s’first love matters’. Sometimes I ask her that she recalls her ex. But I can not believe it. I truly love her and I can not even feel that she’s considering another man even for an instant.

Dude, if you love her, then you want to shut the hell up and trust.

I will give it to you straight: pretty much anyone you date will have a history. The older you get, the less likely it’ll be that you are going to be a person’s”first”. And that is fine. There is no prize for being someone’s first love, somebody’s first connection, somebody’s first sexual encounter. It does not magically confer significance on the connection that nobody else will ever match or outdo. I mean, fuck dude, you know this because she has already told you about how her first boyfriend fucking cheated on her and dumped her. That is such a low goddamn bar that you clear you could roller-skate it over.

And here you’re agonizing about the fact that somebody else was there.

Here is another thing about firsts: they are almost never”continues”. However badly one’s culture takes connections, the reality is that the huge bulk of the population does not remain with their first spouse until death do they part. While it does happen — I have a buddy who has been with his wife because they were 13 — it is rare enough that you shouldn’t be betting the farm on it. Hence the fact that you aren’t somebody’s first only suggests that the chances are better that you two may be able, the experience, the perspective and the emotional maturity to go the distance.

But NOT when you are sitting there, telling someone that you love that she is a liar when she states that she loves you and only you.

This ai not about love, chief. This is all about insecurity. This is all about you worrying that you don’t step up and that she is going to leave you for someone else as motives. And I am here in the future to tell you that this is precisely what’s going to happen if you do not quit throwing her previous relationships in her face. You want to either accept that she is being directly when she tells you that she loves you and cares for you and wants to be with you, or you will need to prepare for the break-up which will be coming down the pike.

Rather than dealing with if she loves you or not — accept that she’s telling you the truth — you will need to work on your own self-esteem and your sense of self worth. I believe the best thing you can do for yourself is to find yourself a counselor or therapist and begin unpacking these insecurities you have, until they detonate something great you have on your life.

Dear Dr. NerdLove,

I wrote to you before about how my husband’s sex-life had cratered after the arrival of our child. In the event you’re interested, I thought I would inform you that your advice was really beneficial. We have talked to a counselor a bit.

As part of the process, he confessed that he has been in near continuous mouth pain since soon after the baby was born. He has gotten some significant dental work done (wisdom teeth removed, cavities filled, and gum disease treated) rather than being in constant pain has definitely also helped.

Things still are not perfect, but they’re a great deal better. Thank you.

Doing Better In Seattle

Hey, thanks for letting us know how you have been doing, DBIS! Glad to hear things have improved, particularly because it means your spouse is no longer coping with severe constant pain! Congratulations on the job the both of you have put in and having the guts to talk things out, and I hope things continue to improve for you both!

This post was previously published on Doctornerdlove.com and is republished here with permission from the author.

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