Intensity or Intimacy? A Relationship Litmus Test



“I was addicted to a high that only my abuser could give me. Because the lower an abuser puts someone, the higher they can elevate them.”

~ Amanda Domuracki, Culture Shock, The Highs and Lows of Emotional Abuse


It seemed that magic had entered our lives. It brought with it once-in-a-lifetime soul-mate love, true romance, amazing sex… We were swept off our feet and taken to an enchanted world just for two, one that floated like a bubble high above the mundane world below.

We never expected that bubble would burst. We believed the incredible intensity we shared indicated a deep connection, one that would last for a lifetime.

Normally, romantic love is an experience that fosters bonding and emotional intimacy. That can’t happen if you’re with someone who isn’t capable of bonding and intimacy. You might not even realize those things are missing when you’re caught up in the extraordinary intensity of your experience and being manipulated and lied to. Smoke and mirrors distract us from the truth.




“I have flown and fallen, and I have swum deep and drowned, but there should be more to love than ‘I survived it.'”

~ Lisa Mantchev, So Silver Bright


Intimacy has to do with trust, understanding, and feeling understood. People who are emotionally intimate can reveal their vulnerabilities without fear of being rejected, ridiculed or invalidated. Intimacy is based on emotional safety, acceptance, respect, and a mutual give-and-take. Without self-disclosure, there can be no intimacy—but intimacy requires that self-disclosure be met with empathy. Empathy means recognizing how someone else feels, understanding it, caring about how that person feels, and then expressing that care.


“There is nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood.”

~ Brad Meltzer, The Inner Circle


Intensity, on the other hand, is all about drama, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. It’s all about push-pull, hot-cold, high-low.



“I was falling. Falling through time and space and stars and sky and everything in between. I fell for days and weeks and what felt like lifetime across lifetime. I fell until I forgot I was falling.”

~ Jess Rothenberg, The Catastrophic History of You and Me


“Intensity is being completely lost in the emotion of unreasoning desire. It is marked by urgency, sexual desire, anxiety, high risk choices, and the reckless abandonment of what was once valued. All-consuming euphoria similar to recreational drug use (addictive chemical reactions in the brain) …. loss of ability to make rational evaluations of what is true, valuable and worthy. Desire to be always close to that person at any cost.

An intimate relationship is one in which neither party silences, sacrifices, or betrays the self and each party expresses strength and vulnerability, weakness and competence in a balanced way …

Intimacy means that we can be who we are in a relationship, and allow the other person to do the same. ‘Being who we are’ requires that we can talk openly about things that are important to us, that we take a clear position on where we stand on important emotional issues, and that we clarify the limits of what is acceptable and tolerable to us in a relationship.”

~ Excerpt from DANCE OF INTIMACY, by Harriet Lerner, PhD

That’s simply not possible with a psychopath or narcissist. They aren’t capable of emotional intimacy, which means they aren’t capable of healthy relationships.




“The most important test of intimacy is to ask yourself the question, ‘Is this relationship a safe haven where I feel loved and accepted for being me?'”

~ Randi Kreger, Problems With Emotional Intimacy—Typical for BPs and NP


Bonding created by intense emotional highs and lows is maintained by oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and powerful surges of euphoria-inducing dopamine during the highs. During the lows, there is intense craving for more.

Learning theorists have found that a pattern of intermittent reinforcement, which is positive reinforcement alternated with punishment (a pattern of abuse and reward), develops the strongest emotional bonds.

Intermittent good-bad treatment triggers biological changes as well as emotional ones. Going ‘cold turkey’ (having no contact with him or her) may seem impossible. It is the same as an addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling. This is why you can’t or couldn’t stop thinking about them, despite knowing how bad they were for you.




“Powerful emotional attachments develop from two specific features of abusive relationships: power imbalances and intermittent good-bad treatment.”

~ Dutton and Painter

This addictive attachment is known as a Betrayal Bond or Trauma Bond. A trauma bond is a highly addictive attachment to an abuser. Signs of a trauma bond include the inability to detach and self-destructive denial.

Rhonda Freeman, PhD, a neuropsychologist who helps survivors of psychopathic and narcissistic abuse, expertly explains trauma bonding in her article, The Spellbinding Bond to Narcissists and Psychopaths – What’s Happening in the Brain?



“We cannot walk away, though, because without us realizing it, our abuser has become our human needle; our Drug Lord of Love. The person who owns our self-value and self-worth and who, in the name of love, can reject us into deep lows with a single glare, or send us to euphoric highs with one simple smile.”

 ~ Amanda Domuracki




 “As the relationship goes on, the less safe you feel. That’s a red flag that there’s something really wrong.”



“Your life is loaned to you through an abuser. It is on his or her whim that you thrive, struggle, hope, and fear. In abuse, you can endure a thousand losses for a single, shimmering penny that proves you’ve won something… “

~ Amanda Domuracki


Brene Brown, sociologist and expert on social connection, conducted thousands of interviews to find the root of deep social connection. An analysis of the data revealed that it was vulnerability. Vulnerability here does not mean being weak. On the contrary — what it means is the courage to be yourself. It involves uncertainty, exposure, and risk. We may want to run from vulnerability, but it is an inevitable part of social relationships that are to become close and rewarding.

Emotional intimacy comes from being vulnerable enough to allow yourself to be fully known, and to be accepted and understood when you do. That creates the potential for true intimacy. It does come with the risk of rejection, but if you’re rejected you’ll know that you’re not a relationship you should continue.



To know that you are loved for who you are, and to know someone else in all of their vulnerability and to love them as they are, may be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. Intensity, on the other hand, is the opposite of fulfilling. It’s draining, exhausting, crazymaking, and ultimately empty.

In future relationships we can ask ourselves, “Is this real intimacy or just intensity?”



Brene Brown — TED talk on the POWER of vulnerability


Comments are closed.

“I loved the author’s ability to simply and compassionately describe why, and how, I feel victim to a monster. For me, she eloquently describes the most complex, confusing, horrific experience of my life.. To the author, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Her writing was like discovering a mentor, a friend, a sponsor, a confident who understood, who explained in detail what happened to me in my relationship with this man. I felt like something in the universe directed me to her. Her books will help you understand the hows and whys of what you went through. Your healing can begin with her writings.”

“Invaluable. Having been in a relationship with a psychopath for many years, I desperately needed some insight into what had happened and why. I have gained a tremendous amount of strength and knowledge toward healing from years of abuse by reading this book. One of the best.”

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30 thoughts on “Intensity or Intimacy? A Relationship Litmus Test”

  1. Lynn

    As I read thru this I could very well have been reading about the last 35+ years of my life. I finally broke free but it took many years of floundering back & forth to work up the strenght required. I am a work in progress, with many more good days than bad now but I still wonder to myself – did I do the right thing………

    1. Admin

      I’m so glad you’re having more good days than bad, Lynn. It took a lot of strength to walk away, and you did it for a reason. I suspect that one day you’ll look back and see it as one of the best things you’ve ever done. Give yourself plenty of time to get back on your feet emotionally, and to get used to a new way of life.

      As a reader named Aurora said so well, “…it takes time and self care to get back to a space of feeling safe – safe emotionally deep within the self, within ones own home, thoughts, identity, within one’s community and within ones sense of reality and trust.”

      Best wishes to you.

      Liminality, the Unsettling Space of In-Between

      1. Sue

        As I read the article, I cried , it is so true. We have been apart for a year, and he has called wanting me back. I am so torn inside, has he changed. I am still attached to him and this is causing me tremendous turmoil. I feel I did get some stronger after I was alone. But now I do not know what to do. I had moved on and have met another man who seems to be very kind to me. I am in such turmoil, of making the wrong decision.

        1. Admin

          Sue, I’m sorry you’re in such turmoil. It’s difficult to be in a place to have to make this decision after having moved on. Of course I don’t know the details of your relationship, but as a generality I can say that if he is psychopathic, he can’t change.

          Maybe answering these questions will help you make a decision.

          ♦ I realize you’re wondering if things will be different now, but just how different would things have to be? Consider the the nature and seriousness of the problems, and what effects they had on you emotionally and psychologically.

          ♦ Was the relationship a safe haven, one where you felt loved and accepted for being you? Did you feel known and understood (meaning validated) or invalidated?

          ♦ Did he respect you? Did you respect yourself when you were with him?

          ♦ Were you experiencing the emotional angst that signifies the presence of covert manipulation? Please read the signs here: How to tell if you’re being manipulated.

          ♦ Were your needs and feelings considered important?

          ♦ Was he trustworthy and reliable?

          ♦ Was he kind? Did he treat you in a way that demonstrated an ability for empathy and compassion?

          ♦ Were you free from fear? Free from shame? Free from uncertainty? Free to express your emotions? Free to share your thoughts and opinions? Were you free to be yourself?

          These are all questions that point to serious issues of a deeply problematic relationship that you shouldn’t return to, depending on how you answered. I hope this will help you to clear up your confusion and make a decision that’s in your best interest, Sue.

          1. Sue

            Thank you so much for your reply. I have read your first book, and am reading your other books now. Your books have helped me so much. I finally felt validated. Because no one understands unless they have been there. Thank you so much for writing, and don’t stop. I blamed myself for so long.

            1. Admin

              I’m happy the books have helped you, Sue, and that you’re not blaming yourself any more. And validation is so important! I’m glad you got that.

              Now I must say, if my books validated what this man was and what happened to you, PLEASE don’t go back! It’s only been a year, and although you’ve made much progress, the bond is still not completely broken. You’re still at risk. Give it more time, be strong and determined to do what you have to to take care of yourself. Have you read the Boundaries book yet? I think it could give you just the determination you need right now.

  2. Brightie

    After a year of struggling and weighing in my head whether to leave my psychopath husband, I finally managed to get away from him. Since we have a baby boy, who is only 1, we are in contact because we have to raise him together. Sometimes it feels like I won’t ever be over him, but I rationalize every single day, that we are way better off without him. He still finds his ways of getting back at me, but I am so much stronger now. It’s hard to explain to friends how I feel, so this site and all the people here help me a great deal. I’m only 15 days free, and feel better, stronger, more independent, more satisfied and free to be who I am, to restructure my life and build up a new me.

    I get so worried about the people who do not have family support or who do not know who they are actually dealing with in their intesity relationships. Let me share a story with you about the woman from my area that was in the news last week.

    A young wife and a mother of a 5-year-old, upset the whole country by leaving a goodbye note on her facebook profile. Among all she wrote about her abusive husband, typical psycho who took her away from her family and friend and they got married and built a house miles away from everyone she knew or cared for. She went through everything from being alone and raising their son, to finding out her husband was cheating, calling her insane, physically abused her etc. But her condition must have been so stressed out that she wrote she is leaving and taking her son away as well, taking him to a better place, because staying here with such a father, would be a bad life for him… everyone was alerted, the police, the citizens when they went missing for 3 days. There was a big search. Everyone hoped she went on a vacation or left the country. Unfortunately, they found a wrecked car in a lake and 2 days later they found their bodies. The whole country was shocked. But also, the people started saying where was the system, where was the help when she needed it, where were her family or friends? Is she a monster for taking her child with her or was it an act of the ultimate despair?

    Be what may, people started to see how abusive relationships are harmful and I saw myself in that woman. That is what I might have ended up if I had stayed with my husband. I was living only for the good days when “I would deserve him”. I would have become an empty shell. Soulless. A zombie.

    We must strive on, keep being grateful for the life we have and help others who are in need, by being a role model, a rock, a shoulder to cry on, a motivator, an inspiration, a true friend.

    (Sorry for the long post and it parts of it are unclear, I’m writing this with my 1-year-old :)

    1. Admin

      What a tragic story! It is definitely a tale of the ultimate despair of a woman who felt there was no other way out. When someone gets to that point rational thought is completely gone, and without outside help it is deadly. They see no alternative, even though others exist. I am so sorry for her and for the child. I’m glad you were able to leave before getting to that point of despair!

      Congratulations on your new-found freedom, Brightie, and all the best to you and your baby boy. Yes, we must strive on, and it sounds as if you’re doing well with it. I know how hard it can be when those close to us don’t understand. I’m glad this site, and the people here, help you. I hope you’ll find all the support you need as time goes on. You might want to seek out a support group for single mothers or for women who have been in abusive relationships.

      1. Brightie

        Thank you. Finding such a group in my country is hard to do. That’s why I bless the internet and sites like these. Your books and smart advice are always prompt help I need. Thanks a million!

        1. Admin

          I’m so glad I can help you deal with it, Brightie. It means the world to me to be able to help you.
          Thanks a million to you, too!

  3. Alan

    First off, thank you for all the time and effort you have put in to help people who have been exposed to a psychopathic relationship. My story involved a female P and make no mistake, they have the capability to be just as evil as any male P. Almost without exception, every article you write, I can relate to. The current article also hits the nail on the head. It is an addiction! It has been almost two years since I had contact with the female P and I still wake up and go to bed with the P on my mind. I believe the only way to beat this addiction is to replace the P with someone who has the capability to truly love and bond. It’s a scary thought that the right person may be elusive and I never find them. I do believe though it will be the only way to break the horrific addiction that currently exists.
    PS: purchased and read all of your books. You really can’t put a value on each and every one. They have all been invaluable! Thank You!!!

    1. Admin

      You’re welcome, and thank YOU for your kind words! It makes me truly happy to hear you find the books invaluable and that you can relate to many of the articles.

      I agree with you, I think that replacing the P with someone able to love and bond will break whatever is left of the addiction. But as you said, we don’t know if we’ll even find that elusive person, so what are we to do?! The way I deal with ongoing thoughts of the P is to not be upset that these thoughts continue, to take the attitude that given the nature of the experience, it’s not surprising that they persist. I feel that having this frame of mind allows those thoughts to pass through quickly and painlessly. I forgot who said “what you resist, persists,” but for me it’s true. So I don’t resist, I just allow for the thoughts to come and go (since they’re going to anyway). I hope that makes some sense.

      I understand female Ps are no less dangerous than male Ps. A P is a P; gender doesn’t make a difference, and in fact they see themselves as genderless. I’m sorry you had the misfortune of having one of them in your life, and again I’m so glad my work helps you in some way. Thank you.

  4. Dee

    Another wonderful post! It’s fantastic when you have created enough distance from the psychopathic relationship that you can actually see and understand what happened.

    From afar, I have been observing 3 separate psychopathic relationships on Facebook play out. These relationships stand out, from “real” relationships because the “real ones” have grown over time and I have watched the “real” couples grow steadily in their intimacy and devotion. Conversely, the psychopathic couplings started out fast and furious. In one of the cases, the man moved in after just 3 weeks. He has morphed into a carbon copy of his victim and while she goes to work everyday, he “plays,” frequently taking day-trips (he doesn’t have a job). In another situation, the man has been intensely love-bombing and over-flattering a divorcee with two kinds so intensely, that after just 3 weeks he has taken her out at least 14 times and is presently vacationing with her kids! The psychopaths in both of these cases, comment on every single one of their victim’s Facebook posts. It’s almost like these men are marking their territories. Here on the sidelines, it looks too intense and makes me feel uncomfortable. I have been watching these two scenarios play-out like soap operas. I wish I could warn the women, but I know my words would be ignored and I would be labelled, “Jealous.” The women, in both cases, are experiencing dizzy euphoria. In the third situation, ( I won’t dignify it by calling it a relationship), now going on almost a year, the psychopath recently posted a photo of a nude women on FB. It was presented in an “artsy” way, but nonetheless she was naked and, in my opinion, the image crossed the line. I imagined how offended and confused the victim might have felt, not understanding the image was used as a tool for triangulation and gas-lighting (during this devaluation phase). In a blink of an eye, the image of the naked woman was deleted, but to justify his choice in posting the pic, the psychopath, almost immediately, posted his 5 year old rendering of Michel Angelo’s Adam and Eve, naked. I am imagining he used the “historical art piece” to make her feel bad for having a natural reaction to the original posting. Of course, I might be jumping to conclusions and the back to back postings of naked images could have been coincidental, but now that I have a better understanding of how twisted a psychopathic mind works, I think not.
    Ultimately, what I am left with is seeing how prevalent Psychopathy is! Admin, thanks for this posting. Hopefully, potential targets will understand that, “Intensity” is the antithesis of intimacy! The non psychopathic relationships I see unfolding gracefully are just so lovely to observe, far different from the intensity driven psychopathic ones. The latter are so sappy and extreme they make me want to gag. Even the actions of the targets are over-the-top. It’s as if they just can’t believe their luck. They keep thanking god for their blessings. Interesting how the women in the slow-evolving-relationships, don’t need adjectives to describe their joy. Their Facebook photos say it all!

    1. Admin

      Thank you, Dee! Yes, DISTANCE is what’s needed — that space and time lets us see it clearly.

      Your relationship-watching sound fascinating. Warning them probably wouldn’t do a bit of good, as you said, and that’s really sad because we know the hell they’re in for. I guess it depends on how close you are, and if you mind them being angry at you!

      You’ve made some great observations. I love your last paragraph and the wonderful way you’ve summed up what you’ve seen. You really do have a way with words, you know. You could write this up into an article and it would make a great feature story in many magazines I can think of. Or here, of course! Seriously.

    2. Lily

      I was one of those Facebook targets you described, Dee. Everything you said was exactly the way it was for me as the predator love-bombed me and marked out his territory, commenting on every post, all the while waiting for his moment to pounce and seal the deal. That would be when the gates around me would lock and I would become his prey to devour. What makes it worse is that I am married with 2 children and was never looking or wanting an affair. I never expected to be targeted so skilfully and for my not inconsiderable defenses to be slowly dismantled as they were. It is truly like being under a spell. Your thoughts slowly change and your will is bent to that of the predator. If I had known about the intimacy vs intensity dynamics, it may have helped…but somehow I’m not certain of that. The spell type quality of the bond was powerful, magnetic and all encompassing. It held me in its thrall even though many times I found enough clarity to know something was really wrong. I tried so many times to escape from the bond but a day or so later, my clarity had disappeared and I was back in the bondage. I really appreciate Dee’s comment because I don’t know if many people realize how potent a forum Facebook can be for predatory behavior. Just because you are not seeing the person in real life does not mean they are not able to exert a powerful influence over you and work you devastatingly. I got free…luckily, but I bear the scars and I’m trying to heal now. I wish any victims reading this the best of love and luck trying to extricate themselves from this evil dynamic.

      1. Dee

        Hi Lily – Nice to meet you here. Psychopaths have so carefully skilled their con, we have no idea we are being emotionally ambushed. We are taken in because we don’t think the way they do. I wrote a comment in another one of Admin’s wonderful recent posts: The Healing Power of Awe. I said, ” When their motives are laid out, you can easily see the simplicity that drives them: boredom, envy and hatred…. ” Psychopaths work extra hard to be our perfect man. Why would we ever imagine the man wasn’t real and had every intention to destroy? I have discovered that there are certain questions you can ask a man to determine if he is real, or a con. Psychopaths can’t answer feeling questions and will evade them ( in the most charming way possible of course with a twinkle in his eye and a kiss). When I was with the psychopath I was completely “mind-controlled.” I did things I would never have done in my right mind, including neglecting my children. I still kick myself for that! I was in a complete and total trance.

        I appreciate your comment. I can completely relate. Best to you!!

        1. Lily

          Thanks Dee. I think that’s one thing that makes the internet and forums such as Facebook, a predator’s feeding ground. He can ply his trade without many of the natural checks and balances that occur in real life. I couldn’t see my predator, except for photos he supplied, and so I couldn’t get the sense of his presence that I would have got through real life contact. He could calculate his written answers carefully and craft his words to perfection. Without the sensitivity of real life contact, my boundaries were also more easily crossed. He could declare all sorts of emotional reactions but never have to back them up with the sense of real sentiment that is a normal part of person-to-person contact. Despite the lack of physical contact, looking back I am astonished at the power he was able to exert over me in a short period of time. My protests and attempts to cut the contact were slowly weakened until I was at the point where I felt I would have left my husband (who I love very deeply) for this ‘stranger’. People need to be aware of what Facebook can open them up to and the fact that they don’t really know who they’ve let into their life until it is too late.

          1. Dee

            Lily – You comment has me remembering. Yes, Facebook is indeed the playground of the psychopath. My ex had an ever present harem who flattered him daily with their comments and posts. Some were overtly flirtatious and sexual and when I questioned him about it, he would call me jealous, suspicious, possessive and insecure. He said he couldn’t help it, if women wanted to throw panties up on his stage. Once, he left his computer open and I perused his fb private messages. Sure enough he was actively encouraging many women to come visit him, or asking if he could fly to see them. When I confronted him, his solution was to deny what I read and then “block me.” He said if I couldn’t handle it, then I shouldn’t be allowed to view it. I was in too deep to see this punishment as abuse. I was having a normal reaction to his bad behavior and I was being shamed for it. He turned things around and said I had crossed the line and invaded his privacy and to make sure this never happened again, he gave me the silent treatment until I groveled and asked for his forgiveness.
            He actually said he thought it best if I just permanently deactivate my fb account. This would help me, so I wouldn’t suffer, due to my jealous and insecure tendencies. Deactivating my account didn’t stop my bad feelings, but it did give him a wide birth in which to play

            I have no doubt the new woman in his life is having to deal with this same issue because he needs an overflow of female flattery to survive. He doesn’t really know these women because most live in other cities, or foreign countries. Lily, you could have even been one of those women. Many of them were underage. I often suspected that when I was at work, or commuting back home, he’d be at home having Skype sex with them. I noticed that some of the women would be ever present, only one day to suddenly drop off. I also once saw his fb “blocked” list. It was huge!

            A psychopath never changes, the only thing that changes are the women he plays with.

            1. Lily

              From what you’ve said Dee, it’s either the same guy OR there are hundreds of them carrying out the same dastardly deeds online! I have a feeling the second option is the truth. When involved with a psychopath, a woman is in a constant state of insecurity and there’s a very good reason for it. He can offer her no emotional security and no real love. The lack of a real bond of love and subsequent tearing down of her inner self, leaves a woman in a perilous emotional position. Then he cleverly blames her for the insecure state she finds herself in and uses it to further wound her. I’m glad you’re free of that parasite, Dee. The only good thing to come out of my experience is the lesson well learnt about the hidden danger that lurks within some people and the nature of true love and it’s opposite.

              1. Admin

                A constant state of insecurity, indeed! That’s a good way to sum it up, Lily. And it is an important lesson in what’s NOT love.

                Dee, I have heard so many times about people who find out their partner is cheating through email messages or texts or social media, and then had the cheating partner turn the problem into the person’s invasion of their privacy, in an effort to deflect the spotlight from the real issue. They do the same thing when someone has an emotional reaction to any of their bad behavior — they make the reaction into the issue. I don’t think any of us will fall for this, or put up with it, any more.

              2. Dee

                I look back and remember how easily he had me accept the blame over and over again. I am usually pretty good in a debate, but when arguing with him, I’d be reduced to a rambling fool. His line of defense and cross-examination of my words never made any sense. I’d accept blame just to stop the madness. Then he’d use my acquiescence as arsenal in future fights when he’d be caught cheating.

                I can now recognize the signs of this abuse and manipulation. The problem is that a person might not easily fall for it and accept blame if they aren’t hopelessly entangled. I was so trapped that every time I betrayed myself and accepted defeat, I intensified his hold on me. That’s why I tolerated and did the unthinkable. In hindsight, I can only now rationalize it as a form of mental illness.

                For this reason, it’s so vitally important for woman and men to understand the initial signs of entrapment.

                Psycho-paths don’t have us accept blame because they’re protecting their privacy, they do it to protect their secrecy. There is a huge distinction!

              3. Admin

                Excellent points, Dee!

                The psychopath I knew did the same thing to me. He was grooming his next target right in front of me, in a partner-dancing situation. When I confronted him, he told me some people are ‘just too jealous and insecure’ for partner dancing, and that I should stay home. What a load! The problem was that he was a predator, not that I was jealous.

  5. Asheley

    It’s been seven months, I remember when I didn’t know how I could last another day. There is hope. All that really lingers now is this odd feeling of being insulted that he hasn’t tried to get in touch with me again. I was warned that he always comes back but not this time I suppose. Good for me, I don’t want him back!

    1. Admin

      Yes, there is hope Asheley, lots of it! One day you will thank your lucky stars that he stayed away. It’s a compliment, really — one that says he knows you wouldn’t put up with a philandering, abusive parasite like him any more.

  6. Asheley

    I do hope that’s what he thinks… When I hear of him being out at nice restaurants and bars with his friends I have this overwhelming feeling of utter disappointment that he is still walking this earth, living life his way. Will his reckoning ever come? It’s not that I wish him harm, I just wonder when his karma will kick in.

    1. Admin

      I don’t know if his day of reckoning will ever come, but I do know the day will come when your bond to him is broken, and you won’t care anymore where he goes or what he does. You may even get like me and some others here, and set a Google alert for his obituary and just go about your life. It’s a wonderful feeling to be free, and I hope you’ll have that soon, Asheley.

      How is it that you find out where he goes? Keeping up with that isn’t part of No Contact, if that’s what you’re trying to do. It’s enough to keep the bond intact. If some mutual friend is telling you about him you can ask them to stop, or stay away from that person. If it’s Facebook, you need to decide that your peace of mind and freedom is more important than checking his page. Good luck with it, Asheley! I know you can do it.

  7. Asheley

    I never seek out info on him but his friend/my coworker mentioned going out with him the night before. He never brings P up but for some reason he did yesterday. He made sure to say that he figured I was over that by now and that I was so much more above that situation. Whatever that means. Just hearing his name gave me chills. I never bring him up because I prefer to go forward in life as is he doesn’t exist anymore. P doesn’t do social media which is lucky for me as that temptation isn’t there. There’s no way he could get away with as much as he does if he had facebook.

    1. Admin

      Ah, I see. There’s no way to avoid it sometimes. I’m glad to hear you’re not seeking information about him. You’re doing good, Asheley :-)

  8. UnwillingVictim

    I think this all makes sense now and had I read on this before I probably could have saved my wife of 10 years I have always dearly loved from a ravenous psychopath who paraded as my friend is a bit too late in the piece but nevertheless it was helpful in re-constructing the destruction so I could learn from it.

    It all happened to me so quickly and so sharply dealing with a stressful high paying job, managing a portfolio of investments and renovating a house and in shape of losing my parent and my wife who never got out of her depression (not self aware) years after she had lost hers, turning me to alcohol given my wife seemed disconnected with me when I needed her the most and then into anger for her not being there when I was there polishing away the dirt to make her shine like my diamond and then comes along the worst thing I now feel ashamed to have even befriended let alone let into my house for he has ruined what was once a happy place with lots of dreams attached to it.

    When we were not grappling well with our depressions we took some time out. In that time he had already made his inroads into my wife’s heart and mind, she said she felt like she was addicted to some kind of drugs and every message from him would make her feel like she got a hit. She was craving for things I had warned her about for I could see the writings on the wall. But she was too far in I suppose to even bother to hear me, let alone register it or do anything about and in her words, she thought nothing more, she thought she had found her best friend in him, someone she could connect with and someone she could trust and that she did. She had made him her partner in her head even when living with me making my already depressed life more and more miserable.

    I had warned her off him and had cut him off my life in the most civic way possible and had asked her to do the same given the non-confrontational person I am but then we broke up after a fight triggered from her meeting him for lunch when I was away in another city and when she said she cant live in the house I am in and I moved out to give her some space to figure it out and I went to spend a few weeks with my family all the while missing my wife and kid every hour every day and having to tire myself with her thoughts to sleep and I had wanted out only out of sheer exhaustion and knowing I have never had the slightest thought of harming anyone although my frustrations were coming out of me as unfiltered verbal diarrhea at best but still my love for her and advice from my family made me think of trying to patch things with her and make it a better place.

    I then returned back and only to find the woman I so love to be in total disarray, a complete nutter devoid of any natural balance, she wanted to separate from me for she was distraught but couldn’t say anything without her tears running a river. I couldn’t bear to stand that and all my ego was gone, all my logic was dead, it didn’t matter to me who was right or wrong, I just wanted to be there for her and so I did, I lent her my shoulder and told her what I had always felt about her, my untarnished love for and my need to ensure she was happy at all times even if it came at a cost of my happiness but never had explicitly told before and I think to a certain degree that soothed her.

    We got back to our home and she opened up to me telling how things had happened and went into a lot of detail especially given she is not a talker in the general sense. She was sick to her stomach and she still is as this is all just too fresh even as I type this out. The reason I was out here was to see how best I can help her recover. I know while all I can do right now is forgive her for her stupidity and the hurt and pain she has put me through, I can not bring myself to where I see myself standing. I am swinging like a pendulum between extremes knowing this family home that I had painstakingly turned into reality had become the venue of that sorrow narration. I feel like the once confident and good natured soul that I was is not here with me. I feel the need to be extremely protective of whats left of my family and at the same time I want them to be away from me for me to take out this scum even if it means to be self-consuming. These mood swings haven’t helped me with my need to help my wife out as sometimes I do lash out on her actions and I believe she is even more traumatised by seeing what I’m going through for no fault of mine but love.

    I am a self made successful person and my ego isn’t small and I somehow feel like powerless in letting the shame caused by my wife and the betrayal of trusts I had on two people is now dictating my terms. At times I feel like taking them out the way he did, to show him, should I want I could be the most calculating, conniving a-hole that brings his pussy parade to the nasty end it deserves, expose him so there are no others who need to go through the perils I see in front of me but then I think while all this pain is mine, the vengeance isn’t, its for the maker to work out and I’m also selfishly stopped by my child’s future and my wife’s wellbeing.

    I still don’t know how I’d calibrate my next course and all I can hope is for the light in me to shine brighter than ever to not drag me down to the scrupulous levels they are tempting me to.

    Should there be any words or means to heal myself and my family please do advise and I appreciate your time in advance and to all those women and men who are grappling with such dark natured beasts that lurk amongst us, I offer my hope and prayers. Be strong and think bold, you’re better than what you’ve credited yourself for.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      First and foremost, please don’t make any decisions while you’re in this state of mind. Do not carry out any of your thoughts of revenge. You and your family have been through hell, and you don’t need any more of it in your lives. As you said, you must put your child’s future and wife’s well-being — as well as your own! — first. It’s normal to feel the anger you’re experiencing — the rage, and outrage — but don’t let it destroy you. Instead, channel it into the determination to overcome this and not let it ruin your life. At this moment, it may be hard to believe you can do that but you can and you will, have faith in that.

      I have heard from many people whose families were broken apart by a predator, but many of them reported that their marriages ended up stronger and better than ever. It is entirely possible! But first both of you must deal with the trauma caused by betrayal, shame, self-blame and all the rest. Counseling could be of value, either individually or as a couple, or both. Please take a look at the Road Map page; it lays out all the common issues people deal with when they’re victimized in this way and lists many resources. You’re not alone. Many have gone before you and found their way out.

      I wish you and your family all the best, and trust that one day your light will shine brighter than ever.

      “We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

      ~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

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