If we only have a dollar in our pocket, then most of our decisions become financial decisions. If our partner is an abuser or controller, then the majority of our decisions are based on our perception of the abuser’s potential reaction. This is just one aspect of Stockholm Syndrome, as described by our guest contributor, clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph M. Carver.
Following on from his guest contribution Are You Dating a Loser?, Dr Carver’s article on Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser explores a situation that will be familiar to all too many people.
Part 1 of Dr Carver’s article describes the formation of bonds between victim and abuser, while Part 2 continues with observations about cognitive dissonance and offers a list of 14 suggestions for friends and family of victims.
The article introduces Stockholm Syndrome this way:
In clinical practice, some of the most surprised and shocked individuals are those who have been involved in controlling and abusive relationships. When the relationship ends, they offer comments such as “I know what he’s done to me, but I still love him”, “I don’t know why, but I want him back”, or “I know it sounds crazy, but I miss her”. Recently I’ve heard “This doesn’t make sense. He’s got a new girlfriend and he’s abusing her too…but I’m jealous!” Friends and relatives are even more amazed and shocked when they hear these comments or witness their loved one returning to an abusive relationship. While the situation doesn’t make sense from a social standpoint, does it make sense from a psychological viewpoint? The answer is — Yes!
Relationship Questions or Comments for Dr Carver?
As a special bonus, Dr Carver has generously offered to drop by now and again to answer any questions that may come up for readers who find that Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser sounds just a little too familiar.
So, fire up your keyboard if you’d like to put a relationship question to him, and leave your question in the comments section of this blog posting. We’ll let Dr Carver know when your questions or comments are posted, and he can take a look at them.