How to overcome cognitive dissonance?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Sunnygal 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #45686


    Need some tips from the Lovefraud community as to how to overcome cognitive dissonance: despite all the lies my ex SP told me and the way he treated me, sometimes I have this “I miss him” feeling. It comes and goes, but is usually triggered when I am in places that remind me of him (e.g. I had to travel for work to his home town and of course it brought memories of our meetings there).
    I did the following to help with these feelings:
    1) a list of all the lies he told me that I know of: it ended up a list of 20 (I am sure it is far from complete);
    2) All the ways he was bad for me (e.g. controlling, dishonest, etc) – ended up with a list of 15 behaviours (it would have been a much longer list if I waited till the devaluation phase, not to mention discard, instead of spotting red flags and getting out of there)
    3) All the things I do not miss (a list of 10 items, e.g. me walking on egg shells, him drinking too much)
    4) A final list which is what I do miss: it was only 6 items, but 3 on the list were things we did only in our first 2 years together. I.e. none of it happened in the final 2 years. So I have a long list of negatives and only 3 positive things that I miss (cuddling/falling asleep together; him cooking dinner for me and him asking me about my day). Nothing special to miss as this is what would be present in any normal relationship.

    What surprises me is that my mind on a couple of good things to the exclusion of a multitude of really bad stuff.

    It is coming up to 4 months since I’ve last seen him; about 40 days since no contact. Is it normal to be experiencing this? Do I need to do anything to help myself with those or is it just a matter of time?

  • #45687

    Donna Andersen

    thirdtimelucky – I’m glad you are working on your recovery. First of all, I think what you are describing is more addiction than cognitive dissonance. Your thinking about this person is pretty clear, and your behavior is in line with your thinking — you know he is bad for you and you are maintaining No Contact. If you were experiencing cognitive dissonance, you’d be making excuses for him and perhaps seeing him even though you know he is disordered.

    So perhaps it will help you to view your process as overcoming an addiction. It takes time to overcome an addiction, and you only established No Contact 40 days ago, so you are actually fairly early in the process.

    We have many articles on Lovefraud about how relationships with sociopaths are addictive that may help you. I also talk about this in my recent webinar:

    Why it’s so hard to get over loving a sociopath and how you can recover.

    You also may want to look into our webinar on EFT tapping.

  • #45690


    hi Donna,
    Thank you for your response.
    What you are saying makes perfect sense, i.e. an addiction to the “highs” of good times. And thank you for pointing out that I am fairly early in the process – there is an expectation in a community that after 3 months post break up, one should be all good and ready to get back on a dating horse and have moved on. Which is never the case after a SP.

    I am going to have a look at the articles you mentioned and the course.

    I’ve done the dating course the other day and found it very useful (even if I am not ready to date at this point in time).

  • #45695


    Thanks for sharing this. I’m new to the forum and 29 days out of my 8 year (on and off of course) relationship with a narcissistic man. I’m going through the exact same feelings. There were so many negative and destructive things but right now I’m crying my eyes out about the comforting mundane things or memories of our vacations etc. It’s been no contact for the most part save for some business issues we have to resolve in the next month. Any contact has been text and email and purely factual business. I left the city I lived with him in and moved back to my home state with family. He didn’t ever bother to check with me about my 11 hour drive in a 16 foot truck alone. The morning I left he got up at 5 am and decided to yell at me from outside the room accusing me of packing too many of his tools from the workbench which I had not. I guess it didn’t matter that I had a long day ahead and this was likely the last day I would ever see him. It just solidified the whole thing even though he was the one who did the discarding for the most part. I tried for a bit to work it out but then gave up. He did say that it felt different this time because it seemed like I was also unhappy unlike the other 3 break ups. I’ve tried to be really strong. There have been moments I wanted to call him and tell him I still love him or can’t stop thinking about him. I miss many things about our life but there are more things I don’t miss.I’m trying to focus on those too:(

  • #45701

    Donna Andersen

    outofeggshells – welcome to Lovefraud, although I’m sorry for the experience that brought you here. What you are experiencing is normal for someone who has gotten out of a relationship with a disordered person. Stay strong, and do not contact him. No Contact is the key to recovery.

  • #45750


    great you are working on recovery.

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