“Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”
Letter from an addict:
I can’t get my ex to stop popping in my mind. No matter what or where I go, everything reminds me of her. What can I do? As it stands I have the power, she’s called me last, but I keep gettin the urge to give in and call.
The fact that I’ve been spinning plates has only made it worse. When I’m out with these new girls, keeps reminding me of stuff that I did with her, its whacked.
I feel like I just can’t get away, no matter where I look or go, there she is. The sad part is, I don’t even pine over her, I despise her, I think of her negatively but I’m addicted.
I need help.
If you were a drug addict or an alcoholic the first step back to sobriety is your moment of clarity. You’ve obviously had that. The next step is to detoxify yourself – that’s the hard part. You need to isolate yourself, and put yourself into complete separation from your drug of choice; in this case that’s your ex.
You’re feeling hopeless about her and your present condition because the cessation of what you’ve mistaken as a reward for so long is now out of reach. You need to understand that what you want to go back to isn’t what you think it is, nor will it ever “get better”. Even if you could reengage with her, it will never be what you think it could.
I think half the battle of controling an emotional response is consciously recognizing that it is taking place. Children (of both sexes) cannot help but react emotionally to external stimulus. They do this because they have no prior experience with that stimulus to associate a response to. In addition, they have an underdeveloped capacity for abstract thought and therefore an emotional response is almost a given. But as we mature and experience things, we understand what is happening (because it’s happened to us prior) and we can better react and prepare responses for them accordingly.
When a person first experiences jealousy this triggers a complex chain of hormonal and emotional imbalances. True jealousy, the type generated by the suspicion of having invested emotionally in a person who betrays that investment, rarely occurs before puberty so there is no prior experience to prepare an individual for it. It also happens so rarely that we don’t acknowledge it as an issue to consider until we’re in the middle of experiencing it. This is further complicated by an immature, but developing capacity for abstract thought, as well as the fact that jealousy is an in-born, innate biological response that has served our species well for millenia. Needless to say this severly limits rational thought processes and the ability to form appropriate behaviors based on them.
Now lets further complicate the situation with the same chemical cocktail and the emotional responses associated with sexual relations and you can see where this is going.
Depending upon the level of emotional attachment, what most guys experience in a breakup are withdrawal symptoms from an addiction. The brain’s neurochemistry in response to environmental cues and the effects solidified by routine experience are truly fascinating. Studies have shown that the chemical/hormonal signatures that naturally occur in the human body while one is experiencing love are virtually identical to the euphoric properties of heroin. The reason you pine over this girl, the reason that her rubbing your nose in it (so to speak) seems satisfying, the reason seeing her with another guy or the idea of renting her a room to go fuck him in provokes such an intense emotional response from a guy is because it re-triggers that same hormonal charge you got from it the first time and you’re seeking ways to re-stimulate that rush. You’ve yet to develop the cognitive capacity to deal with the associations of this rush because you have few or no prior experiences with this jealousy/betrayal dynamic, so you think of it in the only terms that have been available to you up to now – that which media/culture has conditioned you to take at face value. Therefore you have this Shakespearean sense of betrayal.
There is a quantifiable hormonal response to environmental cues that inspire jealousy. From an evolutionary perspective this makes for a semi-efficient genetic-investment protection mechanism. Animals that get hormonally pissed off at the cues indicating cuckoldry will reserve their parental investments for better, more prolific breeding opportunities. However , the same evolutionary advantages that same hormonal response causes are also liabilities in other instances. While it may be beneficial for parental investment that a chemical cocktail engendering feelings of trust, infatuation, love, etc. be pumped into our bloodstreams to inspire pair bonding, that same cocktail can also become a powerful narcotic when the rewarding ‘high’ is removed.
What happens in a breakup is similar to coming down off a narcotic. The addict seeks to re-stimulate the reward process, only now that process is denied to him (or her). Thus the addict is forced to create novel ways to reestablish that reward, however under these new circumstances that reward rush doesn’t compare to the original high of infatuation, love, etc.. Creating situations where jealousy, indignation and suspicion are present is an attempt to trigger that rush the original triggers did, only this time it’s cheaper and less potent since its conditions are temporal, few and far between. So is the high of love, lust and infatuation replaced with the lesser high of suspicion and jealousy.
This is the biochemical addiction phase most guys find themselves in in a post-monogamy breakup. I should add that this is yet one more reason to cultivate a Plate Theory mental model of abundance, however, once again, knowing is half the battle. As the more rational and reasoned sex, one condition for dropping this default mental state is whilst under the influences of intoxication (funny we call love intoxicating) and hormonal imbalances. In other words it’s very hard to make rational assessments when your physiology is jonesing for a fix, but if you know you’re jonesing and why you’re jonesing, you’re half way to recovery.
The Beta Response
As an end note here I think I should elaborate that Beta men, in comparison to more Alpha Men, tend to have a much tougher experience when it comes to jealousy and postpartum emotional states. You’ve got to consider that men who have less opportunity for sex, love, emotional investment, etc. will experience a sense of loss greater than men who have more intimate opportunities. On a subconscious level, the Beta male has a much higher investment risk in losing a potential long-term lover since most of his proverbial eggs are going to necessarily be tied up in one basket at a time. This is a liability of the Beta breeding strategy – All In, but also All Out if he loses on his bet.
Furthermore, by his nature, the Beta will have less prior experience in coping with the emotional response prompted by that biochemical rush. Ergo, the guy who you “never though was capable” of the actions he takes will often surprise you by the extents to which he will go to reestablish that reward prompt. The Beta male and post-partum rejection, jealousy, betrayal, suspicion, etc. are often a very volatile mix.
“I despise her, I think of her negatively but I’m addicted.”
Yohami legendary stuff… Its funny that we radiate a signal that is subscribed by similair individuals e.g a borderline can smell a caretaker a mile off.
This is why you *never* put all of your eggs in one basket – always have three, preferably two you are working, with another one of two who are up-and-coming. This makes it so that you are never dependent on any specific woman for what you need. You always have several that you can pull from, when you need them. I learned long ago, that the best way to get over one woman, is to get over another – as in, in bed… Guaranteed to keep your mind focused on the woman you’re with. That is why dating only one… Read more »
The other trap following a breakup is to “sugarcoat” the other person. This is the tendency to recall only the good experiences only their good qualities. Yea, you miss her–at least the GOOD aspects of her. You miss the laughs, the sex, and all the POSITIVE history with her. You miss the benefits of the relationship. That’s natural. That’s biological (even chemical as Rollo says). But in so doing, you tend to forget all the negatives. You likely even embellish some of the positives. As you can see, this line of thinking quickly becomes horribly one-sided. Here’s the remedy: get… Read more »
Watch the latest Mad Men Season 5 Episode 9 when Draper effectively sidelines a subordinate whose idea he stole and won business with.
The kid corners Draper in the elevator and tries to make Don feel guilty. The kid suggests he has better ideas while Draper is a has-been who resorts to stealing ideas of subordinates.
Draper barely looks at thim and says drly: “Well I’m lucky you work for me…”
The kid then says “I feel sorry for you”
Draper says “I dont’ think of you at all”
That exchange sums it up.
Problem is guys desire a ‘type’ despite all the talk of objective standards of beauty, sometimes that type is only espoused in a very narrow band of women.
Or maybe the archetypal ‘type’ that a man desires is simply a manifestation of oneitis.
I do not know where this mythical aplha men are and live but I have still yet to meet one. Men that are in complete emotional control of themselves, do not get disturbed by women, rejection, do not know one-itis, have the “bigger” hand, can not be used by chicks, etc. I do have “some” experience with women and I am STILL succeptible to this shit. My very body is willing to do so. I fucked like the young god in my twenties. Still one young virgin with no experiences at all in this fucking heaven kept me in line… Read more »
My favorite saying: “The best way to get over someone is on top of someone else.” As soon as you start fucking someone new, all those horrible feelings go away. To go with the drug analogy, there’s a horrible alcoholic I know. He can’t stop drinking when he starts, he keeps a bottle next to the bed if he wakes up in the middle of the night with the shakes. When we can get him off booze, he smokes weed every day all day. He gets by no problem with weed, with which he’s 100% more tolerable and not a… Read more »
My name is John, and I am an addict. (or was). I was that man who could not stop thinking about his ex. Here are some of the practical things that helped me when my ex left. I was a “higher beta”, bank VP, leader, high earner, when I met my ex. She was beautiful, captivating, sexy. I wooed her, married her. She was the best looking woman I have ever been with. I loved her like I have loved no other. After ten years it wore thin. She never ever respected our marriage, never had a real job, used… Read more »
I wonder if the things males cope with who aren’t unplugged are the most extremes cases of what your calling volitile?
Very good post. I’m currently going trough a post breakup phase, or actually it’s like 5 months ago. But now and then my ex still contacts me for a drink and then we have sex. She just wants to see where I’m at I guess, just like all the ladies want to know if their exes are doing better now they are single again. And yes, in a way I’m doing better. I have so much free time now. She doesn’t want me back and in the days after our meetup I feel emotionally broken (again). I know I should… Read more »
Merciless, I’m still a rookie but have gotten some good advice from many on this site. Before i eve found this site I found the first thing for me that helped get through what you’re going through is making a list of shit that bugs the crap out of you that she does. Be honest with yourself about this list, leave no stone unturned. Since you have all that time consider some basic things: Immediately start flirting with other woman. Hit the gym. Do stuff you like. Find new hobbies Hit the gym Flirt with more women Read a lot… Read more »
Roused, I already went to the gym before and during the relationship, but increased my workout schedule when she dumped me. I then went on summer holiday with a large group of guys and single girls and it freaked her out. I loved it. I make progress and she knows it. If have money and she knows it. Btw, I read both of Tomassi’s books and read all the articles I get in my mail. It’s not so much that I don’t see what is happening here (she keeping me as some safe-haven) during her quest for other cock, it’s… Read more »
[…] לאחר שלומדים את הכללים הבסיסיים של אהבה, כימיה, משיכה מינית, וקשרים זוגיים, מספיקים כמה ימים בודדים של מחשבה, ולרוב אפילו שעה קלה בלבד, כדי להגיע לכל המסקנות שניתן להסיק מסיום הקשר: מה הידרדר ופגם במשיכה ומדוע, מתי התחילו הנורות האדומות, על מה צריך לשים כעת דגש בשיפור עצמי, מה אפשר לשפר בגישה להבא. אין טעם לדפוק את הראש בקיר חודשים ארוכים. שאר המחשבות הטורדניות לאחר מכן לא משיגות שום מטרה זולת הארכת ההתמכרות לבן הזוג שעזב: כעת, כאשר בן הזוג אינו בנמצא ואין אנו יכולים לקבל באמצעותו רגשות טובים, המוח מפריש קוקטייל ארסי של הורמונים עקב רגשות קנאה והזיות… Read more »
I am adding a comment regarding the “addiction” of love from the perspective of women and whether they can feel such connection like a man can. It’s been said that women have a much easier time dealing with a break up than a man. I only believe this dynamic to play out in a situation when a man idealistically falls in love as a beta with a woman who just cannot love him as he expects to be loved – his beta bucks (in my view most marriages in the west). I do believe that women can fall in love… Read more »
That last paragraph really left open ended questions for me as I define my frame. I’m currently divorcing as I found out the signs of disrespect from my wife are apparent after the RP. She thinks its a joke. I consider myself a beta and have gone through the detox but I wonder if I am “that beta” that you’d never think would pull the trigger….
Any thoughts or advice from the more experienced gents is appreciated.
Take it over to the field reports section and elaborate a bit if you want to talk it through