10th October 2021 at 12:26 am #132315
We talk alot about the honeymoon phase of the abuse cycle, trauma bonding, co-dependecy and cognitive dissonance. They all play their part in keeping us in abusive relationships. There is more than that though and when I heard about sunk cost fallacy, it really struck a chord.
I invested decades of time and effort trying to make my relationship with my ex work and I didn’t want to give up on it when the pay off could be just around the corner.
Sunk cost fallacy is when “a person is reluctant to abandon a strategy or course of action because they have invested heavily in it, even when it is clear that abandonment would be more beneficial”.
Anyone else recognise this as one of the reasons they stayed for so long?
10th October 2021 at 1:04 pm #132325Same-againParticipant
I like that phrase and yes, it resonates with me.
Like I’d put my heart and soul into us/him and couldn’t/didn’t want to (but did want to) let go.
I also feel very much that I was fighting my own mind (cognitive dissonance) & that was/has been very powerful.
10th October 2021 at 1:42 pm #132326KIP.Participant
There is a kind of addiction to gambling where the addiction comes from the feeling of a win. A pay out. That addiction keeps the gambler locked in the cycle of looking for that pay out time and time again. That high. The more they lose the more the become addicted. They could gamble 100 times for one win, but it’s that one win that keeps them trapped. I’ve often seen the similarities in that addiction to an abusers love bombing, the high we get from being adored and loved, one in one hundred times, still keeps us coming back. It’s psychological and deep rooted x
10th October 2021 at 5:03 pm #132333
I think it’s also the issue that having invested so much, the pay off must be just around the corner.
It was a real fear for me for a short while before I left. I’d invested so much time, energy and effort into our marriage and into him that I was worried that the pay off was just around the corner and I’d miss out on it.
10th October 2021 at 6:17 pm #132335WiseafterParticipant
Hi Eggshells, I hope you are well. Yes absolutely, I think this is a perfect description of what I went through. I will never get back the time, money, effort and love spent trying to make it work over many years. My ex future-faked from the start; mirroring my hopes, desires and dreams to keep me focussed on a mythical perfect future (the fallacy) and ignoring the abuse and devaluation happening in the present (the reality). He used to tell me we were trying to build something important and worthwhile so what did a few arguments, silent treatments, shoves or fights matter in the long run? That my feelings did not matter. That we were so close to making it. That makes me sad and angry to think about. This form of mind control is powerfully effective. I also think part of me wanted to be in denial about the sunk cost fallacy because it would have forced me to face up to the truth about my relationship when I had spent years hiding it, even from myself. Xx
10th October 2021 at 7:52 pm #132341DarcyParticipant
Hi beautiful angel… eggshells,
Well done for posting… I think this is an interesting point
Ultimately no one wants to fail (which is what ending a relationship can feel like) and God loves a trier!! … for me … I am a very loyal person & stubborn!, which I think also has locked me into things in the past that haven’t necessarily been good for me
No one starts off wanting a relationship to fail so we don’t always want to admit we got it wrong and therefore power on wanting to believe that man we fell in love with will change … unfortunately this is very rarely true
It great to learn new terms for things so thank you for sharing
Sending you continued love and support
11th October 2021 at 8:50 pm #132387
Thanks for all your comments and input ladies.
I suspect that there may be at least one lady on the forum who is experiencing this right now. If that lady is you and you’re reading this, we understand exactly where you’re at. xx
11th October 2021 at 9:55 pm #132392
13th October 2021 at 6:37 am #132444LearntoliveagainParticipant
Unfortunately I’m still doing this 😞
13th October 2021 at 8:55 am #132450
I cant stop thinking about this.
I wonder if this is the reason why I just cant see him as a narc why i cant see its abuse and admit to it. I dont want to admit that after over (detail removed by moderator) my marriage isnt good isnt normal if you like. The fear that no matter what i do how much i try and change myself hiw hard I fight to make my marriage a happier one for me its not gonna work?? Youve really got me thinking here. Xxxxxxx
13th October 2021 at 9:43 am #132454
If I’m honest, I was wondering about you when I learnt about this. It’s possible that sunk cost fallacy could be have a part to play.
Acceptance that we’re being abused is really difficult and actually quite shocking. There are many complex reasons why we find it so hard, including the perceived stereotype that is perpetually reinforced of what abuse looks like. Your situation doesn’t fit that stereotype so it’s harder to accept.
You’ve also spent the last(detail removed by moderator) protecting yourself from the reality just so that you could survive it. You are still trying to protect yourself because you’re still in the relationship. It’s one if those catch 22s.
You can’t accept it because you’re protecting yourself and because you’re protecting yourself you don’t feel like you need to leave. So you stay in the relationship and continue to protect yourself by not allowing yourself to see the abuse. (Cognitive dissonance). It’s abit like being caught in a trap; the harder you wriggle to free yourself, the harder the jaws clamp down.
At the moment though, you are starting to wriggle free. You’ve seen the lever to open the trap and your reaching out for it.
Your new job, being on the forum, mulling things over. They’re all signs that you are loosening his grip on you.
Big hugs. xx
21st October 2021 at 2:47 pm #132787
13th October 2021 at 10:28 am #132460NeverthoughtitwouldbemeParticipant
I can definitely relate to this.
I spent (detail removed by moderator) trying to make it work and held onto snippets of the ‘nice guy’ I would see every now and again.
I didn’t want to accept that he was an abuser as we grew up together.
Very sad but often we don’t see it until we are out of it.
I try not to see how long I gave him as a waste of time but I do wish I had realised sooner when the abuse wasn’t ‘as bad’
21st October 2021 at 8:57 am #132775WiseafterParticipant
I know I didn’t think about it before I got out. Now I know it was just another form of abusive control. My abuser had specific ways of controlling me called ‘anchoring’ (using objects, touch, words, certain songs, memories etc) and future faking to keep me hooked and giving more and more. He somehow made me feel responsible and paying out so that I was the one that had the skin in the game, not him. It was deliberate manipulation and driven not from a desire for a better future with me or the kids, but the need to control me in the moment. He could then deny the promises he made. Talk is cheap and after all, it is his word against mine and I am unhinged, forgetful and unreliable. It was like a sick game, being around friends was excruciating as my abuser held forth about our latest grand plans, boasting about this or that. The lies and pipe dreams. The rage on the way home as he accused me of not having his back, not believing in him, even if I had kept my face neutral or the smile plastered on. Another thing I found weird and I don’t know whether you guys know what I mean but my abuser seemed to have no sense of time – weeks, months, years – it meant nothing to him, something that happened yesterday was ‘in the past’ or on the flip side he would bring up a small thing I did or said years and years ago saying it happened recently and he would rage about it – very strange. To all of you still in this kind of dynamic, be strong and know you are not alone. xxxx
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