I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

268. The Jerk Attachment Syndrome

The Jerk Attachment Syndrome
In entry 255., I was attempting an answer to the question, why decent women stay too long with jerks.    I was mainly explaining the cognitive dissonance of a woman between her dignity and the fact, that she herself was mislead to assume being a partner in mutually intrinsic commitment and as a consequence has allowed a man to use her body.

In entry 155, I already explained the concept of the love bank.

After some more thinking, I have come to the conclusion, that things are probably more complex than what I had written in entries 155 and 255.       

A decent women in a relationship with a jerk or an emotional moron sometimes develops something similar to the Stockholm Syndrome.    
"In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness."

I will call it the Jerk Attachment Syndrome.    (This expression was my own idea, but once again, I am not original, some woman already had used it on her blog.    But as she has not defined it, I continue to use it with my own psychological definition.)

Of course, there is one big difference.  A hostage has been forced into the situation, while a woman has entered the relationship by her own decision.  She has become a hostage only of her love and her need to have a relationship as a home, a safe haven.    But a woman's attachment to an abusive man can be as irrational as that of a hostage to the captor.   

The love bank concept balances the input of caring behavior with the withdrawal by hurting behavior.    A relationship is at a balance of 20 units towards doom, when the man applies 100 units of hurting and only invests 80 units of caring.    This works as a rational evaluation of the relationship, but only, if the woman is fully rationally capable to base her decision upon this evaluation.   When the woman stays, in spite of the man having a huge debt at the love bank, then she is probably a case of the Jerk Attachment Syndrome.   
Emotionally the two sides of the account are often kept apart, because they are in inconvertible currencies.    While the hurting, the transgressions, the despair and depletion piles up, attachment during the few good moments of respite continues to grow also, even though it seems a paradox.    This leads a person into the inner struggle of being torn apart in the classical situation of someone being at the same time too bad to stay with and yet appearing too good to leave.   

When a person experiences something pleasant, especially something eliciting strong emotions of wellbeing, for example listening to the favorite music or enjoying a specially beautiful place, often the brain associates the good feelings with any person, who is present.   This even happens, when the man, with whom she attends a concert, is hurting a woman frequently.   As a result, she gets attached to someone unworthy of her.    

She may well experience the man as a kind of double personality, like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.    When he hurts her, she is still aware, that there are sometimes good moments, and she has the illusionary dream, that she could have good moments only at some time in the future, if only she has the patience and endurance.    During the good moments, she cannot relax and feel at ease, because she is fully aware, that from one moment to the next, out of the blue, he could do something hurtful again.     She experiences both personalities as never fully separated, when one is in the foreground, she is prepared for the other to appear at any moment.    

People taking hostages are in a similar way often double personalities, especially when they are using the cruel and criminal method of taking hostages for legitimate political reasons and good causes.    They have a goal, which often they want to reach without doing harm to the victims, who are instruments and not their personal enemies.   Sometimes the captors attempt to minimize the victims' suffering by kind acts.   

This is, why I think, that the paradoxical reactions of the Stockholm Syndrome and of the Jerk Attachment Syndrome are very similar.