When a woman tells me, “That’s IT! I will never, ever, ever talk to him again. I HATE HIM!” I begin looking at my watch to see how long it takes for her to talk to him again. Why do I think her relapse, thus contact, is imminent? Because ‘HATE’ is passion. Anything that feels that impassioned or has that much energy is usually acted on. If anger is the energy for change, then hate is the energy for hookups.
I am never hopeful when a woman spends all her counseling time talking about this deep- seated ‘hatred’ for him. As you have heard, love and hate share a fine line of emotional attachment.
When a woman counts on ‘hate’ to keep her away from him, she is setting herself up for a re-contact and a relapse. Feelings aren’t always facts. And your heart already knows you don’t ‘HATE’ him—you may be disgusted, hurt, betrayed, bewildered or a lot of other emotions—but in the moment of the breakup you are probably not sitting in deep-seated ‘hatred.’ Your passionate feelings of ‘love’ for him, and your belief that he felt the same way toward you, may not have been any more ‘factual’ than the feelings of hatred. Therefore, it’s not wise to use your emotions as the gauge for your ability to set limits, boundaries, and standards with a pathological. Your feelings are being pulled back and forth, and if your boundaries are being determined by your FEELINGS, they will quickly change with the next email, text, or phone call from him.
Feeling hatred for him and counting on that hatred to keep you from picking up the phone the next time he calls is a poor plan for preventing relapse. Hatred is fickle, and it will turn its back on you in a moment, throwing you from disgust into loneliness and fantasy. Before you know it, it’s make-up sex with all that impassioned hatred turned into hot steaming hormones. Afterward, there’s only confusion and disgust for yourself. Even the ‘hatred’ you counted on to keep you strong has betrayed you. So, from this standpoint, your Relapse Prevention Plan needs to be stronger and more elaborate than mere feelings.
Hatred also keeps you embroiled in the storytelling to justify your hatred. The more you tell others the story, the more traumatically bonded you are to him and the pathology dynamics. That simmering hatred is causing anxiety and ongoing stress to your body through the releasing of adrenaline. He’s already cost you enough in your emotional health—the hatred just ensures he will also cost you in physical health.
Hatred increases intrusive thoughts, obsessive thinking and the inability to concentrate—not really what you need about now.
Hatred also causes you to neglect your own self-care when you are so consumed with negative feelings that you forget what YOU need right now.
And, finally and most importantly, hating him only disconnects you from your own spiritual connections. Any true recovery is a spiritual experience and you need spiritual connections right now.
The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference. Indifference holds the key to your healing and to the issue of emotional detachment which we will discuss more next week.