The Illusion of Management

A part of how people convince themselves to stay in the pathological love relationship is that they think they are making ‘progress’ by managing the pathological’s behavior. Once there is a glimmer of doubt about the pathological’s behavior, the partner begins to do one of two things: they either change their belief system or they change their behavior. Most of them will change their belief system. That means, they will tell themselves there are ‘ways’ to manage the pathological’s lying, infidelity, addictions, sexual acting out, or whatever negative behavior they bring to the relationship. If they can manage the behavior, they can change the person. If they change what they don’t like in them, they have a shot at ‘being happy.’

That means they will change how they see the pathological. If they are ‘noticing’ too much negative behavior they might look the other way, rename it, minimize it, deny it, justify it, or use any other defense mechanistic way that allows the partner to change how they see the pathological.

When there is the thought that by enforcing strong ‘rules’ for the relationship or by ‘demanding’ their own rights that the pathological will ‘stop’ the behavior, the belief is based on the illusion of management.

When there is the thought by enforcing the ‘three strike rule’ for the relationship or by ‘demanding’ the pathological attend church, counseling, or treatment which will ‘stop’ the behavior, the belief is based on the illusion of management.

When there is the thought by ‘putting the pathological on a short leash’ and checking on them frequently, calling the cell, sending people out to find them, breaking into the pathological’s phone or computer, that the fear of being caught will ‘stop’ the behavior, the belief is based on the illusion of management.

When there is the thought that the pathological is “now working” or staying at home more or being kind, or saying the kinds of things you always wanted to hear and that the previous ‘behavior’ is now gone, the belief is based on the illusion of management.

Pathologicals and/or addicts are not managed. Shortening the leash, making demands, watching closer, hiring a P.I. is not managing a person’s acting out. Pathology is noted for its inability to grow to any emotional or spiritual depth, the inability to sustain the changes that you have demanded, and the inability to develop insight how their behavior harms others. People with pathological disorders are not managed—not by you, jail, prison, or church. The inability to sustain change means that the pathological will APPEAR to do whatever it takes to stay in the relationship, but the disorder itself means they cannot sustain the change that will please you.

People embrace the truth of pathology when they realize that the idea they are ‘managing’ the pathological’s negative behavior or addictions is simply an illusion. Jails and prisons are packed full of personality disordered and pathological individuals because probation ‘management’ or ‘psychological management’ did not work. As they say in 12 steps, ‘When nothing changes–nothing changes.’ Pathology has an inability to change which means nothing consistently changes in the pathological individual except maybe new ‘ideas’ about how to con others.

Managing manipulative behavior, drugs or alcohol, porn or sex addictions, infidelity, lying, and conning are an illusion used by the partner in order to ‘buy a little more time’ to try to figure out how to make the pathological be ‘more normal.’ In the end, it’s your defense mechanisms telling you that by changing your belief system (he can be different, he can do better) that you can ‘help them find the resources they need in order to grow into their full potential.’ If you’re over 30, falling in love with ‘potential’ is a crap game risk. People not living up to their potential in adulthood are called–pathologically disordered. By adulthood, either you ‘have the ability for life skills and success’ or you are ‘life challenged’ by addictions or pathology. In either case, partners need to understand there is no ‘managing’ someone else’s negative and pathological behavior. That is an illusion!

Additionally, playing with the ‘illusion of management’ increases cognitive dissonance in you. It causes a miserable symptom of your thinking ‘ping ponging’ back and forth between “He’s good/he’s bad.” This is simply responding to both sides of his Jekyll/Hyde nature. The longer you play with the illusion, the more cognitive dissonance (C.D.) you overload your mind with.

That’s why The Institute always treats the cognitive dissonance–in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone coaching–the issue of cognitive dissonance is always addressed. We are the leading provider of C.D. treatment for Aftermath Symptoms in Pathological Love Relationships. If you have C.D., make sure you get treated for it. It increases over time and makes the symptoms worse. Getting a handle on the ‘illusion’ is a first step towards managing your C.D.