As human’s it is in our nature to strive to achieve harmony in what we think and the way we behave, we will do all we can to avoid the feeling of ‘dissonance’ or lack of harmony we feel.
When wo/man believes they have married a charming, caring human, that later goes on to control, manipulate and abuse, this then causes extreme confusion in the body and mind. There are many reasons why people continue to live with a psychologically controlling partner. However, when wo/man choose to live through these relationships what they experience is the feeling of cognitive dissonance. In other words staying with an abusive partner causes one to have feelings of discomfort and disharmony because their thoughts and beliefs about the abusive behaviours don’t match her action’s of sticking with them.
I struggled in myself to get my head around this theory, but it can be likened to a smoker who can justify the need to smoke, whilst knowing the health implication’s. It can be seen over and over with religion, I myself choose to be in myth, magic and sparkle!
Cognitive dissonance is a theory developed by social psychologist, Leon Festinger, in the 1950s. The theory explains how people respond when their attitudes and beliefs do not match their behaviours.
The idea of unconditional love, We are taught to believe we are loved no matter what we do. From birth I have been told this, yet as a child certain behaviour was expected of me, love was withdrawn or appeared to be, so we then are living with the feeling cognitive dissonance. ‘It must mean we are loved even if we are treated badly.’
Love should come with conditions, as quoted by Jeff Brown, a condition of kindness…(a favourite author right now!)