Responsibility and Making Amends in Recovery
(In light of the habit (lie) of cyberpaths to swear that they have 'changed', are 'sorry' or 'didn't mean it that way' or are 'trying to start a new life' - EOPC want sto present a radical idea.
IFyou want to stay friends or in contact with the person you preyed on and make it right? You could avoid a lot of the exposure, anger and blaming ("they are obsessed with me,""that never happened","it's all a lie", etc - don't go there, we KNOW you're lying...)
Cyberpaths - if you really want to change, here's what to do - Fighter) :
Responsibility is the cornerstone of recovery. We may feel guilty about the ways we've acted and about those we've hurt. This is part of recovery; it is part of having a conscience. In recovery, we learn to change our perspective on ourselves. Our illness can't be cured, but it can be treated if we are willing to work on it. Members of a support group who have "been there" can help in the healing process as we walk through the minefield of our shame.
In recovery, we learn to monitor our actions, and when we act in negative ways we do not become shameful and defensive; instead, we admit our mistakes and make amend for them. Making amends does not just mean saying we're sorry. It means recognizing and thinking through our behavior:
Because of how I acted, there is an inequality in our relationship. Now I need to find out from you what is needed for the relationship to become equal again.For a person who, during his addiction (predatory internet encounters), continually lied, making amends would not mean saying, "I'm sorry for blowing up at you." It would include admitting to his spouse what he has done, recounting a specific incident, and then saying, "I know this caused you great pain and frustration. What do you need from me to make up for this?" If her request is within his realistic limits, he would act to make restitution to her. By making amends, he owns precisely what he did and commits himself to a change in his behavior.
By claiming responsibility for our actions, we may win back some of the relationships we lost through our addiction. We are all human and we all act foolishly from time to time, but shame is a distortion of reality that makes it impossible for us to make amends. In recovery, we learn how to see ourselves realistically, as human beings.
from: The Addictive Personality, by Craig Nakken, MSW, CCDDP, LCSW, LMFT
RECOVERY & AMENDS TAKES TIME!! Not just a simple I'm sorry email.
You face the person IN PERSON if possible, and start an ongoing dialogue to heal both them and yourselves.
If you have had an 'online affair' you find a way to be accountable to your spouse while dealing with the other person rather than just abruptly breaking it off (all too convenient for the cyberpath and confusing & painful for their victim(s) In this EOPC disagrees with therapists who say to break it off or avoid the other person! Most therapists do NOT 'Get it' about relationships with pathologicals - online or off ) or finding an excuse to continue the affair.
While this goes against current thinking for cyber-relationships ("break it off immediately") it could be a gentler, more effective and radical approach to total accountability and healing in all parties.
We fully recognize in cases of fraud, divorce or assault - this may not be appropriate.
This excerpt used the male term(s), your cyberpath may well be female. - Fighter