If you’ve been hanging out with me for awhile, whether on Instagram, the blog, or YouTube, you’ll recognize the phrase “honeymoon moments.”
I’ve talked about them a lot but I wanted to do a deep dive into what they are and why they’re so important.
So… what is a Honeymoon Moment?
Honeymoon moments are the reason that we stay in abusive relationships. We don’t stay because we enjoy being abused. We stay because of the honeymoon moments.
A honeymoon moment is the “positive” thing the abuser does after they hurt you.
Sometimes it will present itself as an “I’m sorry” after yelling at you. They’ll say things like, “You’re right, I’ll call a therapist” or “I’m sorry – you know I love you.”
These are the honeymoon moments.
These are the moments that we live for.
Our brain becomes addicted to these moments.
When you have positive moments in life, there are lots of happy chemicals that your body releases. When you’re in abusive relationships, the happy chemicals aren’t released as often. In fact, there are so many stress hormones released that your body needs the happy chemicals to balance itself out.
Your brain gets a big hit of the happy chemicals when something “good” happens which is then followed by a massive drop. This means in your brain gets addicted to this “happy” feeling.
Your brain gets addicted to the fact that he said he was sorry.
Your brain craves these moments.
If you were in a relationship that you really struggled to leave and you feel guilty about it, I want you to know you’re not alone. You’re not broken. Your brain was responding in a normal, albeit an unhealthy, way to the cycle of abuse that was happening on repeat.
In abusive relationships, these honeymoon moments become farther and fewer between. This only increases the desire in your brain for them.
In the beginning of the relationship, they love bomb you, they tell you that you’re perfect.
They’ll buy you flowers, they take you out to dinner, they do all of this these “good things.” How long that lasts really depends on the relationship.
Sometimes it lasts a week, sometimes it lasts a month. Sometimes it lasts a year.
It’s this super “love” heavy phase where they really hook you in with all of this positivity. You feel so special and so loved. But then as the relationship goes on, these honeymoon moments begin to disappear.
But your brain hooked on the fact that it got all of the happy chemicals in the love bombing phase. It’s saying, “Okay, maybe another honeymoon moment is coming. Maybe he’ll come home with flowers today. He’s not a bad guy – I can’t get mad at him for yelling at me like that.”
We get excited about these little things that should be normal and happen all the time.
But we get hooked on them because they don’t.
Not only do they not happen all the time, but the amount of abuse you endure between each moment amplifies this.
Your brain is so obsessed with the fact that it got that hit before that all it can think of is the next one.
You begin to think about what you can do to fix the problem, because he was so sweet before you convince yourself that it’s your fault he’s changed.
Maybe you need to dress different, clean the kitchen, make the bed, do the laundry. You do your best to get a fancy dinner on the table, you dress in his favorite lingerie.
We get in this destructive cycle because we want that honeymoon moment so badly.
This is what leads to trauma bonds and women staying in these relationships for years.
Not only are you scared to leave, but your brain is chasing after that next honeymoon moment.
If you relate to this, I hope that it brings you some relief. You’ve spent so long thinking you’re crazy. Your friends have gotten mad at you because you stayed so long.
I hope you see that it was actually normal to respond to that of abuse and trauma.
If you’re currently in this situation, PLEASE reach out and get help. At least reach out to a friend who knows what’s going on so when the time comes to leave you have a plan.
If you’ve experienced this in the past, you deserve healing. You deserve to finally be free of the memories and guilt that haunt you.
Now is your time. If you’re ready to finally heal and move forward, Recovery Bootcamp is for you.
This a FREE five day challenge where I’m going to be giving you the exact framework I give my clients on their recovery journey.
We’re going to discuss trauma bonds, the guilt, gaslighting, and so much more.
Click here for all the details and to grab your spot!