Editor’s Note: A recent comment by my FL buddy, Lauren, who’d fallen prey to a relationship hoax, reminded me of this post that I’d written about a year ago. She confided that she affectionately told her boyfriend that he seemed to be dosing her with “Love Potion #9.” Little did she know that sociopaths are masters at stirring up our brain chemistry to attract and hook us to them.
Romantic “chemistry” really does attract us and link us to a mate.
Love Potion #9 was one of the most popular songs of 1959. It was written by Lieber and Stoller and originally recorded by The Clovers. It was published by the Aberbach brothers who owned Hill & Range Songs Inc. It’s been covered by over twenty five other artists since its original release. Although it’s a spoof on a chemical concoction that makes people fall in love, it’s not so far from the truth.
Addicted to love
Romantic love has recently been shown to be a chemical addiction, similar to drugs and alcohol, but, when all goes well, it supports our love life instead of diminishing it. The chief chemical component in romantic love is oxytocin, a neurotransmitter. Produced in the brain, it creates a sense of trust and cleaves us to our love interest.
When love goes very wrong
When we’re betrayed, although we may feel abused and defiled, we might continue clinging to the offender because we need to replace the “loved” feeling oxytocin, and the other neurotransmitters, created. The immediate cessation of the chemicals we recognize as love, may cause us to bond more powerfully in an addicted-like fashion that we’re unaware of. Just like an alcoholic craves a drink when they attempt to abstain, a person experiencing betrayal can feel a heightened sense of attachment. The result could be described as being stuck in toxic glue.
The best exit strategy
Having “no contact” with the offender is the best way to free ourselves of destructive loving bonds. Doing so enables us to get rid of the desire and longing that accompanies separation. But it’s extremely difficult for the victim to undertake this type of hyper-separation and it’s all too easy for a predator to misuse brain chemistry to wangle back into their life.
Victims must be able to see the forest, not just the trees, that are blocking the big picture.
The irony in a song
Interestingly, the Aberbach fortune existed in the backdrop of the personal harm I endured from my ex. Hill & Range Songs owned a 50% share of Elvis Presley, 10% of the Beatles, and 75% of the music coming out of Nashville. They owned the lion’s share of all the popular hits of the ’50s and ’60s.
My estranged husband was harbored by Jean Aberbach’s widow while he abandoned our child and deprived me of child support. As related in my book, Carnal Abuse by Deceit, (rt click to link,) the irony of oxytocin’s relationship with Love Potion #9 is particularly poignant for me.