Last week we had to make the difficult decision to put down our pet Rottweiler. He was taken on as a rescue dog 9 years ago as he had been badly treated. He had attachment issues and was very anxious. We gave him a good home and as much unconditional love as he gave us. He grew more secure with time and most that came across him liked him. He was a good advert for rotties.

Death was the elephant in the room when i was growing up – I was named after 2 of my father’s murdered brothers but this was never spoken about. The conspiracy of silence is common in traumatised family systems.

As fate would have it I’ve managed to avoid death most my life. When a favorite uncle died, i was doing my medical school finals so couldn’t go to his funeral. When my mother died i was overseas (and chose not to come home) and we were away on holiday when our other dog needed to be put down. And i entered into the world of limerence just 2 weeks after my father in law died.

I wanted our dog’s passing to be different. I wanted him to have a good passing. I insisted the vet to make a housecall so he could be in his home when he was put to sleep. That way his sister rescue dog could also be with him. I wanted to run away again and had to fight hard to resist the urge. It was painful to be with him as he passed over and seeing the pain my SO was in as she was more attached to him.

I have been feeling more grief over our pet’s passing than i did for my mother when she died 12 months ago. That about says it all.

And chatting yesterday to SO, she wondered if staying stuck in limerence is somehow related to our inability to let go and grieve? When we let go of our LO, we ideally need to grieve the pain of that loss. And grieving sucks and some of us do anything to avoid that pain.

Whats your expereince of limerence and bereavement (not just death of a loved one, the loss of anything precious, pets, our health, relationships, jobs etc?


David qualified as a Medical Doctor (GMC number 2941565) in 1984 from St. Thomas’ hospital, London. He obtained his GP and family planning certification. In 1999 he left medicine to set up docleaf, a leading Crisis Management and Trauma Psychology Consultancy. He has experience as a hypnotherapist and holds a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy and counselling from the Centre of Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in London and is currently studying for an advance diploma in executive coaching.

David spends part of his time as an executive coach and running docleaf leadership which works with CEO’s and other C suite leaders in helping them develop and grow.

David has written extensively about limerence, sex and love addiction as well as trauma and PTSD. His interest in romantic relationships led him to set up, a support forum to help those impacted by this debilitating condition.

David is passionate about men’s work and his mission in life is to help people become more conscious by teaching and helping others and continuing his own self-development. He is actively involved in volunteering with the ManKind Project charity which helps men live their lives with more integrity, honesty and taking more personal responsibility.

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