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The Doctors welcome psychologist Dr. Nadine Macaluso, the former wife of Jordan Belfort known as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” who is using what she learned in her past abusive relationship to help others being abused.
Dr. Macaluso shares at first her relationship and marriage were good, but once she was sucked into Jordan's world she dealt with intimidation, coercion, and threats. She says his temper was out of control, he abused her and he abused drugs. "I was literally living in a warzone," she tells The Doctors, revealing Jordan once said to her, "The only way you'll leave me is in a body bag." Only when Jordan was arrested, did Dr. Macaluso feel she could safely leave him and their marriage. She is happy to share she's now remarried and has been in a stable relationship for over 20 years.
She says the 2013 movie about her ex-husband, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and where she was portrayed by Margot Robbie "allowed all of my past traumatic experiences to have meaning... I didn't go through all of that trauma for nothing," she says, explaining her dark past now informs her work as a psychologist.
Dr. Macaluso feels she and Jordan had a "trauma bond," which is a relationship where someone remains loyal when the other person is hurtful, abusive, and betrays you. She explains these types of relationships can mix abuse with caring. She says Jordan was prone to "love bombing," where he would tell her that they would not be able to date unless she married him or if she did not agree to have children they would not marry. The psychologist says his threats were mixed in with kind gestures and lavish gifts.
Despite being scared during the darkest parts of their marriage, Nadine initially thought she could manage Jordan and his abuse. She says her breaking point was Jordan falling deep into his drug addiction and when he was sober, "He was lovely." But when his addiction took over, she says she feared for her life and the safety of her children.
Dr. Macaluso shares her advice for other women in abusive relationships, telling The Doctors, "When I was married to Jordan, I was so focused on him and what he was doing wrong. And that wasn't healthy. I needed to turn the mirror back on me. What was my part in this? What was my role in this? What did I need to develop in myself to grow?
The psychologist shares she needed to develop competence in something and longed to be good at something in order to feel confident, and begin relying on healthy relationships to heal from her abuse. She says working with a therapist or counselor is vital for someone in an abusive relationship.
And though her past was difficult, Dr. Macaluso tells us she would not change it as it taught her a great deal about herself and propelled her into her career in counseling. Find out more from Dr. Macaluso including her upcoming book, here.