UNDERSTANDING LOVE ADDICTION
Love addiction is often perceived to be “less serious” than other process addictions i.e. compulsive sexual addictions, eating disorders or self-harm / mutilation addictions. Perhaps because it sounds “softer.” In reality it is extremely painful and can be very dangerous to both the addict and their partners. Many suicides, murders, stalkings, rapes and other crimes of passion have their roots in this addiction. Our culture has traditionally glorified love addiction with the notion that we fall in love and live “happily ever after.” This ignores the groundwork that relationships require. Many love relationships depicted in the media are really love addicted relationships. (See Romeo and Juliet as an example – not a very happy ending, huh?)
Signs and Characteristics of Love Addiction:
* Lack of nurturing and attention when young
* Feeling isolated, detached from parents and family
* Compartmentalization of relationships from other areas of life
* Outer facade of “having it all together” to hide internal disintegration
* Mistake intensity for intimacy (drama driven relationships)
* Hidden Pain
* Seek to avoid rejection and abandonment at any cost
* Afraid to trust anyone in a relationship
* Inner rage over lack of nurturing, early abandonment
* Highly manipulative and controlling of others
* Perceive attraction, attachment, and sex as basic human needs, on a par with food and water
* Sense of worthlessness without a relationship or partner
* Feelings that a relationship makes one whole, or more of a man or woman
* Escalating tolerance for high-risk behavior
* Intense need to control self, others, circumstances
* Presence of other addictive or compulsive problems
* Insatiable appetite in area of difficulty (sex, love or attachment / need.)
* Using others, sex & relationships to alter mood or relieve emotional pain
* Continual questioning of values and lifestyle
* Driven, desperate, frantic personality
* Confusion of sexual attraction with love (“Love” at first sight.)
* Tendency to trade sexual activity for “love” or attachment
* Existence of a secret “double life”
* Refusal to acknowledge existence of problem
* Defining out-of-control behavior as normal
* Defining “wants” as “needs”
* Tendency to leave one relationship for another. (Inability to be without a relationship.)
* Attempts to replace lost relationships with a new one immediately
Many of these symptoms are also elements of codependency and intimacy dsyfunctions resulting from childhood abandonment, emotional and / or sexual abuse. For this reason treatment and therapy for Love Addiction often includes trauma recovery work. Read what others have to say about love addiction.
Characteristic Of Sex and Love Addiction
1. Having few healthy boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.
2. Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in and return to painful, destructive relationships, concealing our dependency needs from ourselves and others, growing more isolated and alienated from friends and loved ones, ourselves, and God.
3. Fearing emotional and/or sexual deprivation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time.
4. We confuse love with neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or be rescued.
5. We feel empty and incomplete when we are alone. Even though we fear intimacy and commitment, we continually search for relationships and sexual contacts.
6. We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame, fear and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitutes for nurturing, care, and support.
7. We use sex and emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.
8. We become immobilized or seriously distracted by romantic or sexual obsessions or fantasies.
9. We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable.
10. We stay enslaved to emotional dependency, romantic intrigue, or compulsive sexual activities.
11. To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional anorexia for recovery.
12. We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not fulfilling our fantasies and expectations.
The Characteristics of Healthy Love
People in healthy relationships have the following characteristics.
1. They allow for individuality.
2. They experience both oneness with and separateness from another.
3. They bring out the best qualities in self and another.
4. They accept endings.
5. They experience openness to change and exploration.
6. They invite growth in the other person.
7. They experience true intimacy.
8. They feel the freedom to ask honestly for what is wanted.
9. They experience giving and receiving in the same way.
10. They do not attempt to change or control the other.
11. They encourage self-sufficiency of partners.
12. They accept limitations of self and other.
13. They do not seek unconditional love.
14. They accept and respect commitment.
15. They have a high self-esteem
16. They trust the memory of the beloved; they enjoy solitude.
17. They express feelings spontaneously.
18. They welcome closeness; risk vulnerability.
19. They care with detachment.
20. They affirm equality and personal power of self and other.
* If you are having problems in your relationship then it is possible you may be in a LOVE Addicted Relationship. There is HOPE that this can be treated and your relationship can grow and become healthy.
* Contact us TODAY for a confidential assessment PH 0432 944 027(7days)