An Excerpt from the book: Getting Love Right
Intimate relationships can improve your life, or make it miserable! Here are the signs of addictive love relationships, which make love and life miserable.
Some psychologists believe that if you grew up in a dysfunctional home, your chances of being in a dysfunctional or addictive relationship are higher. You feel like you’re not worthy of being loved so you settle for a partner who treats you badly. This could be obvious abuse or the less obvious addictive relationship.
What is an Addictive Love Relationship?
Why Do I Keep Doing That? An addictive relationship usually involves one person who is self-centered and extremely independent.
This partner (let’s call him Selfish Sam – but it could just as easily be Selfish Sally) believes he’s entitled to whatever he wants whenever he wants it. He surrounds himself with people who support his opinions of himself.
The other partner (we’ll call her Dependant Debbie but it could be Dependent Darren) is dependent and other-centered, and willing to mirror whatever the first partner wants. She’s simply a reflection of him. This is how addictive relationships work.
Addictive relationshipsIt works until the other-centered person runs out of steam one night and doesn’t have enough energy to mirror back what is needed. The relationship is going to blow up. Addictive relationships do not necessarily have to have self-centered and other-centered partners, but it’s very common.
Seven Signs of Addictive Love
There are seven signs of an addictive love relationship:
1. Dishonesty. Neither Sam nor Debbie talks about who they are or what’s really bothering them. They lie about what they want. This turns communication into an addictive relationship.
2. Unrealistic expectations. Both Sam and Debbie think the other will solve their self-esteem, body image, family, and existential problems. They believe the “right relationship” will make everything better. Yet, they’re in a disastrous addictive relationship.
3. Instant gratification. Sam expects Debbie to be there for him whenever he needs her; he needs her to make him happy immediately. He’s using her to make him feel good, and isn’t relating to her as a partner or even a human being. She’s a like drug. An addictive relationship drug.
4. Compulsive control. Debbie has to act a certain way, or Sam will threaten to leave her. Both feel pressure to stay in this addictive relationship; neither feel like they’re together voluntarily.
5. Lack of trust. Neither partner trusts the other to be there when the chips are down. They don’t believe the other really loves them, and they don’t believe genuine caring or liking exists. At some level they know they’re not in a healthy but rather in an addictive relationship.
6. Social isolation. Nobody else is invited into their relationship – not friends, family, or work acquaintances. People in addictive relationships want to be left alone.
Cycle of pain. Sam and Debbie are trapped in a cycle of pleasure, pain, disillusionment, blaming, and reconnection. The cycle repeats itself until one partner breaks free of the addictive relationship.
7. Addictive love relationships can change, if both partners are self-aware and willing to do what it takes. In some cases an objective viewpoint (such as counseling) helps; other times, self-control and mutual accountability are all that’s needed to turn the addictive relationship around.
This is an Excerpt from the book: Getting Love Right