Love Addiction 101

Are you constantly having your heart broken?  You don’t understand why you keep attracting people that love you and then leave you? Has the failure of many relationships in the past few years left you jaded and afraid you may never be happy?

 

If the above sounds like you then you may be a Love Addict who constantly is falling in love with Avoidance Addicts.  It’s time to heal and move on.  Before you can do that you need to realize why you continue to repeat the same pattern over and over. Once you begin to understand your behavior then you will be able to change your behavior.

 

The Love Addict’s greatest fear is being abandoned, being alone and being rejected. The Love Addict gets this way because of something that occurred early on in childhood. Maybe one parent or the other may have walked out the door through divorce or abandonment of the family. Often love addicts have a parent that, for whatever reason, didn’t give them the love and nourishing relationship they needed as a child. The rejection felt by the love addict was so severe that it has set up a lifetime pattern of entering relationships quickly and then being abandoned over and over by the object of their affection. They bond quickly with people.  Love addicts begin to fantasize constantly about the person they are obsessed with. They immediately call or e-mail their friends telling them how “this is the one” and  “this feels right”.   Love Addicts are usually obsessive-compulsive people who seem to be strong but actually are walking on eggshells constantly waiting for something to go wrong.

 

The Love Addict is a warm, emotional and loving person.  They provide instant warmth and intimacy in relationships. Often you will hear people say about them “She is the nicest person I have ever met” They seem to be transparent and honest to a fault.

 

Things go great in the beginning of the relationship. The object of affection (The Avoidance Addict) quickly hones in on the Love Addict. The Love Addict is showered with attention, flowers and cards. They are being called constantly. They have never been happier. Then as they begin to relax in this newfound happiness something strange begins to happen. The avoidance addict quits calling as much and stops being available.

 

The Love Addict goes into a tailspin. Something has to be wrong! They imagine the worse. Something is going on and they need to find out what it is and do something about it. They start to call the Avoidance Addict, compulsively. They often drive by his house at all times of the day and night just to make sure the car is in the driveway.

 

Next comes the “other person” into the mix. The Love Addict begins to think it’s the other woman’s entire fault. She can’t face the reality that the man who she was SURE was in love with her has moved on. For a while she tries to get him back. Then, when nothing she does is working, she tries to make him feel guilty for “doing this to her”. Finally she gets mad and begins to act out anger and revenge for the man abandoning her.  The same anger and revenge she wanted to act out as a child.

 

Why does she pick this kind of man? It’s because he seems familiar to her. His personality is very much like the personality of the one who left her life and left her sad as a child.

The Avoidance Addict is both intrigued by and repulsed by the Love Addict. Avoidance Addicts usually have had smothering mothers. They may have also been emotionally incested by their mother. Emotional incest has nothing to do with sex. Emotional incest is when a mother is lonely and tells all her troubles to her son.  She crosses boundaries and makes the son a confidant. Maybe the dad is away for business a lot or maybe the dad has left the family. The son feels sorry for mom and starts to comfort her emotionally. The next thing you know either dad is back or mom has a new boyfriend. Mother ,who doesn’t have much time for him now,  rejects the son in favor of the new man in her life. Subconsciously he determines, at that young age, that no woman will ever treat him like that again.  He can never go through that pain again! In some severe cases men have had mothers who saw several men walk in and out of their lives. In each case the boy comforted mom and then was rejected.

 

The Avoidance Addict is attracted to women who are warm, loving and emotional like his mother is/was. This is where the Love Addict comes in. She feels familiar to the Avoidance Addict.

 

Avoidance Addicts usually leave the relationship just as things pass the “getting to know you” stage into a higher level of intimacy. In the beginning the Avoidance Addict may be feeling uncomfortable but he has a hard time rejecting the Love Addict or saying “no” to the relationship. Just like he had a hard time saying no to or hurting his mother.

 

Avoidance Addicts can actually go into panic attacks when they want to leave a relationship. They feel, literally, as if they are feeling smothered. They have to leave to feel better mentally and physically. They will leave at all costs. More times then not they bring another woman into the mix as a way of letting the Love Addict know “it’s over.”

 

In the relationship between Love Addicts and Avoidance Addicts the one that usually keeps things going is the Love Addict. She provides little cards, gifts and lots of attention. What she doesn’t understand is that the Avoidance Addict is ambivalent towards her and just couldn’t say “NO” to anything she wanted to do for him.

 

The Avoidance Addict who initially came on so strong now begins to back off. He just doesn’t have the energy to create intimacy. Intimacy is his biggest fear.  The Love Addict wanting more and more attention begins to chase the Avoidance Addict. This only causes the Avoidance Addict to flee and flee very quickly.

 

At the end of the relationship the Love Addict begins to “bomb” the Avoidance Addict with emails, phone calls and letter. In her mind she remembers the way he was in the beginning and she wants that fantasy and romance back at any cost. Many Love Addicts have done some desperate things to try and recapture those fantasy moments. Sometimes, in a last ditch effort, they attempt suicide only to find out the Avoidance Addict could care less.

 

A Love Addict has a higher tolerance for fear and discomfort because of her childhood. The parent that walked out may have been dysfunctional and wrecking havoc on the whole family. The Love Addict learned to deal by avoidance of the reality of the situation.  When you hear someone say, “Why doesn’t she just move on!” they are probably referring to a Love Addict.

 

The neediness of the Love Addict evidentially overwhelms the Avoidance Addict. The Avoidance Addict then becomes critical and mean.  He then does anything and everything to avoid the trap he feels the Love Addict has set for him. He thinks if she hates him she will leave him alone.

 

Sometimes out of guilt the Avoidance Addict returns to the relationship. Many men who are married and constantly have affairs are Avoidance Addicts. They avoid true intimacy in marriage by escaping to affairs.

 

This dance can go on and on for years. It only ends when the Love Addict realizes that she deserves better. Love Addicts need to face the fact that an Avoidance Addict, without a lot of counseling, never changes.

 

If you are a Love Addict you can change. The first step is, like with any other addiction, to admit that YOU have a problem. You then have to go cold turkey off of relationships until you can handle a relationship in which you can go slowly.

 

You will need to learn that constant drama in relationships is not normal and that you can be happy without a constant string of “bad boys” causing dysfunction in your life.

 

It takes time to know someone.  Good relationships take both people being “present.” They take work. They need to be nourished by both people. The giving of gifts should be equal.

 

Start today to read all you can about Love Addiction.  Realize why you are like you are and take steps to change. Find a good relationship counselor or a group of recovering Love Addicts to join. There is going to be a better day. Knowledge is the first step towards reclaiming your power.

 

Nothing NO THING is impossible with God