Although I am providing examples for love addiction as it pertains to a romantic relationship, take note that love addiction does not only apply to romantic or sexual relationships. However, all too often, disruptive relationships affect our wellbeing in a negative way. There certainly are, but if both partners are on board and willing to try, relationships can grow and thrive. The love addict becomes consumed with trying to make their lives about the other person and begins to neglect everything else such as time spent with friends or their work. Stay tuned for part 2 of this article tomorrow…. In the available literature on love and sex addiction, the love avoidant type is predominantly described as being male, but women are frequently love avoidant as well.
As long as the conflict cycle continues so too will the misery. Bibliotherapy is effective as well. Through our program, you can learn to recognize how your early relationships hurt you, making it difficult to trust people and become emotionally bonded with loved ones in your adult life. Many love addicts experienced a lack of nurturing and love during childhood. Terrified of abandonment, they still choose partners who will realize their deepest.
The love-averse experience the emotion of fearing vulnerability to another person, while repeatedly seeking someone with whom to connect. As children their basic needs to be seen, loved, and recognized as meaningful individuals most likely were not met leaving them to feel unlovable, unworthy, lonely, and disconnected. Meditation has been proven to bring more peace and actually can change our brain waves. Love addicts have a central fantasy that this other person will complete them and make them whole. Quite simply, that ground-breaking idea is that pain is unavoidable.
Learn how to recognize it and allow for the painful yet empowering process of letting go of a relationship that is unhealthy. If left untreated, this addiction can have the same devastating effects as chemical dependency, alcoholism or sexual addiction. By changing the way you think about the situation, you can turn around your love-related Approach-Avoidance Conflict. The fantasy creates a surge of endorphins—a literal high from love. Love avoidants do form relationships, but are unable to allow themselves to be vulnerable with their partners. Well that is a lot of information for one day, but I hope that it helps to bring you understanding and gives you hope that with some conscious effort you relationship can be turned around for the better! Having possibly experienced unhealthy bonding as children, this then distorts their beliefs of what a solid love relationship is, of what true intimacy and connection looks like.
Stage Three — Relationship In this phase, the mirages start to crack and crumble. Feelings of abandonment and desperation will continue to escalate; thus the intensity of the cyclical pattern will continue to increase. But this unconscious fear of being left draws Love Avoidants towards relationships, even though they have great difficulty making a commitment or connecting to their partner. The group provides much-needed support and encouragement for the addict as she works through painful emotional withdrawal from the avoidant cycle. The research indicates that people in good relationships tend to live longer and to experience better health, so finding ways to heal our attachment styles is important — not just for our partners, but for ourselves. Are you afraid of commitment or are you often ambivalent about your choice to commit, even after you have made the promise? Attachment research suggests that if we are paired with a secure partner we are less likely to experience this roller-coaster dynamic. If the love addict has not entered another relationship, she will re-enter the relationship in a haze of self-delusion, and the cycle begins anew.
What ensues is a dance, or toxic cycle, which leads to both partners stuck in the loop of anger, pain, loneliness, and yearning… always the yearning. In the majority of cases, both individuals in the relationship suffered some kind of significant relational trauma during childhood. Basically, love addiction withdrawal occurs like any other addiction withdrawal when the addictive substance is removed. A Love Avoidant Is More Likely to Cheat Love addicts who cheat are not very common, but love avoidants are likely to commit infidelities as a type of coping mechanism. If you feel plagued by fears of abandonment, unable to function without a romantic partner or conversely find yourself incapable of letting your guard down, you may need the help of a professional therapist.
When they become bored or frightened, they begin withholding companionship, sex, affection, anything that makes them feel anxious. It's worth mentioning to friends, family and carers: They may not know. When their partner expresses distress over the lack of emotional intimacy in the relationship, a love avoidant person may become overwhelmed, turning to pornography, substance abuse, or workaholism as a distraction from their frustration. As with any addictive substance, those addicted to love can become paranoid, and defensive and even experience symptoms of withdrawal. These two dysfunctional relationship styles may continue their dance of pursuit and distancing for many years. Another fantasy is that this person will fall in love with them and offer them reassurance, validation and praise always.
Many people long to have an intimate connection, yet because of events and wounds in their childhood, they find this a very difficult and oftentimes scary task. Because both of these partners suffer from a form of attachment disorder, a healthy relationship is going to be difficult to maintain without concentrated awareness and effort. Therefore, in adulthood despite the fact that the love avoidant usually hooks up with a dependent person, they will ultimately feel smothered, which is a cue to emotionally escape by acting out. They forgive easily and focus on problem-solving rather than winning when conflicts arise. I suggest you speak to a minister, priest, rabbi, or someone who can help you. The closer one gets to the goal in this conflict, the less motivation they tend to possess.
The avoidant will begin engaging even more heavily in his or her methods of escapism — maybe pornography, maybe , maybe infidelity. It requires breaking down the walls of denial and recognizing that you have an addiction; acknowledging the harmful consequences of the addiction; and intervening with help to stop the addictive cycle from occurring. For more information on our male-exclusive program of trauma and addiction recovery, please feel free to contact us today. Two decades ago, our understanding of love addiction was evolving from what we knew about co-dependency. This distancing causes the love addict extreme emotional pain and she reacts by either clinging even more desperately to him, or by creating some kind of self-distracting chaos through destructive behaviors of her own. As with the addict finding relationship with the co-dependent, the love addict is invariably attracted to the love avoidant, who unconsciously fears true intimacy.
An Approach-Approach Conflict is the least difficult situation of the three conflicts and is a win-win. Dealing with the core underlying issues that drive love addiction, you can make profound changes in the way you love. The love addict seems to be addicted to their unfulfilled longing; they crave unrequited love. Until next time, wishing you all love and connection! Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable, but behave as though you are not. My hope is to be an inspiration to others who have been through what I have been through — and to give them hope.