Addicted to love
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Marilyn McKenzie BSc, PGDip, MBACP
5th February, 20180 Comments
Have you ever wondered why you're rarely single but every relationship you've been in always felt so lonely?
Do you find yourself in relationships where you and you partner have little in common or to talk about but you have lots of sex?
Your partner is never there for you when you need emotional support and they to are incapable of intimacy?
Have you ever spent hours obsessing over your partner only to find they really couldn't give a fig about you? Not just because they are selfish but because they have always been that way?
Do you spend many hours almost in a state of daydream (often before going to sleep) about the perfect relationship, partner, children and house and the dream never gets past marriage or children or some trauma?
Are you filled with self loathing after the end of a relationship? Did you always see the end coming a while ago?
And, finally, is it only then that you can see all the flaws that was present or even that it might have been abusive and quite soon after you're in another relationship doing exactly the same thing?
Could you be using these relationships to avoid a feeling that is only present when you are alone?
Addictions are tricky in the sense that it is often a symptom of something but rarely the cause. A lot of people who suffer with addiction struggle with intimacy, not all, but a lot of people. Having real connections with others is hard and people do not come with instructions, throw addiction into the mix you have the perfect avoidance tool.
When in love addiction, you could often find yourself in one of the following roles:
This triangle grows tiresome for all involved and while playing one of these roles you are avoiding whatever is troubling you.
Is it a fear of loneliness?
Is it feeling unworthy?
Is it believing you're unlovable?
What scenario are you replaying in these relationships, where ultimately you never get what you need?
It's difficult changing something as inherit as how we are loved and give love. You can tell yourself how much you are worth, plus tax until you are blue in the face but, unless you believe it then it's like constantly repeating an affirmation that just isn't sinking in.
The problem of love addiction is that you can end up constantly reaffirming whatever negative core belief you have of yourself. To move forward you have to step out of role.
Take some ownership of your part in the situation (except in abuse.)
Look at whatever feelings you're avoiding as chances are its not working anyway.
Learning how to love and be loved isn't easy. Confronting your core beliefs can be a struggle too. You don't have to go it alone and there are therapists who can support you through this who won't judge your past or tell you what to do. They'll just help you make the best, informed and safest decisions for you.
About the author
I am Marilyn McKenzie and I am a qualified psychotherapist who has worked with couples, addiction, DV, young offending, grief and bereavement as well as anxiety and depression.
I am integrative in my approach but often work systemically. I have a private practise and work with relate.
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