Addictive Love Relationships


As we progress in our spiritual ascension work, many have become stuck.  I have observed several people who have engaged in spiritual ascension work for nearly a decade, but failed to progress very far.  Some of the problem is getting stuck in spiritual bypass, others have become side tracked by following the wrong guru, or some have simply lost their way through their ego, attachment, codependency, or addiction.

This morning I was reading about the definition of Love Addiction in Wikipedia.  It defines addictive love relationships as follows: “Ideally, love and addiction do not have anything at all to do with one another. They are polar opposites. Nothing could be further removed from genuine love. A common process of falling into love addiction begins when a person begins to feel sympathy with another person after going through an initially innocent moment of attraction and automatically idealizes the other to the point of divinity. The individual is then blindly attached to the other person, becoming incapable of making a realistic analysis of the situation; they may project all kinds of illusions onto the other person, believing them to be the only one that can bring happiness. This process can be very quick. There are, however, those who never go past this stage of blind love, and remain ‘addicted to people, sucking on them and gobbling them up…parasitism, not love.'”

Obsession can be considered the primary symptom of any addiction. In love addiction, the individual’s insecurity gives rise to an obsessive attachment to the object of their affection. It typically manifests as an insatiable hunger that distorts the person’s perception of reality and often results in various unhealthy behaviors and suffering. Those at high risk for love addiction include recovering alcoholics/addicts who use relationships as a form of substitution, and/or individuals who grow up in alcoholic/dysfunctional family systems.”

“Like other addictions (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, work, and the list goes on), the dependency to a person (their object- drug of choice) allows love addicts to feel alive- a sense of purpose- and to gain a sense of meaning and self-worth in the world: they are driven by ‘a fantasy hope that the drug of choice – a person – will complete them.'”

“Most love addicts start out attempting to meet some known or unknown emotional need, then become dependent on the intoxicating feelings of being in love itself. Unfortunately, as in the case of drug addicts, “love addicts”, too, may become incapable of getting the desired satisfaction, which in turn increases their addiction. They often feel a burning, passionate love that gives and gives, destroying their sense of humanity when they lose the person they’ve given to, sometimes causing them to feel and act out in a vengeful way.  The love addict suffers a lack of bonding as they did in childhood, including an inability to give and receive affection, self-destructive behavior, problems with control, and lack of healthy long term relationships.”

“Love addicts commonly and repeatedly form an addictive relationship with emotionally unavailable Avoidant partners.  The Avoidant partner is compulsively counter-dependent – they fear being engulfed/drowned/smothered by their love addict partner. Love addicts enter relationships with emotionally closed-off individuals who will let nothing and no one in, which makes intimate relationships impossible. Behind their emotional walls, hides low self-esteem and feel if they become truly known (display emotional intimacy) – no one would ever love, accept, and value who they are. Avoidants are attracted to people who have difficulty thinking for themselves, having healthy emotional boundaries, or taking care of themselves in healthy manners- the love addict.”

“Love addicts and Love Avoidants form relationships that inevitably lead to unhealthy patterns of dependency, distance, chaos, and often abuse. Nevertheless, however unsatisfactory the relationship, ‘love addicts hang on and on, because it is what they know’.  Familiarity is the central engine of their relationship. Each is attracted to the other specifically because of the familiar traits that the other exhibits, and although painful, come from childhood.”

“Ambivalent Love Addicts vacillate between love addiction and love avoidance. This can happen in successive relationships or in the same relationship. It is especially common in recovery to become ambivalent about healthy love. It is new and therefore unfamiliar, and to some, frightening.”

“This cycle encompasses a push-pull dance full of emotional highs and many lows where the one is on the chase (love addict) while the Avoidant is on the run. They both engage in counterfeit emotional involvement. Healthy emotional intimacy is replaced with melodrama and negative intensity- ironically creating the illusion of true love, intimacy, and connection – usually on an unconscious level. As a result, their relationships, although seemingly dramatic in their intensity, are actually extremely shallow.”

In order to escape the cycle of addictive love relationships, we must heal the emotional fractures and wounds within our emotional landscape, and give up our expectations of outcome with the Love Avoidant. Once we heal our fractures and emotional wounds within our emotional landscape, we will no longer feel the draw, compulsion, or obsession with the other.  The delusions and idealization about the other also falls away, seeing the other for who they really are.  Our illusions about the relationship as being satisfactory and feeling completeness from the other falls away too.   The reasons these things fall away is because we no longer need the coependency in our lives when we heal our emotional wounds from childhood.  ~Blessings and light, Brooke (Copyright 2013 Burrowing Owl Press/Brooke Chang with all rights reserved.)

Author: Brooke Chang

Hi, I'm Brooke who will be taking you on a healing journey to a more joyful life. I will serve as your guide on this healing journey sharing my insights, knowledge and experiences. I hope you will join me!

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