High school chemistry taught me a very valuable lesson: When certain substances come into close contact, they can form a chemical reaction. I proved that one day during my senior year of high school when I dropped a jar full of pure sodium off a bridge into a river and nearly blew up the bridge! What I’ve learned since then is that many people don’t respect the laws of chemistry any more than I did as a teenager. They mix volatile ingredients without giving much thought to the consequences. I’ve discovered that many married people don’t understand that a chemical reaction can occur with someone other than their spouse. Don’t misunderstand me—I’m not just talking about sexual attraction. I’m referring to a reaction of two hearts, the chemistry of two souls. This is emotional adultery—an intimacy with the opposite sex outside of marriage. Emotional adultery is unfaithfulness of the heart. When two people begin talking of intimate struggles, doubts, or feelings, they may be sharing their souls in a way that God intended exclusively for the marriage relationship. Emotional adultery is friendship with the opposite sex that has progressed too far. I’ve talked with many men and women who have fallen into full-fledged adultery, and I’ve discovered that, in most cases, the adulterous relationships started as a casual relationship at work, school, or even church.
You may be converging on a chemical reaction with another person when:
• You’ve got a need you feel your mate isn’t meeting—a need for attention, approval, or affection.
• You find it easier to unwind with someone other than your spouse by dissecting the day’s difficulties over lunch, coffee, a ride home, or through email or social media.
• You begin to talk about problems you’re having with your spouse.
• You rationalize the “rightness” of this relationship by saying that surely it must be God’s will to talk openly and honestly with a fellow Christian.
• You look forward to being with this person.
• You wonder what you’d do if you didn’t have this friend to talk with.
• You hide the relationship from your spouse.
From an article at http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/troubled-marriage/infidelity/emotional-adultery-unfaithfulness-of-the-heart#.U-ORZ010yM8
The new infidelity is between people
who unwittingly form deep,
passionate connections before realizing
that they’ve crossed the line
from platonic friendship into romantic love.
Infidelity is any emotional
or sexual intimacy that violates trust.
Healthy love is wonderful and makes life worthwhile. On the other hand, “love addiction” can cause pain, suffering, and even death. Knowing the difference between love and “love addiction” can be life-saving.
1. Healthy Love develops after we feel secure.
Addictive Love tries to create love even though we feel frightened and insecure.
2. Healthy Love comes from feeling full. We overflow with love.
Addictive Love is always trying to fill an inner void.
3. Healthy Love begins with self-love.
Addictive Love always seeks love “out there” from that “special someone.”
4 Healthy Love comes to us once we’ve given up the search.
Addictive Love is compulsively sought after.
5 Healthy Love comes from inside. It wants to give.
Addictive Love comes from outside. It wants to take.
6. Healthy Love grows slowly, like a tree.
Addictive Love grows fast, as if by magic, like those children’s animals that expand instantly when we add water.
7. Healthy Love thrives on time alone as well as time with our partner.
Addictive Love is frightened of being alone and afraid of being close.
8. Healthy Love is unique. There is no “ideal lover” that we seek.
Addictive Love is stereotyped. There is always a certain type that attracts us.
9. Healthy Love is gentle and comfortable.
Addictive Love is tense and combative.
10. Healthy Love is based on a deep knowing of ourselves and our lover.
Addictive Love is based on hiding from ourselves and falling in love with an ideal “image,” not a real person. http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cc-is-it-love-or-love-addiction/
My fear of abandonment
is exceeded only by
my terror of intimacy.
Ethlie Ann Vare
There are some who might argue that falling in love is by its very nature a sign of mental illness. It’s not natural to develop such deep emotional bonds and passionate feelings so quickly, and the expression of those feelings can often border on the irrational. The need to be in the company of a loved one can override physical pain or all sense of propriety. That person can almost fulfill the role of a drug or any other addictive substance. Society appears to encourage some irrational behavior when it comes to passionate romance, but there is clearly a line between passion and obsession. After the initial rush and excitement of a new romance has had time to cool a bit, one partner may notice that the other’s behavior has changed significantly. Petty arguments become much more heated quickly or expressions of affection become more serious. He or she may seem to be demanding more and more of your time and attention, to the exclusion of other friends or family members. If this is the case, you may be caught in the unhealthy throes of an obsessive relationship. Sometimes an obsession will burn itself out and the relationship returns to normal, but other times the obsessed partner will exhibit signs of true emotional instability, love addiction, and codependence. From an article by ichael Pollick, http://www.howtodothings.com/family-and-relationships/a1953-how-to-recognize-an-obsessive-relationship.html
Just because something is addictive
doesn’t mean that you will get addicted to it.
But . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
if your stomach ties up in knots while
you count the seconds waiting for a phone call
from that special someone . . .
if you hear a loud buzzing in your ears
when you see a certain person’s car (or one just like it) . . .
if your eyes burn when you hear a random love song
or see a couple holding hands . . .
if you suffer the twin agonies of craving for
and withdrawing from a series of
unrequited crushes or toxic relationships . . .
if you always feel like you’re clutching at
someone’s ankle and dragged across the floor
as they try to leave the room . . .
welcome to the club.
Ethlie Ann Vare
Love Addicts compensated for lack of nurturing as children by immersing themselves in fantasy. Fantasies of being rescued or being the rescuer abound. Knights, dragons, romance novels – getting high from fantasy becomes habit. When a Love Addict plays with fantasy, they can get high in about 10 minutes, and stay there for 2-3 hours. Endorphins are released into their system, relieving emotional pain. Love Addicts begin relationships by trying too hard to please and connect. They are driven to find someone to tell them they are loveable and loved; to find someone who will rescue them from their inability to care for themselves; rescue them from their loneliness, emptiness, lack of self-love, inability to feel safe in the world without someone to protect them. They look for a relationship to make them feel whole. By Mary Ellen O’Leary, MA, LPCC http://insidetherapy.com/codaloveaddict.html
I liked it. I craved it.
I wanted more and I took it.
I took it like I needed it,
like my life had a limit
and if I didn’t get as much
of it as I could I’d quit
breathing the next instant.
“As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims”. One of the biggest problems with relationships in this society is that the context we approach them from is too small. We were taught that getting the relationship is the goal. It starts in early childhood with Fairy Tales where the Prince and the Princess live happily-ever-after. It continues in movies and books where “boy meets girl” “boy loses girl” “boy gets girl back” – the music swells and the happy couple ride off into the sunset. The songs that say “I can’t smile without you” “I can’t live without you” “You are my everything” describe the type of love we learned about growing up – toxic love – an addiction with the other person as our drug of choice, as our Higher Power. Any time we set another human being up to be our Higher Power we are going to experience failure in whatever we are trying to accomplish. We will end up feeling victimized by the other person or by our self – and even when we feel victimized by the other person we blame our self for the choices we made. We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships because of the belief system we were taught in childhood and the messages we got from our society growing up. There is no goal to reach that will bring us to happily-ever-after. We are not incomplete until we find our soul mate. We are not halves that cannot be whole without a relationship. True Love is not a painful obsession. It is not taking a hostage or being a hostage. It is not all-consuming, isolating, or constricting. Believing we can’t be whole or happy without a relationship is unhealthy and leads us to accept deprivation and abuse, and to engage in manipulation, dishonesty, and power struggles. The type of love we learned about growing up is an addiction, a form of toxic love. As long as our definition of a successful relationship is one that lasts forever – we are set up to fail. As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply – using another person as our drug of choice. That is not True Love – nor is it Loving. By Robert Burney http://joy2meu.com/codependent2.htm
You have no control over
what the other guy does.
You only have control
over what you do.
A. J. Kitt
Mate after mate we find ourselves trying to adapt to who they want us to be till eventually we lose our true identity. We spend countless years learning each mate but never take the time to learn ourselves. In the end we know our mates better than we know ourselves. If and when the mate walks away we are stuck living with a stranger, ourselves. If u can’t find comfort in yourself how can anyone else find comfort in you? Al-Saadiq Banks
You’re reaching out
And no one hears you cry.
You’re freaking out again
‘Cause all your fears
Remind you another dream has come undone.
You feel so small and lost like you’re the only one.
You wanna scream ’cause you’re
You want somebody, just anybody
To lay their hands on your soul tonight.
You want a reason to keep believing
That someday you’re gonna see the light.
You’re in the dark
There’s no one left to call
And sleep’s your only friend.
Well even sleep
Can’t hide you from all those tears
And all the pain and all the days
You wasted pushing them away.
It’s your life, it’s time.
People generally become love addicts due to a past history of abandonment from their primary caregivers. Adult love addicts usually recognized as children that their most precious needs for validation, love and connection with one or both parents were not met. This affects their self-esteem dramatically in adult life. It results in a conscious fear of abandonment and an underlying subconscious fear of intimacy. To a love addict, intensity in a relationship is often mistaken for intimacy. As with any addiction, recovery from love addiction is a process of self-discovery. It requires taking specific steps: breaking through denial and acknowledging the addiction; owning the harmful consequences of the addiction; and intervening to stop the addictive cycle from occurring. Ultimately, love addicts must enter a grieving process to address the underlying emotional pain that is at the core of the addiction. Love addicts experience withdrawal symptoms. Working with a therapist can help guide the love addict through the process of talking about childhood experiences of abandonment, navigating through the feelings of pain, fear, anger and emptiness that may surface, and releasing old emotions that contribute to negative acting-out behaviors. A solid relationship with a skilled therapist trained in love and sex addiction can help guide the love addict through this process. From “What is Love Addiction?” By Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CST, CSAT http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/26/what-is-love-addiction/
When one has nothing to lose,
one becomes courageous.
We are timid only when
there is something
we can still cling to.