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
Crazymakers are devilishly charming. Do you know anyone who has been stopped for speeding a dozen times but never got a ticket? There’s a good chance this charmer is a crazymaker. At the surface they are almost always incredibly interesting and appealing. Crazymakers believe they are somehow different from others, often above others. They expect special treatment and make demands in absolute terms putting themselves ahead of others. Telling another person what that person “will” and “will not do” is a common trait of a crazymaker. Crazymakers have little respect for boundaries and have some notion that rules don’t apply to them. In their self perceived specialness they are mostly blind to other’s needs. I could be deeply involved in a work project I brought home and have a complete derailing begin with a question like “I know you said you had to focus on your work thing, but I can I ask you one little question?” Seems innocent enough, but rarely turned out that way. Crazymakers are the type of people with a thousand ideas, often including some good ones. They are also the ones who never get much past starting on them, if they even get that far. Something will always happen they give can place blame on that prevented them from moving forward. They finish almost nothing they begin. And they begin only a few things they intend. Crazymakers hate order and thrive on chaos. Given a short amount of time one can make any given moment a hurricane of disorder. Sometimes this is done to bring attention to them self. At other times it is to take attention off others. Crazymakers are expert blamers. Nothing is ever their fault. Even the things they do will get re assigned elsewhere as they explain why their actions have little to do with them and all to do with someone else. In their mind you made them to it!
Taking crazy things seriously
is a serious waste of time.
Many victims of abuse dated or knew their abuser for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. The abuser will often claim ‘love at first sight’, that you are ‘made for each other’, or that you are the only person whom he could ever talk to so openly, feel so at home with, could understand him so well. He/she may tell you that they have never loved anyone so much or felt so loved by anyone so much before, when you have really only known each other for a short amount of time. He/she needs someone desperately, and will pressure you to commit to him/her or make love before you feel the relationship has reached ‘that stage’. He/she may also make you feel guilty for not committing yourself to him/her. The abuser may expect you to be the perfect husband, wife, mother, father, lover, and friend. He/she is very dependent on you for all his/her needs, and may tell you he/she can fulfil all your needs as lover, friend, and companion. Statements such as: ‘lf you love me, I’m all you need’, ‘You are all I need.’ are common. Your abuser may expect you to provide everything for him/her emotionally, practically, financially or spiritually, and then blame you for not being perfect or living up to expectation. The abuser may try to curtail your social interaction. He/she may prevent you from spending time with your friends or family and demand that you only go places ‘together’. He/she may accuse you of being ‘tied to your mother’s apron strings’, not be committed to the relationship, or view people who are your personal friends as ‘causing trouble’ or ‘trying to put a wedge’ between you. He/she may want to live in the country without a phone, not let you use the car, stop you from working or gaining further education or qualifications. http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/warning_signs.html
Don’t judge yourself
by what others did to you.
The term ‘recovering from a broken heart’ usually means that there are still strong feelings and attachments to the person you once loved and whom you depended on. It also may tend to imply that the breakup was not the outcome you desired, leaving you feeling some form of powerlessness. There is probably some underlying message that somehow you’ve failed or that you may not have been good enough in some way. Those who have faced an ending to an important relationship with someone they loved, and perhaps still love very much, can certainly relate to an aftermath of sadness, grief, disorientation, self-doubt, and often a temporary feeling of depression and despair. It takes time for your heart to mend, which usually involves a time of thinking through and reliving all the shared experiences. It takes time to re-evaluate your choices from beginning to end, to look for clues that may not have been apparent at the time. This can mean weeks or months and even years for some, of feeling waves of emotion as your mind revisits experiences that keep getting triggered by your daily activities. One of the most difficult parts of breaking up is getting through the initial shock, sadness and loss. Even those who feel that it was their choice to end the relationship go through a period of feeling lost and confused without their former partner. After all, life has changed drastically and quickly! It’s important not to misinterpret the pain you’re feeling as a sign that you did something wrong when the relationship came to an end. Most people tend to feel that they are in more pain than the other person. It’s a natural part of the healing process to feel this and it means that you are now focused on yourself and what you need, instead of thinking in terms of the other person’s needs. Allow yourself time to engage in recognition of your pain and your loss. The deepness and dependence on the relationship is often rooted in unfulfilled needs from childhood. What seems like a brief relationship may take a year to heal, where a long-term relationship may end and be processed in a relatively short time. There are no real rules for how much time it takes, but it’s a good idea to seek help if the time seems extensive and protracted, beyond what would seem a normal time to each person, or if there seems to be no progress in the healing. From an article by Dr. Judith L. Allen http://www.asktheinternettherapist.com/articles/recover-a-broken-heart/
You will lose someone you can’t live without,
and your heart will be badly broken,
and the bad news is that you never completely
get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also the good news.
They live forever in your broken heart
that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through.
It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly;
that still hurts when the weather gets cold,
but you learn to dance with the limp.
Treating Codependency is not something a doctor does to or for a ‘patient’. It is more like having diabetes. The patient has to learn how to take care of themselves every day for the rest of their lives. Recovery starts when a Codependent understands and has insight into their condition. It takes hold when they understand that they have never been victimized in their marriage. They arranged the right marriage for themselves in order to work on their unresolved childhood issues of not having enough power, not being heard, not being good enough, not being taken seriously, not getting enough attention, not being nurtured, etc. I always recommend that my new Codependent client read Melody Beattie’s classic book on the subject Codependent No More. Then I almost always strongly encourage them to join one of our Codependency Recovery groups. Group is like the gym. It is where a Codependent goes to lift weights and get stronger. I will talk more about group in a later chapter, but Group therapy rocks – it is inexpensive, weekly, powerful, fun, insight building and affirming. In my practice the wife is many times the Codependent person and she comes with her husband for couples sessions as well as attending the group sessions without him. In the couple work with a husband who is perhaps not in as much pain or in a place of having much enlightenment about his own issues the Codependent needs to come prepared to work hard at naming the issues that hurt her in the marriage. Actually bringing in a written list is a very good idea. It is a safe environment because the therapist won’t allow reactivity, control, manipulation, defensiveness, blaming, rage, massive denial or shaming to happen without it being named and quickly stopped. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone.
Marriage does not cause Codependency; it is just a place where it is practiced a lot. The roots of Codependency are always in childhood. Controlling, critical, abandoning, abusive and shaming parents and caretakers inflict the wounds in the tender psyches of children that result later in life as the low self-esteem, powerlessness, voicelessness, other centeredness, low entitlement, passiveness and depression that we correctly call Codependency. Many times this damage can seem subtle during the childhood itself. If it is all that you have ever known then what do you have to compare it to? In a healthy family children and teenagers are encouraged to have a voice. They are encouraged to speak up and make their cases. That is a skill that they will need in relationships, in school and on the job down the road. In a healthy family a child gets the focus and the attention and the care that they need. The focus isn’t on dad’s alcoholism or mom’s depression. The parents have the ability to really be there for the kids consistently. Parents can give praise directly to the children and they are lavish with it. Home is a safe and a predictable place. The child does not have to grow up too quickly. They can just focus on being a kid. They don’t become the emotional caretakers of their parents. Women are especially trained in our society to be Codependent, although there are also millions of Codependent men in our society as well. Women are taught to be sweet, supportive, nurturing, gentle, not too assertive and not too opinionated. The message a Codependent gets growing up is that they aren’t quite good enough. They don’t quite rate dad’s attention or his time. They don’t quite measure up to mom’s expectations. They need to try harder. They need to eliminate the self and anything positive that the self could have done for them. They need to live for others. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
I have always considered marriage
as the most interesting event of one’s life,
the foundation of happiness or misery.
A Codependency is a relationship in which an otherwise mentally healthy person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected by an addiction or mental illness. In Codependent No More, author Melody Beattie asks: “Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent.” Codependency is the tendency for the victim in an abusive relationship to develop dysfunctional patterns or habits in the process of trying to cope with a family member or partner who is abusive or neglectful or has an addiction. These patterns include denial of the problem, enabling or support of the abusive behavior, poor sense of self-worth, abandonment of personal goals or values and development of controlling or manipulative behaviors. Codependents are generally unsatisfied with the status quo, yet often fear the consequences of trying to make a change, of trying to detach or put a stop to the abuse .Codependence was first described as a problem observed in children of alcoholics, who developed distinctive patterns of denial, shame, avoidance, lack of boundaries, low self-worth and excessive sensitivity to the needs of others in an attempt to compensate for their parents’ disorders. These characteristics often carry over into adulthood and s-called “adult children” often find themselves in patterns of unstable social relationships. The terms “codependent” and “dysfunctional ” originally referred to families specifically affected by alcoholism. However, these terms have been popularly generalized to include any household situation involving a neglectful or abusive family member. Therefore, codependency often describes the characteristics of family members, spouses and partners of people who suffer from personality disorders and other mental illnesses. http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/Codependency.html
Life is not what
it’s supposed to be.
It’s what it is.
The way you cope
with it is what
makes the difference.
It’s often obvious that a needy, demanding woman who clings to a man has codependent tendencies. However, a relationship consists of two people, and HE is no less responsible. In fact, his behavior can also be labeled “codependent.” Two people who have codependent tendencies may act in opposite ways: While one is needy and drains her partner, the other may have an enlarged sense of responsibility to his partner, and is overly sensitive to her needs and demands. In fact, people with opposing codependent styles tend to attract each other. These opposing psychological profiles have been termed “takers” and “caretakers.” Codependent relationships are complicated, and they’re often characterized by manipulation, lack of boundaries, repressed emotions, emotional volatility, jealousy issues, verbal abuse, etc. Both partners tend to have complicated back-stories, which often serve to justify abnormal behavior. If you’re a man feeling stuck in a codependent relationship, realize that your happiness is worth the effort it takes to move on. You feel that you’re responsible for her, and it’s your job to make her happy and solve her problems You suppress your emotions and avoid confrontation You have the sense of sacrificing the life you want so that you can be with her and take care of her. You feel trapped at times, and have the sense that you are planning an eventual escape. You feel tremendous guilt at the thought of abandoning her. Being in a codependent relationship makes for a stressful and unhappy lifestyle. And yet, your avoidant tendencies may keep you from following through with a break up or separation. You may be planning to break up for a long time, but you just keep holding off — many men wait years, or even a lifetime, remaining in such a relationship. The longer you wait, and the more time you both invest, the more difficult it becomes. http://www.codependencyfreedom.com/codependency/for-men-11-signs-youre-in-a-codependent-relationship-and-how-to-get-out.html
Fear is the great
enemy of intimacy.
Fear makes us run away
from each other
or cling to each other
but does not create
Mother Haters are… disturbing. These guys have never had a good relationship with the female representative in their life. While this is sad, and can be for any number of reasons, this does not bode well for the woman in his life if he hasn’t faced and dealt with the issues that this situation can create. A mother hater will probably have some serious control and possession issues. He’ll be Jekyll and Hyde, and this will lead to some serious disagreements. Because of his lack of positive relationship with the female figure in his life, he will try to take away some of your confidence in public or in private, to gain control, and to also bring you to a manageable level. Communication from him will be very poor. He will find it difficult to relate to you and when he sees you upset, he’ll struggle to feel sympathetic. If your partner is a Mother Hater, it’s ideal for him to spend some time in counseling to get to the heart of his issues. If he doesn’t recognize why he’s the way he is, the relationship is doomed because you’ll always be the bad guy, and he’ll always be the misunderstood perfect guy that can’t get a woman to be the way that he wants her to be, reinforcing his very skewed idea of women. I admire any woman that can overcome the different types of struggles that each of these guys bring. It takes patience, care, love, trust, and it takes a hell of a lot of understanding. The key is to ensure that your feelings and needs are not forgotten in the quest to ‘fix’ these guys. Ultimately either type of guy needs to want to change and if it’s like pulling teeth and he’s showing resistance, it would be best to hand over the fixer upper project to someone else and invest your time in a mutual relationship. http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/mother-lovers-mother-haters/
The best years of your life
are the ones in which
you decide your problems
are your own.
You do not blame them
on your mother, the ecology,
or the president.
You realize that you
control your own destiny.
Go to the mirror now, and look yourself in the eye. There is a child inside of you, the child you used to be. He or she is you — a frightened child who is frozen in time because of harm suffered and endured at a young age. You know you desperately want to be released from the shackles of self-doubt, self-loathing and fear. You, and only you, can make the determination to walk down a new path in life that will certainly bring you to happiness, serenity and improved self-esteem. The decision is yours: Live with limited risk but perpetual relational dysfunction, or risk everything and choose to begin the personal/emotional work that will bring you to healthy and satisfying mutual love — true love. Along the way, you are likely to make a mistake or two. Do not let the pain of these mistakes throw you off course. More importantly, don’t second guess your commitment to yourself. There will be a payoff — I promise! In time, you will realize that you are now healthy, confident and strong enough to choose a romantic partner who is first and foremost a friend and who loves, cares and respects you for who you are, not just what you can do for him or her. You also will find that your improved “relationship picker” will help you get to the point in which you are ready “to take the one hand and the one life, you know belongs in yours.” Your improved psychological health will change the “polarity” of your human magnet. You will start to naturally repel narcissists while finding yourself irresistibly attracted to a person with whom you share deep feelings of love, respect and caring. Better yet, a person who wants to love, respect, and care for you will be attracted to you! From an article by Ross A. Rosenberg http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ross-a-rosenberg/dealing-with-codependency-_b_3854196.html
In dreams and in love
there are no impossibilities.