Ethical Implications: Two Mysteries
The science and philosophy of addictiongenerally speakinghave sought to solve two basic mysteries. The solution to these mysteries, in the case of love-addiction as much as for any other purported form of addiction, will have important practical and ethical implications.
First, we have sought to learn whether, or to what degree, those who suffer from addictions are capable of abstaining from or moderating their reward-seeking behavior and second, we have been very interested to know whetherand howwe can help people to recover from addiction using various treatment modalities. We will consider these mysteries in turn as they relate to the notion of love addiction in the following sections.
You Can’t Stop Thinking About The Other Person To An Obsessive Degree
When love addiction is portrayed on TV shows like “You” and “Love,” it oftentimes takes the form of the obsessive love addict. Love addicts who act out their addiction in obsession will fixate on the person they are addicted to, which can manifest in some dangerous behavior
“A lot of these abusive men are love addicts with mental disorders,” Whetstone said. “They stalk, they chase down, they threaten. They can be very dangerous.”
Are You Addicted To Love 3 Ways To Break Free From A Codependent Relationship
Are you addicted to love? If youve been struggling to admit it, Im with you. I am a recovering love addict.
I used to put love and my partner on a pedestal. It was my top priority. Every decision and action that I made was based on my partners needs. I realized that I was just desperately seeking validation of my self-worth. That was a hard pill to swallow.
A lot of love addicts have codependent tendencies. The term, co-dependency, describes relationships in which a person had a deep-seated need to rescue, help, care for, and fix his or her partner. This description used to be written all over my face. Everyone could see it but me.
The good news is that codependency is a learned behavior which means that it can be unlearned, and thats exactly what I did. Are you ready to learn 3 ways that you can break free from a codependent relationship?
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What Causes Obsessive Love Disorder
There are several differing theories as to why some people are more predisposed to obsessive love disorder, or love addiction, than others. These range from genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain, being raised in a dysfunctional environment to experiencing abuse in childhood. Love addicts tend to be emotionally immature, insecure, and suffer from low self-esteem. They tend to be overcome by feelings of powerlessness, jealousy, and paranoia.
Whatever the reasons, love addicts are driven to form unhealthy, compulsive, and self-destructive romantic relationships. They repeatedly form relationships with unavailable, abusive, narcissistic, or toxic partners.
Obsessive love disorder becomes especially fraught when feelings of love are rejected or unrequited. At this stage, a relatively normal obsession can change into an unhealthy one. There is a very fine line between what is classed as obsessive, but relatively harmless behavior and that which strays into the realms of unlawfulness.
Learn How Love Affects Your Brain
Because love is so vital to every aspect of our reproductive success, we have love-inducing machinery hard-wired into our brains, writes Bobby in Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex. In fact there are old, deep, and specific structures and neural systems in our brains that are built for this very purpose, ready and waiting to flare into actionand when the light of romantic love begins to glow, it is very difficult to turn off.
Understanding whats happening in your brain chemistry after a breakup even if you dont feel addicted to a toxic love relationship will help you heal. When you get a glimpse of the underlying biological processes, youll see that your feelings are a symptom. You feel addicted to your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband because your hormones are adjusting to the withdrawal of that person. Youre struggling to break your addiction because you wanted more than a relationship: you wanted security, comfort, and long-term love.
Even if youre not recovering from a toxic breakup or relationship, youre still grieving a very painful experience. Learning how love is addictive how it affects your brain chemistry and wiring will help you move on. Youll feel more in control and empowered. Youll understand whats happening in your body, which will reassure that youre normal. And that this, too, will pass.
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You Feel Like Your Partner Is The Only Thing Worth Living For
Because one of the pillars of love addiction is a dependency on your partner, breaking up with a partner can feel impossible, regardless of whether or not the relationship is toxic.
Whetstone said this dependence on a partner can be similar to a drug addict’s need for their drug of choice. A person may know their partner is bad for them but they can’t stop themselves from coming back.
“It’s like exactly like needing a heroin fix. You’ll moments where you go ‘This heroin is bad for me, it’s gonna kill me,’ but as soon that craving comes back, it’s all over. You’re gonna go do the heroine again,” Whetstone said. “This is a compulsion.”
The desire for their partner’s unconditional love is so great that when a love addict is broken away from them, life may feel purposeless and not worth living.
Diagnosing An Addiction To Love
This addiction is diagnosed by a specialist or health care professional, similar to any other form of addiction. The three key signs of it are
- A chronic, obsessive preoccupation with fresh relationships and their romantic fantasies.
- A lack of ability to control their romantic fantasies and new relationships.
- Evidence of negative consequences indirectly and directly correlated to the obsession of romantic fantasies and serial relationships.
It is important to question your relationship towards love, and your dating history when confronting your love addiction.
Should You Stay Or Go
So should you keep fighting the addiction by their side, or has the relationship harmed you to the point where leaving would be best? Making this decision can be difficult, and you probably have many questions running through your head:
Is it my fault?
Will it get worse if I leave?
What if something happens after I leave?
These questions will do no good for you. Always remember that the situation is never your fault, and you are not responsible for anything that occurs if you leave to work on your own wellbeing.
Some more beneficial questions to ask yourself when considering ending a relationship with an addict may be:
Do I keep covering for them with work, friends, and family?
Are our arguments usually centered around drug use?
Will thinking positively really fix anything?
If you are getting answers youre unhappy with or arent able to cope with a partners drug use, it may be time to leave the situation. While you may think this can cause more harm than good, ending an unhealthy relationship will eventually leave both parties better off.
People with drug addictions are not able to make complete healthy decisions but you can by ending a harmful relationship.
What Is Love Addiction Really
Love addiction is painful, because at the core it is filling a void caused by a lack of nurturing and attention at a young age.
Its an unhealthy attachment to people, romance or sex to heal past trauma, get unmet needs fulfilled, avoid fear or emotional pain, fill our loneliness and maintain balance.
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Be Aware Of The Power Of Addiction
Love is a powerful drug that affects your brain in deep, primal ways. You literally feel addicted to someone you love especially if you cant be with him. And, you know how difficult it is to break an addiction to anything why would breaking an addiction to an ex love relationship be any different?
Think of all the support that is needed to break an addiction to eating, gambling, or drugs. Support groups, counseling, in-patient programs, certain types of food , and even prescription medications are used to break addictions. Thats because addiction is powerful. Its important to realize that falling in love, breaking up, and healing your broken heart toxic relationship or not is similar to breaking an addiction to any type of substance.
Its painful and difficult to break your addiction to a toxic relationship because that person has literally changed your brain chemistry. Getting through a breakup when youre still in love is one of the hardest things youll ever do.
But wait, theres good news! Just because you feel addicted to your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband right now doesnt mean youll always feel this way. Take heart, have hope! Maybe even dig into your faith and belief in God. Thats the love that conquers all.
Tips To Break Your Phone Addiction
Now that you know more about what smartphone addiction is, I want to give you a few tips on how to stop smartphone addiction.
1. Turn off notifications on your phone.
One of the quickest ways to help limit how often your phone distracts you is to go into your phones settings and turn off the push notifications from the apps on your phone. You can also turn off the sound for text message notifications. Making these simple changes can help lower your stress level more than you may expect.
2. Limit how much time you spend on social media.
If you cant unplug from these apps altogether, then set one time at the end of each work day to check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media apps. Check your phone and then put it aside. For those of you work on social media for a living, limit your use to your standard work day, and then unplug completely when you clock out.
3. Change your screen to grayscale.
Go into the accessibility settings in your phones general settings and change the color filters to grayscale. This will make your phones screen less visually appealing and help to cut down on the bright and shiny distraction.
4. Remove tempting apps from your phone.
5. Keep your phone out of your bedroom.
6. Dont bring phones to the dinner table.
7. Hide your phone.
Seriously, put your phone in a drawer or another room. The old adage out of sight, out of mind can apply to your phone, too!
8. Schedule work time without your phone.
Read Also: How To Quit Addiction Cold Turkey
How To Break Your Addiction To A Person
This article was co-authored by Samantha Fox, MS, LMFT. Samantha Fox is a Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in New York, New York. With over a decade of experience, Samantha specializes in relationship, sexuality, identity, and family conflicts. She also advises on life transitions for individuals, couples, and families. She holds both a Masters degree and a Marriage and Family Therapy License. Samantha is trained in Internal Family Systems , Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy , Emotion Focused Couples Therapy , and Narrative Therapy.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 291,242 times.
An addictive relationship is characterized by the need to continue to engage with or ‘keep’ the person despite obvious negative consequences. This can happen in both romantic relationships and friendships. In these relationships, you may feel as if you give all you have to this person, while getting little fulfillment in return. If you’re struggling with an unhealthy attachment, you can start by analyzing what’s going on in the relationship, and then take some steps to break that obsessive attachment.
How To Break Up With A Drug Addict
Carefully ending a relationship with someone who has substance abuse issues
Life can be difficult when youre an addict, and equally as hard when you love one. Addiction, a disease that starts with the use of a substance or drug, can start with a pleasurable pastime and quickly turns into a compulsive problem that can have an effect on ones personal relationships.
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How To Break Your Love Addiction
Being addicted to love sounds pleasant enough, but it can have seriously negative consequences. Love addiction prevents you from finding real love, establishing healthy relationships and enjoying your life to the fullest. Understanding love addiction and taking concrete steps to change the way you interact in relationships will help you move forward. You may even want to consider getting the help of a professional therapist in order to start breaking love addiction habits.
Is It Possible To Be Addicted To Your Affair Partner
When I hear the word addicted I usually think of someone who cant give up alcohol or drugs. I never thought someone could be addicted to a person. But after my affair I starting to wonder if I was addicted to my affair partner.
After my affair ended, my therapist told me to expect to move through the stages of grief like anger, depression, bargaining, etc. and to be patient with my emotions and the ups and downs that were sure to come. I wrote a post on a unique kind of grief explaining how its a little different than the pain we experience after someone passes away. If you want to learn more about how to overcome grief you can read that here.
But I was not prepared to go through physical and emotional withdrawals like someone who was detoxing from a substance. While the affair was going on, I never thought it was an addiction. I just knew I loved my affair partner and wanted to spend my life with him. You know what I mean, I was in the normal romantic stage of love. Filled with butterflies, excitement, feeling alive, and the phase of I cant stop thinking about him.
I Treated Every Relationship As An Assignment And Every Experience As A Lesson
Over time, I stopped focusing on my love addiction because it stopped existing. The obsession had been removed because of the initial and continued work I put into loving myself and growing into a full, whole, complete person. I evolved and I removed the layers that didnt suit me and could never define me. As the poet Nayyirah Waheed says, I realized I have always been the woman of my dreams.
Now, in each relationship I had, platonic or romantic, I knew it was there to serve a purpose. I found that every experience, bad or good, would always teach me a lesson and strengthen me. I began to see my life as a gift and I became someone I loved to love.
I Educated Myself On Love Addiction To Understand My Own Behaviors
I have always been a reader, a knowledge-seeker, the curious type the one who asks a thousand questions and wants to know the answers for all of it. I started buying every book I could that dealt with love addiction. I wanted to grasp the concept of what love addiction was and what love addiction was not. I began to chase answers and solutions.
I developed an understanding of why I was reacting this way to men and why I was consumed by an unhealthy addiction to love. I also found a therapist who specialized in sex and love addiction and began talking more about my past in an effort to overcome both my chemical addiction and my love addiction. I threw the book at it. I started doing the work that would soon change my entire relationship with myself and others, for the better.
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Getting Over A Breakup
If you have recently been through a breakup, then you may have been following the advice in my breakup survival guide, No Contact Rule After Breakup. Time-after-time, one of the biggest mistakes that people make, when they begin no contact, is that they do so with the primary intention of reconciling with their ex. This then becomes the sole focus of their attention. Following a breakup, emotional detachment is definitely far harder to achieve than implementing the practical steps needed, in order to move forward with your life. Consequently, the biggest hurdle that you will face, and ultimately must overcome, is to be able to stop thinking about your ex.
Codependency Is Rooted In Self
We may find ourselves giving to the brink of exhaustion, pouring ourselves out and becoming resentful, bitter, and left with a feeling of being alone and unsupported.
Love addicts are drawn to under-functioners, addicts, or people who are likely to become dependent on them in some way be it financially, emotionally, or otherwise. The dynamic is one of enabling bad behavior to continue and constant disregard for the sacred container of a two-way relationship.
One of the common ways this shows up is in the romantic partners of alcoholics and drug addicts. So much so, that Alcoholics Anonymous has a mirror program for codependents called Al-anon.
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Treating And Healing From Love Addiction
Love addiction treatment options are similar to treatment for other addictive behaviors:
- Seeking out a support group or 12-Step-Program such as Celebrate Recovery
- Seeing a therapist or counselor who is trained to treat love addiction.
- Pursuing healthy friendships and activities, and distancing yourself from people or environments who encourage your addictive behavior.
TheHopeLine offers mentorship and live chat to help you find healing and begin love addiction recovery. Reach out to us any time for support without judgement, and begin your journey to freedom, peace, and true connection.
Want to learn more about love addiction? Explore our library of resources to find answers to questions like:
- How Do I Find Contentment Being Single?
- Can People Who Have Addiction Be in Healthy Relationships?
- How Do I Deal With Shame From Past Relationship Mistakes or Sexual Behavior?
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Youve probably heard lots of songs, read lots of books, and seen lots of movies where people fall in love and say theyre addicted to love and being in love. Its strong, effective language that gives us an idea of the intensity of a relationship. But it troubles me to..Read more