Relationship Counseling for Individuals and Couples
The Love Addiction Cycle
Love Addiction is an obsession with finding the world in one lover. When a person’s own growth and development has been stunted in an earlier part of their life, addicted lovers attach themselves to their lover’s identity.
According to Pia Mellody: Think of the Love Addiction Cycle as “obsessed with a fantasy”. The love addict has their greatest fear of abandonment and an underlying fear of intimacy.
The Dance/Cycle of Love Addiction:
|1.||The love addict enters a relationship through a fantasy; Is responsive to the love Avoidant’s seductiveness and in a haze of fantasy is manipulative in a shame position. The love addict has low self-esteem, no boundaries, and is out of touch with reality.
|2.||The love addict is in denial about the love avoidants’ walls that keep the love avoidant from really being in the relationship. The love addict gets high from the fantasy and continues to be out of touch with reality.|
|3.||The love addict experiences an event that destroys the denial and shatters the fantasy.|
|4.||The love addict’s experiences intense emotional withdrawal from the fantasy and experiences depression, rage, panic and shame. The love addict experiences boundary failure, dependency, and has problems containing self in moderation.|
|5.||The love addict engages in obsessive planning on how to get the avoidant back into the fantasy. The love addict experiences further boundary failure, poor self care around their dependency and is out of control.|
|6.||The love addict engages in addictive behaviors to medicate the pain of withdrawal.|
|7.||The love addict returns to the relationship or starts a new relationship with a fantasy intact. The love addict is out of touch with reality, exhibits a one down/shame attitude and is craving in their addiction.|
Signs and Characteristics of Love Addiction
|1.||Inability to be without a relationship
|2.||For some people, a tendency to trade sexual activity for “love” or attachment
|3.||Confusion of sexual attraction with love at first sight
|4.||Tolerance for high risk behavior|
|5.||Need for positive regard from lover
|6.||Inner rage over lack of nurturing, early abandonment|
|7.||Highly manipulative and controlling of others|
|8.||Unrealistic expectations of others in relationships|
|9.||Mistaking intensity for intimacy (drama driven relationships)|
|10.||Sense of worthlessness without a relationship or partner|
|11.||Feeling isolated, detached from parents and family|
|12.||Lack of nurturing and attention when young|
|13.||Refusal to acknowledge existence of problem|
|14.||Outer façade of “having it all together” to hide
|16.|| Inner rage over lack of nurturing|
Love Addiction is about being obsessed with another person, wanting the other person to love the love addict into loving themselves and wanting the other person to take care of the love addict in some way. It is as though they the love addict wants the other person to “right the wrong from childhood” and they want the person that they are obsessed with to parent them.
One of the peculiar issues with love addiction is that the love addict is not “loving” the other person as he or she really is, but has fallen in love with a fantasy the love addict has made up about the other person. It is in this “fantasy” that the love addict actually objectifies the other person. When the other person does not live up to the fantasy, the love addict goes into withdrawal from the fantasy, not the other person.
The withdrawal is emotionally traumatic, in that the love addict feels suicidal and/or homicidal and panicked. In this state of mind, the love addict may act out forcefully to attempt to get the other person back into the fantasy.
How We Can Help
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