How to Tell if Relationship Problems are Really Love Addiction

Posted by on 04 30 14 in Romance Addiction | Comments Off on How to Tell if Relationship Problems are Really Love Addiction

Relationships can be messy and difficult, but also important and glorious. We are wired for relationships. For some, relationships become an all-consuming addiction that they suspect stem from something unhealthy.

Understanding how love addiction works could help you develop strategies for bringing your emotional life back into healthy balance. Here are some ways to tell whether your struggles fall on one end of the scale or the other:

Realizing that your relationship history is not healthy is step number one. If you find that your own unrealistic expectations have been part of the problem it’s an important discovery. Sometimes it takes a period of reflection to realize that you have been expecting the other person to always respond lovingly and positively with constant forgiveness and understanding. This is unrealistic and it dooms a relationship from the start.

Relationships have a landscape. In healthy relationships there are times when the relationship is exciting, fun and a thrill. There are other times when the relationship feels like it is ebbing, with discord and struggle. But most of the time the relationship is stable. If your relationships are characterized by extremes of highs and lows with little or no stability, there could be some unhealthy co-addiction happening.

Ask yourself if the relationship has been more important to you than yourself. Do you focus so much on the other person and the relationship that you fail to practice good self-care? A love addict is heedlessly committed to someone else, even when that person is thoughtless toward them or has a serious addiction. It may be that you are “in love” with the person as you imagine them to be rather than as they truly are.

If these things have been themes in your relationships it would be a good idea to meet with a counselor or therapist. There you can be encouraged to spend time building healthy self-esteem. You can learn how to let go of bitterness and give up trying to control other people with negative behaviors. A counselor can help you learn how to establish proper interpersonal boundaries. They can also be there to support you as you work through painful emotional withdrawal.

Like other addictions, this one will take some recovery time. There will be fears and loneliness and perhaps even anger. But you can get past them all with help and learn how to enjoy beautiful relationships rather than damaging ones.