Is Your Relationship Addictive?

Posted by on 12 17 14 in Romance Addiction | Comments Off on Is Your Relationship Addictive?

Relationship addicts (sometimes referred to as love addicts) are like most anyone else. They long for happy relationships in which they can share their hopes and desires and in which they can have their needs met. But underlying every relationship addiction is an intimacy disorder. True intimacy requires unreserved honesty—being willing to be vulnerable to another person by sharing your deepest truths.

Relationship Addicts Playing Out Old Traumas

As a result of dysfunction occurring in important relationships during childhood, addicts are unconsciously seeking someone with whom to play out their wounded histories. They have unfinished emotional business and are looking for someone to help them relive old traumas—though they are mostly unaware of this.

These unconscious attempts lead relationship addicts again and again into relationships that are unbalanced and sometimes highly toxic. Needs for healthy love and understanding weren’t met in childhood, and so, unwittingly, the relationship addict recreates these dynamics—either by playing again the unloved, abandoned child, or by taking on the role of the unloving parent (or other guardian/close adult).

Signs Your Relationship May Be Addictive

How can you tell if your relationships are addictive? It may not seem easy at first; all relationships have their share of conflict. But addicted relationships have key features that are nearly always present and, in the way of things addictive (i.e., compulsively occurring), come up again and again. Here is a list of some primary ingredients:

  • Signs Your Relationship Is Addictive - LoveAddictionTreatment.comNot Taking the Time to Get to Know One Another – The intensity of the initial attraction is confusing for relationship addicts. They deny red flags and see only the things they have in common, amplifying the importance of these commonalities and placing the other person on a pedestal in the beginning. The rush of intensity from sexual and passionate attraction and their happiness at having found someone they perceive to be so right for them tricks them into believing they are very close, when, in reality, they have not performed the steps necessary to get to know one another. It can feel great to revel in romantic feelings, but when those feelings supersede the careful quest to understand one another, trouble is almost always ahead.
  • Intensity is Mistaken for Intimacy – Relationship addicts experience physical attraction and misunderstand it as closeness. It is common for sex addicts to feel a strong sexual attraction for someone and believe it means that person is “right” for them, perhaps even that they are “soul mates,” or that their relationship is “meant to be.” (They may lack an understanding that all relationships require real work and constant nurturing.) The strength of passionate intensity can lead relationship addicts to believe their relationships are closer than any other they’ve had or “more serious” than any other they’ve known, but, in reality, the couple doesn’t entirely relate to one another. They have not taken the time to understand what makes the other tick, to gather histories or to assess genuine compatibility. And it may be that much of what they are sharing is edited for favorability. They may be omitting much of who they really are and what they really think when they interact, creating a breeding ground for future resentment and conflict.
  • Inability to TrustRelationship addicts are fundamentally dishonest with their partners. This doesn’t mean they are pathological liars or that they necessarily cheat or fib. Their crime is more often in lying about what they think and how they really feel—requirements for intimacy—often with the excuse that their partner would be angry or not understand if they knew the truth. And because of their dishonesty, they are patently unable to trust. In fact, they often look for reasons not to trust. This distrusting nature leads to the next problem of addictive relationships.
  • Intense Highs and LowsRelationship addicts live for the intensity of the roller coaster ride in their love affairs. They’ll tell you that they despise the ups and downs, but their actions say otherwise. You will see them in pain, overwhelmed and hurting in the down times; intensely consumed by the good times (they tend to forget the other people in their lives); and almost eagerly leaning into the conflicts. All relationships experience conflict, but where others mediate these issues with a degree of openness and trust, relationship addicts show mistrust, unreasonable expectations and a tendency to create or allow double standards. These highs and lows feel “normal” to them and are as intoxicating as any other brand of addiction.

Addictive Relationships Are Toxic Relationships

Given these tendencies, it’s easy to see that addicted relationships are toxic and unhealthy. Some are even abusive—emotionally and/or physically—while others are simply the creation of a couple that obsessively engages in behaviors that feel intoxicating, but do not work. The intensity of these relationships triggers the reward center of the brain and can feel really good at times. But without honesty, trust and stability, no relationship stands a chance of offering the couple the stability of long-term love that each of us fundamentally needs.

Find Out The Consequences Of Love And Sex Addiction – Seek Professional Help And Start Making Healthier And Happier Choices!