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How do stop being addicted to love

Old 04-21-2002, 06:09 AM
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Post How do stop being addicted to love

How do you stop being addicted to love and how do you know the difference between loving someone or just thinking you do because you're addicted?

I don't know if you read in one of my post but a couple of weeks ago I broke up with my boyfriend that I've been seeing for about 9 months. I thought I was going down the same old path as before so I broke up with him. Listening to him and standing back I'm starting to think differently. He really loves me and my children and would do anything in this world for me. I think I'm pushing him away because deep down I feel like maybe I don't deserve to be happy or for someone to love me. I'm afraid of failing again. I couldn't make my marriage work so what makes me think that I can make this relationship work. I also dont know the difference between true love and love
addiction. Can anyone shed any light on this for me? This man is everything I always wanted in a man. He's gentle, sexy, hard working, sensitive, shows empathy and has compassion, has alot of friends, and genuinely cares for others. The sex is awesome and I love being with him. Because I feel like this I feel quilty and sorry for my "a" like I'm letting him down some how.

My boyfriend thinks that I expect for him to be perfect and myself for that matter. This has always been one of my faults. I am aware of me being like this so I try really hard to think about it every day so I won't be like that because I know tht no one is perfect including myself. I'm pushing him away and I really don't know why. I have a really hard time being honest and trusting myself. I don't understand what my feelings about certain things mean. I sometimes act as if, I ignore what going on then it really isn't happening so, I don't have to think about it.

Just another blah day...But it will get better because I'm taking my kids to Busch Gardens to ride some rides and eat lots of churros and ice cream with warm cherries on top. ummmmmmmmmm...

Galnva
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Old 04-21-2002, 09:52 AM
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Hi galnva,
I've been staring at your post all day thinking that someone should post who has some answers. I certainly don't. So I just want you to know that I will continue staring until I can think of something. Pernell brought the addiction post to the top and added a post that made me feel good. And you don't have to make a life long commitment today. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I think we think too much in all or nothing terms.
I hope you had a wonderful day.

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Old 04-21-2002, 10:25 AM
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Galnva, hello there. I read Morning glory post and felt compelled to say something here. I do not know how you are identifying yourself and I am making no assumptions. If you read the other post on Love Addicts that could give you an idea how you fit in.
I will say this, the Love Addict is motivated only in withdrawal and recovery is somewhat more difficult. The Love Addict has to give up the fantasy and learn self-love and self-care, while the Love Avoidant has to give up the risk-seeking behavior and become more relationally vulnerable by the use of boundaries, not walls. It is difficult work for both of them.
Sadly, neither the Love Addict nor the Love Avoidant actually knows how to love----they must be taught. One confuses fantasy with love and objectifies the partner. The other is in a relationship out of duty, an often is allergic to the concept of love as he associates the word with being soffocated or oppressed. He uses sex to medicate and frequently sexually objectifies his partners. Both need to learn how to love and be appropriately vulnerable sexually. i would suggest that you purchase this book and see if you can find some direction.

Facing Love Addiction
by Pia Mellody

Just for Today---------I am Sober
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Old 04-21-2002, 10:37 AM
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I was just sitting outside and started thinking about boundaries. I came back here and saw Pernells post. I used to be a love addict and now I have become a love avoidant. Boundaries are a key issue with me now, but I feel that it is very very important for me to learn to love and care for myself before I even begin to try and establish boundaries. If I tried to have boundaries first, I would be forcing the boundaries, when inside I would want to dive right in head first to get my needs met. I think a lot of the pain I have been having stems from avoiding love right now. I realized that I'm even avoiding love from my HP. I don't think taking a risk now is the answer either. That would just lead back to addiction. I have a lot of work to do it seems.

MG

P.S. Galnva, your post helped me so much. I hope you got the answers you needed too. Thank you



[This message has been edited by Morning Glory (edited April 21, 2002).]
 
Old 04-22-2002, 03:26 AM
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Unhappy

I'm not really sure where I fit in either. I think I use to be love addicted now I'm love avoidant. I think I want my marriage out of duty rather than love because I really don't think I'm in love with him anymore. Isn't it a good sign when you cringe at the touch of him? Yesterday I told my "a" that I'm not in love with him anymore. I told him that if he ever needed me that I would be there for him but what we had is over, that he killed the love I had for him. Maybe if he had decided a year ago that I was want he wanted then it may have turned out differently. I just feel that I've changed and grown and he has stayed the same.

He called back several hours later very depressed. He was saying things like; I'm more depressed now not drinking then I was when I was drinking, I love you and want you why don't you want me, I'm so sorry for everything why can't we try again, I think I might need to check myself into rehab, i hate my life, I have nothing to live for now, and you obviously sound happy so why would you want me anyway, I have nothing to offer you. After listening to that I feel so guilty and so sorry for him and that's what pulls me back in. After I make a decision I have a hard time sticking to it because I feel like i should be with him not because of love but out of duty. How can I break this habit?

Why do i feel so guilty? He says that I don't try hard enough that if I wanted it and tried that I could love him again and we could live happily ever after. Is he now living in the fantasy? His parents don't like me anymore and think this is all my fault so I feel guilty and bad for that too.
How can I break free of all of this?

Please help me! I'm going crazy and a million things are zooming thru my brain at warp speed.

Galnva

[This message has been edited by helluvagalnva (edited April 22, 2002).]
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Old 04-22-2002, 07:53 AM
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Hi Galnva. I cried when I read your initial post because you described my own situation, only with reversed roles. My boyfriend is the one who is backing off and I don't know how to handle it. Why is it that loving someone and accepting them, warts and all, frightens them to the point of turning away? I just don't understand it. I feel that I may as well be the biggest bitch on the face of the earth as the result would be the same. Sorry, no advice, just feeling sad and confused.
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Old 04-22-2002, 01:51 PM
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Galvna,
You'll figure it out. I know, in my experience, I cringe when someone wants me to do something I don't want to do. You have choices! Don't do anything you don't want to do. Being honest is good. And it sounds like he's laying guilt trips on you. I know I get really foggy in my thinking until I figure things out. You'll do what you need to do when the time is right. I think you already know what you want to do. You just have to sort through some emotions so you can do it.
Hang in there,
MG

[This message has been edited by Morning Glory (edited April 22, 2002).]
 
Old 04-23-2002, 05:03 AM
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Pernell,

I think I'm the love addict with my husband and the love aviodant with my boyfriend. Is that possible? I know I shouldn't have gotten involved in a relationship until I finished the marriage but it was something that just happened.

I did go out yesterday and bought the book you recommended and 3 more. Facing Love Addiction, Letting Go by Melody Beattie, Additive Thinking, and Meditations for People Who Worry To Much. I really am determined to live a happy and normal life. I've realized this is so hard for me because I always thought that I was living a normal life, I didn't know any different. Since I've been away from my A I've gotten small glimpes of normal is and I want that kind of life.

Thank You for all your support and help.

Galnva
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Old 05-30-2006, 04:47 PM
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Greetings from RLACP (Recovering Love Addict/Co-Dependent)
One of the best things I have done for myself lately is to buy Pia Mellody's book, "Facing Love Addiction" after my couselor recommended it. (I see Purnell recommends it too.) This seems to be the next step in my recovery from co-dependence. I have almost finished the first part and am ready to go on to the exercises she has in it.

For me, this explains a lifetime (I'm almost 50) of choosing the wrong man (a love avoidant) and trying to "fix him" or do about anything to hang on to him. I've been in active recovery for 16 years and looking forward to the rest of my life going easier because I am willing to do the work it will take to recover from Love Addiction.

I would recommend, if you haven't been in recovery of some kind, especially co-dependence, that you read Pia's "Facing Co-Dependence". It would be hard to put the concepts from "Love Addiction" into practice without a good understanding of co-dependence.

My heart goes out to you. As the 12 step program says, "it works if you work it."
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Old 05-30-2006, 04:52 PM
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Hi RLACP

Welcome. You may not have noticed that the original thread is from 2002. Did you want to start a separate thread of your own?
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:11 PM
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Well... I don't know. I was cruising the internet and came upon this website. I saw the thread and didn't notice the date. I guess I'm a little late.
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:31 PM
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Hi RLACP,

Hey, you're not late at all. I think love addiction is not talked about nearly enough as a component of toxic relationships.

I read Facing Love Addiction a few years ago and found it helpful too. I'd also recommend Is It Love or Is It Addiction? by Brenda Schaeffer. I liked Schaeffer's book a bit more because she really goes into the connection between early trauma or loss and the tendency to remain in toxic relationships.

Welcome!

gf
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by helluvagalnva
I think I use to be love addicted now I'm love avoidant. I think I want my marriage out of duty rather than love because I really don't think I'm in love with him anymore. Isn't it a good sign when you cringe at the touch of him? Yesterday I told my "a" that I'm not in love with him anymore. I told him that if he ever needed me that I would be there for him but what we had is over, that he killed the love I had for him. Maybe if he had decided a year ago that I was want he wanted then it may have turned out differently. I just feel that I've changed and grown and he has stayed the same.

He called back several hours later very depressed. ...After listening to that I feel so guilty and so sorry for him and that's what pulls me back in. After I make a decision I have a hard time sticking to it because I feel like i should be with him not because of love but out of duty. How can I break this habit?

Why do i feel so guilty? He says that I don't try hard enough that if I wanted it and tried that I could love him again and we could live happily ever after. Is he now living in the fantasy? His parents don't like me anymore and think this is all my fault so I feel guilty and bad for that too.
How can I break free of all of this?

Please help me! I'm going crazy and a million things are zooming thru my brain at warp speed.

Hi Galva,

Your post intrigued me, because it sounds so much like my life. I got married (TWICE) out of really sick (addictive) reasons...duty, obligation, guilt (for having sex pre-wedlock, and so one).

I thought I really loved the first H, but now I know that I didn't. I knew that I didn't love the 2nd, but went ahead with it anyway, because I was so full of self-loathing, that I figured I'd had sex (yes, I was raised with that 1850s mentality), was pregnant, getting divorced, and who else would have me?

I thought I'd met my soul mate (a recovering alcoholic/addict) years ago, but he didn't want me, so I had myself convinced (and still am, pretty much) that there is no such thing as a soul mate for me.

I feel, as you do, that I have grown and my 2nd H has not. I too feel like he had many years to try to make something of our marriage, but chose instead to use my openness as ammunition one time too many...I no longer have any feelings towards him, except rage (which I know I need to work on, for my children's sake).

The only advice I can offer is: Love yourself first. Take the oxygen. Realize how whole, beautiful, and precious you are to this world/God/whatever with or without him or any other person in your life.

He sucked you right into his game, and being a good li'l codie, you fell for it (I'm speaking from experience)

One way I know that (for me) I'm in an addictive relationship, is when I ask myself, "Do I really want this person in my life?" and the answer is NO, but I still keep that person in my life, because I just couldn't bear to hurt their poor little old feelings. I've had some really addictive platonic hetersexual relationships with abusive user women...not just men.

Melodie Beatty has a lot of good stuff on codependence, including the books "Codependent No More" and "Beyond Codependence." I especially like her book "Finding your Way Home: a Soul Survival Kit." It's a bit "out there", but I guess so am I!! Dr. Irene has a site on verbal abuse and other relationship issues, including codependence, where she offers a list of traits of Infatuation vs. Love. Melody Beattie reminded me, though, that initially, falling in love does seem a lot like codependence/infatuation. I also like Robert Burney, at www.joy2meu.com. He's quite a free spirit, but I like it (my inner hippie).

Something I've recently learned for myself is the difference for me) between being in love vs. love, is feeling helpless (that "Hopelessly devoted to you---" feeling) vs. making the choice to be loving towards someone else. I don't know...it's not a fully developed theory yet.

I've got a Lo-o-ong way to go!! But, I'm taking a step, in at least one direction...and that counts for something.
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:01 PM
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See new thread "Love Addicts/Love Avoidants"
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:27 PM
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This was a tough one for me. I don't know if I have an answer, but I do have personal experience.

Almost five years ago I was flying high. I was 11 years sober in AA (I'm still sober), good job, lots of people I was sponsoring many men, well-liked in my AA community, lots of friends, etc. To top it off, I was with a lady that I absolutey adored. The same things you said of your boyfriend, I could say about her. This was the woman I was going to spend my life with. We were together about a year and a half. You know the feeling when you first fall in love? The walking on air, giddiness kind of feeling? That is what was like for me. You see, I thought the feeling was love.

Like I said, I was going to spend my life with this woman. I guess she had other plans. I got up one morning to go to work, and found an email saying, in effect "the feeling changed. I don't love you anymore." Needless to say, I was devasted. More than that. I went into mourning. I felt like a failure. I lost interest in life and all the things that gave it meaning. This went on for over a year.

Coming out the other side, I have learned a valuable lesson. First I learned that at eleven years of sobriety, even with solid recovery, I could still make a god out of a person and out of feelings. The feelings weren't necessarily love.
If love is a feeling, and I wake up one day and the feeling isn't there, does that mean I don't love you? Love isn't about attraction. We get older, our bodies change. You see, it's the feelings we get attached to.

Love is almost like a decision to me. Even I have to make the decision every day that I love you. I love you even if you don't love me back. I love you and there is nothing you can do about it. A decision that results in an active concern for the well-being of that which I love.

Easy in theory, but hard in practice. To detach with love as you F&F's know, is not easy and isn't always comfortable. But detachment is the highest form of love, because it asks nothing in return.
Jim
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