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Great book about love-addiction

Electric

Electric

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Robin Norwood.jpg

I am reading a great book about love-addiction. It is not about the addiction for the feeling of falling in love, or the addiction for having lots of relationships. It is about the addiction for love itself. It is about women (in the book the writer explains why mostly women) who love a man who is not good for them, and these women keep loving the men, they keep giving and giving, thinking all the time that they are doing great, but they aren't.

This book is helping to see certain patterns in my life, and explains why the patterns are there. I have learned a lot since I am reading it, and am still learning.

It is easy to read, and easy to digest, but sometimes hard to accept. The truth may hurt sometimes, especially when you have been avoiding it for so many years.

I believe that we, people with a mental health problem, can also work on ourselves if we are interested in change and progress. We can work on our self esteem and conscientiousness. Anything can help, as long as you are open to it.

Good luck reading it, it might change your life...

Electric
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Thanks for the recommendation.
I've looked through "Women Who Think Too Much". Will have to try and get hold of a copy of this one.
I'd also recommend Anne Wilson Shaef's book "Escape From Intimacy".

It's really helped me to become a bit more aware and knowledgeable on this subject.
 
N

notrealname

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Yeah, I never understood why it was called 'love addiction'. I would describe myself as mildly codependent (another name for love addiction), but calling myself addicted to love or relationships has never seemed valid. I don't ever have any burning desire to be in a relationship - I'm open to it but not fussed either way - and I'm just as happy single as I am with a boyfriend (sometimes more happy single, in fact...actually, definitely more happy single...) And yet I would experience feelings of addiction if I was left, dismissed, ignored etc. A feeling of craving and longing and desperation etc. It was absolutely horrible. Then the shame is much worsened by the desperation - because you start to wonder what's wrong with you and why you are such a 'desperate person' - and then you're in a downward spiral.

I think you've hit the nail on the head by saying it's about giving too much. I think it's about giving too much responsibility wise. If you're willing to take on the responsibility for another person's feelings, thoughts and actions as well as your own then you're overburdening yourself and priming yourself to feel shame. Because if the other person's feelings, thoughts, actions aren't what you want then it's you who feels shame, when really it should be them.

I think the feeling of addiction has nothing to do with needing love or needing to be in a relationship - if that were true, I'd feel that way when I'm single, but I never do, and I also don't need to have feelings for the other person - or even particularly think I would be happy with them or imagine a future with them (in some cases I've actually not particularly wanted to be with them) in order to experience the same horrific cycle (so long as I believe I have done something wrong...much worsened if they also blame me...) I believe the feeling of addiction is about escaping shame. So long as they accept me, forgive me etc. then I am not shameful. If they reject me, then I am shameful - an effect much worsened by any feeling that I have made a mistake - and obviously worsened more if they are the type who refuse to take responsibility. I think it's about, quite literally, saving your life - it's saving your sense of self - that's why you get that feeling of desperation, it's all about survival (of your own self image). It makes sense.

And it also makes it easier to change. It's about combatting that shame, looking at the ways your thoughts and your behaviours might increase that feeling of shame and also understanding how it got there in the first place. Learning to accept that as a person you are not shameful - because no one is - and learning to stop taking responsibility for other people because you're only ever responsible for yourself.
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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I may read this book but I will be sceptical.

I think 'love' is an overblown, over-analysed, over-complicated concept. I think primarily people need physical contact with each other - literally, just the ability to touch. Beyond that, most people need sex. Beyond that, most people want a lasting sexual relationship with someone who likes, respects and values them as equals. Most people prefer for that relationship to be exclusive. So what else is there?
 
N

notrealname

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I may read this book but I will be sceptical.

I think 'love' is an overblown, over-analysed, over-complicated concept. I think primarily people need physical contact with each other - literally, just the ability to touch. Beyond that, most people need sex. Beyond that, most people want a lasting sexual relationship with someone who likes, respects and values them as equals. Most people prefer for that relationship to be exclusive. So what else is there?
We're pair-bonding animals, love is an emotional bond. But you're right it's a bit overanalysed and I think a bit over-rated ('love saves the day' etc.) Although to be far, love probably does save the day emotions-wise and mental health wise, but not necessarily romantic love - in fact, probably not as much as other kinds of love. It's usually self-love, familial love, platonic love - i.e. having a firm support network and feeling that you belong and are accepted.
 
C

ChesireCat

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Yeah, I never understood why it was called 'love addiction'.
'Cause it's very addictive...like crack. I have this problem. (Love Addiction - not crack)
 
N

notrealname

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'Cause it's very addictive...like crack. I have this problem. (Love Addiction - not crack)
And you actually feel like you need to be in love then? Or is it that you need to be loved?

Sorry, don't mean to pry. It's just that I fall under the 'love addict' description and I have never felt that way. I do sometimes feel a sense of extreme need to see a person again following rejection, but I'm not addicted to love or relationships - I'm fine without them - I'm just trying to save my self worth (of which I apparently have none of my own, or lose it quickly because I'm so self-critical, but I didn't even know this until recently it hides itself so well). What I tend to find is that there are two things going on in my mind. 1) I don't particularly want to go out with this person and 2) It is for some reason that I don't at the time comprehend absolutely essential that I see them again. It's extremely confusing!

I understand it now, I need others to accept me because I am so unable to accept myself (or was, I'm practicing this now) but when it first happened to me...I had no idea WHAT was going on...It only happens in romantic relationships and that's because of what appears to be an extreme shift from 'I really, really like you' to 'actually I don't care whether I ever see you again', which makes me feel that I have made a catastrophic mistake - one big enough to turn someone who liked me that much to not liking me at all. In reality, I've probably just stayed longer than I should have, I have probably been treated badly, and there were two people in the relationship, neither of which were doing a particularly good job of it, but because I only focus on my mistakes - and often accept responsibility for theirs! (Yes, he was a prick at this point, but he wouldn't have been if it wasn't for me having done [insert sometimes imagined mistake]' - that I feel I have had my own lack of value proven to me.
 
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C

ChesireCat

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Yea...both of those things. Everything. Ughh. Sometimes I really wish I had a crack addiction instead because I could at least get me some of that. lol I hate my life.:(
 
N

notrealname

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Yea...both of those things. Everything. Ughh. Sometimes I really wish I had a crack addiction instead because I could at least get me some of that. lol I hate my life.:(
Do you also share the shame aspects I described? Perhaps if you find it difficult to love yourself then you feel you need to be loved by someone else?

Maybe what it is is that your core beliefs are different from mine. Some people, for instance, think they will only be happy if they are in a relationship - so they become outcome dependent. I personally don't view myself any differently whether I'm single or in a relationship (and quite often I see myself more positively single because this supports my self image as independent). But I know a lot of people feel that they will not be happy without a partner. Do you think this is true?

I guess at the end of the day, we can all experience similar feelings for totally different reasons. I might have the feeling of addiction when I am rejected or dismissed because of that shame response (though it's amazing how easy it is to stop this if you catch it early, by the way, recognise it and think...'nah'...it's only overwhelming once it's got to a high degree), but maybe you have a feeling like being addicted because you have other beliefs. Maybe you think you will not cope alone for instance? I hope you're able to work it out anyway because it's obviously very upsetting for you.
 
C

ChesireCat

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No. Don't have the same shame thing. But yeah, I can't really love myself. Have a lot of self hate and being in a relationship makes me feel better. I'm definitely not happy without a partner - I need someone else to focus on for some reason. I know I'm not independent! But saying that I have been single for a long, long time...so, I deal with it (although, have been unhappy).
 
N

notrealname

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No. Don't have the same shame thing. But yeah, I can't really love myself. Have a lot of self hate and being in a relationship makes me feel better. I'm definitely not happy without a partner - I need someone else to focus on for some reason. I know I'm not independent! But saying that I have been single for a long, long time...so, I deal with it (although, have been unhappy).
That must be really difficult for you. I was feeling bad enough for myself with the problems I've had, but so long as I'm single I'm happy...well, that's not true...so long as I'm single and my career is working out well, I'm happy. It's always been the career that's been a massive stickler for me. I have similar black and white thoughts about it (unless x happens, there's no point in living), that I'm struggling to get over, and that is definitely holding me back from my career dreams (ironically), because it affects my confidence so much (so much riding on it going well and I fear failure to such a massive degree). But for me, at least that big fear is sort of in my control - in a way I'm totally in control of how my career goes because it's about how much work you put in and how willing you are to keep going through repeated failure in order to find success. With relationships it must make you feel so powerless, because you have no control over another person or whether you meet someone you like, and if it feels so important to you then that must be a nightmare.

I hope you're able to change your beliefs. I'm positive that you are independent - we all are. Well, we're all interdependent. We need social support through caring friendships, etc., but we're also perfectly capable of being alone, knowing there's someone on the end of the phone if we get a bit lonely or if we've had a bad day. Maybe you could try to investigate what it is about being alone that makes you feel uncomfortable - what is it you fear might happen if you are alone? - so that you could ask yourself whether it is true? Do you have good friendships?

Sorry I can't be of much help, but I really hope it gets better for you.
 
C

ChesireCat

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lol...I will be forever the needy bpd baby.:rolleyes:

Hope things go well for you too.
 
R

resentmentsruining

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I know im codependant and the book is spot on for me. Im new on this forum but have been around 12 step recvoery on and off for years..Al- anon friends and family, ACOA and CODA codeps anon. Right now I feel codependancy is the real addiction behind all the others, the others being symptoms. For me the dynamic of codependancy was set up very early with an alcoholic parent and where the pattern of overcompensation began ( giving more ) to merely ensure basic survival. It's no accident I ended up working in health as children of alcoholics in particular are massively over represented in the caring professions whereby esteem is felt by helping others. As I got older the darkside of my helping began to become more apparant as a form of control and a way to keep me in the driving seat,..I read about the 4 M"s ..Mothering, Martydom, Managing and Manipulation, All of which I can rotate in the guise of " helping" . The pattern of codependancy manifested again just when i thought the blueprint script had been rewritten with a happier ending, I ended up attracting in addiction again this time a silent assassin in the form of a compulsive gambler. This experience has eventually brought me to my knees and I lost my baby. I cannot trust myself to make healthy choices so now have taken myself completely off the market and out of the game. I know that sounds extreme but my codependancy sickness runs that deep with its tendrils infecting every area of my life. I've now chosen relationship abstinence to keep me safe and I do feel a lot happier as for me happiness is the same word as stability and safety in my home.My area of concern now is rages and managing flashbacks, flare ups , central sleep apnea and what I can only describe as a sort of PTSD as a result of my physical life being under threat many times growing up with an active drinker...I literally do feel like a soldier who is shellshocked after returning from a war zone,xxx
 
C

ChesireCat

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I felt that way too for a long time (not trusting myself or my choices). My mother was an alcoholic/drug addict and is PD'd. That stuff stays with you forever.
 
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