Love Addiction comes in many forms. Some Love addicts are drawn to unavailable people, obsess when falling in love, get addicted to the euphoric effects of romance or cannot end a toxic relationship even if they feel unhappy, depressed, lonely, neglected, or in danger. As with sex addiction using sex or becoming anorexic are also ways Love Addicts manage feelings. Often Co-Addiction is involved. Underlying Love Addiction is a craving for emotional connection and the Love Addict will avoid separation anxiety, and loneliness at any cost.
As is often with sex addiction, many Love Addicts experienced some kind of abandonment growing up. It may have been through divorce, death, or the presence of an emotionally unavailable, depressed or addicted caregiver. Creating a fantasy world in order to fill the emptiness becomes a way of coping and this often continues in adult life resulting in a never ending pattern of intense, fantasy-based relationships.
If you or someone you love is a partner of a Love Addict or Sex Addict and you want to enter recovery, it is important to know that withdrawal from Love Addiction as well as Sex Addiction is often painful. The anger, loneliness, shame, despair, frustration, and confusion can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can cause the obsessive behaviors to escalate, such as checking a partner’s personal social networking pages, looking through wallets and cell phone records, driving by a partner’s house repeatedly, and asking friends for information about the partner’s recent activity. Sometimes you might turn to excessive eating, shopping, sleeping, computer use, TV watching, exercising, gambling, alcohol or drugs, to numb out the pain.
But it is vital to remember that recovery is possible and you don’t need to go through it alone. With a therapist who understands Love Addiction as well as 12-step programs, such as SLAA, you can get the support you need to deal with the painful feelings, understand what led you to Love Addiction, and help you to develop a satisfying relationship. You will learn how to set boundaries, to value yourself from the inside and what healthy sexuality as well as emotional intimacy really is. Your life can really change. I hope you will take the first step and ask for help. It can make all the difference in the world,