Addicted to Love
The month of February is a time for couples to express their love and commitment to each other. Valentine’s Day is filled with romance, togetherness, and love. However, for some people, unhealthy relationships dominate and make their lives unhappy.
An addiction to love is a very real thing. Individuals who are constantly looking for approval from their mate, or who base their own feelings on the actions of others, can become so dependent on others that they can’t function on their own. Unhealthy relationships often develop when one person becomes overly needy and can’t stand to be alone.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family is often the underlying cause of an unhealthy relationship and love addiction in adults. When a person grows up with a parent who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it may cause them to feel low self worth and to struggle socially and in school. They may not be accustomed to standing up for themselves and their own needs. As the person gets older, they rely heavily on other people for happiness, which can cause a lot of stress in a relationship.
When couples experience unhealthy, addicting, or controlling behavior in a relationship, co-dependency can form. A co-dependent relationship is one where members cannot function without each other, resulting in a host of unhealthy activities.
Co-dependence often goes hand in hand with a drug or alcohol addiction. One member of the couple becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, which causes them to be absent, neglectful, or abusive in the relationship. The other person takes care of the addict, makes excuses for them, and enables them to stay in the relationship and in the addiction.
The addict seems to be the one controlling the relationship, but in a co-dependent situation, the sober individual also exhibits their fair share of control. They may threaten to leave the relationship or turn the person in, which causes the addict to apologize and shower the person with loving words and actions, which in turn fulfills the love addict’s needs. Co-dependent couples often experience cycles of extreme highs and lows, which both members become addicted to feeling over time.
Creating Healthy Relationships
Individuals in addictive relationships often struggle with unhappiness, low self-esteem, and a poor outlook on the future. It is necessary for those in a co-dependent relationship to get professional help in order to heal the dysfunction.
Addiction does not go away on its own. It is important for those struggling with an addiction to get help so that they can go on to lead healthy, happy lives.