For people who keep having dysfyunctional and addictive relationships , often Love addiction and/or Love Avoidance are the problem. Love Addiction is the belief that someone else has the key to your happiness and fulfilment. When you meet them you can live ‘happily ever after’.These patterns have their roots in childhood trauma. Love Addiction can occur in any relationship but I will focus on it being with a partner. The Love Addict puts their partner on a pedestal.
The Love Addict goes into a relationship in a haze of fantasy thinking that this other person is perfect, is better than them and unconsciously they will think that their partner will make them whole and make them be able to love themselves……because they love you! As a child the Love Addict would have been abandoned by one or both parents in some way, taking on the lost child role in the family of origin, which sets them up to have low self-esteem and to believe that they are worthless. Their conscious fear is to be abandoned by people, their unconscious fear is of intimacy. Unfortunately no one else can heal your inner-child and the Love Addict tends to choose someone who is not even emotionally available to have a relationship with.
Enter the Love Avoidant.
The Love Avoidant enters the relationship behind a wall of charm and seduction. She/he feels wonderful soaking up the adoration and adulation of the Love Addict. The Love Avoidant has most often been given the hero role in their family of origin, as a child they had to meet their parents’ needs to be valued. They feel good looking after other more needy people and they see themselves as better than others. Love Avoidants are consciously frightened of intimacy and unconsciously frightened of abandonment. They start to feel suffocated by the needy love addict (a trauma reaction) and create distance from the love addict and intensity outside the relationship through addictions, hobbies, being aggressive, workaholism, affairs etc.The relationship of the Love Addict and Love Avoidant is full of drama, obsession (eg 100 texts a day) and intensity. The Love Addict uses their partner as a drug. A ‘toxic tango’ develops. When the Love Addict finally sees that they their partner is not even emotionally available they go into withdrawal from their ‘drug’ and fantasy and feel all the pain of their abandoned inner child. Often a Love Addict can only benefit from therapy when they are in or have completed the withdrawal process.
I help Love Avoidants work through their childhood traumas to enable them to become intimate in relationship and not to ‘run’. I help Love Addicts to heal their inner child and to stop abandoning themselves for the love and approval of others.