Wednesday, 1 September 2010
05:34:14 AM (GMT)
What is an Addictive Relationship?
According to Terence Gorski in Why Do I Keep Doing That? an addictive relationship
involves one person who is self-centered and extremely independent. This partner
(let's call him Selfish Sam - but it could just as easily be Selfish Sally) believes
he's entitled to whatever he wants whenever he wants it. He surrounds himself with
people who support his opinions of himself. The other partner (we'll call her
Dependant Debbie but it could be Dependent Darren) is dependent and other-centered,
and willing to mirror whatever the first partner wants. She's simply a reflection of
him. This is how addictive relationships work.
About addictive relationships Gorski says, "It works until the other-centered person
runs out of steam one night and doesn't have enough energy to mirror back what is
needed. The relationship is going to blow up. Addictive relationships do not
necessarily have to have self-centered and other-centered partners, but it's the
7 Signs of Addictive Relationships
Dishonesty. Neither Sam nor Debbie talks about who they are or what's really
bothering them. They lie about what they want. This turns communication into an
Unrealistic expectations. Both Sam and Debbie think the other will solve their
self-esteem, body image, family, and existential problems. They believe the "right
relationship" will make everything better. Yet, they're in a disastrous addictive
Instant gratification. Sam expects Debbie to be there for him whenever he
needs her; he needs her to make him happy immediately. He's using her to make him
feel good, and isn't relating to her as a partner or even a human being. She's a like
drug. An addictive relationship drug.
Compulsive control. Debbie has to act a certain way, or Sam will threaten to
leave her. Both feel pressure to stay in this addictive relationship; neither feel
like they're together voluntarily.
Lack of trust. Neither partner trusts the other to be there when the chips are
down. They don't believe the other really loves them, and they don't believe genuine
caring or liking exists. At some level they know they're not in a healthy but rather
in an addictive relationship.
Social isolation. Nobody else is invited into their relationship – not
friends, family, or work acquaintances. People in addictive relationships want to be
Cycle of pain. Sam and Debbie are trapped in a cycle of pleasure, pain,
disillusionment, blaming, and reconnection. The cycle repeats itself until one
partner breaks free of the addictive relationship.
Addictive relationships can change, if both partners are self-aware and willing to do
what it takes. In some cases an objective viewpoint (such as counseling) helps; other
times, self-control and mutual accountability are all that's needed to turn the
addictive relationship around.
Last edited: 15 September 2010