What exactly is an addictive relationship? An addictive relationship is an unhealthy situation in which you suffer cravings for the attention and presence of another person. It can lead to feelings similar to drug withdrawal if these needs are not met, including low self-esteem, helplessness, lack of self-confidence and passive behavior. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell if you’re stuck in an addictive relationship. Here are twelve signs that something might be wrong.
1. You need a relationship to feel happy. If you’re not in a relationship, you may feel depressed, and that depression lightens when you start a new connection with someone else. “Any relationship is better than none”.
2. You feel strongly drawn to someone else, even when you think they might not be healthy to be around. You frequently act on these feelings.
3. When you know that the relationship you’re in is bad for you, you still have trouble ending it. You may feel unable to stop seeing someone, despite being aware that you’re in a destructive situation.
4. You believe you can change the other person to attempt to fit your vision of a partner.
5. You seeke out any relationship as soon as you finally break up an unproductive one. This keeps you from being alone.
6. When you think about ending a relationship, you find yourself feeling strong worry about whether or not the other person will be okay without your presence.
7. Most often yout relationships start off as impractical or with low odds of success, dating a married person, trying long distance relationships, or picking out emotionally unavailable or cold people.
8. Even years after your relationship is over, you find it dominating your thoughts.
9. You’re more concerned about what pleases your partner than what makes you happy, both in bed and outside the bedroom.
10. You’re afraid of being independent inside your relationship, no matter how independent you are in regular life, and saying no to your partner is extremely difficult.
11. You do not feel you are worthy of having a good relationship. This kind of self-doubt may lead to controlling behavior, jealousy, and possessiveness.
12. There is constant breaking up and getting back together, despite knowing ending it is the best choice. This may include breaking things off, then feeling strong withdrawal symptoms, and reestablishing the relationship again to end those feelings.
If these signs and symptoms seem familiar, you may be suffering from an relationship addiction. There are things you can do to escape this trap, however. Your first realization has to be that you are ‘hooked’ into the situation and person and must figure out what the hooks are. This will allow you to decide whether the relationship is worth saving or you’re better off without it.
Many people name superficial or practical reasons for staying in an addictive relationship. The most common of these is ‘doing it for the kids,’ but other reasons may include shared living space, financial problems, or worry that other people will disapprove. Deep in the heart however, the reasons for continuing in the relationship are based on beliefs we have learned and internalized growing up. For example you may say ” It will get better if I love him harder,” I can never be alone”, ” I need someone with me always”, ” If I take better and more care of him he will love me”.” These can be destructive and keep you in a situation that only gets worse.
Overcoming an addictive relationship requires that you make recovering from it your first priority. You may be helped by seeing a counselor and learning to put yourself first. A support network of friends and family can also ease the transition out of this kind of damaging situation.