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Love Addiction Causes and Consequences

87730262Can someone be addicted to love? Judging by the title of this blog, the answer is, yes. Love addiction might sound like an almost positive quality to have, but in it’s clinical, psychological diagnosis, it’s a real addiction, and therefore, a very real problem. Those afflicted with this ailment can find its roots within their childhood experiences. They then see its ramifications in their later romantic relationships, with an intensity that may often lead to heartbreak, ranging from an inevitable breakup to filing for divorce.

Love addiction is an intense obsession with the beloved to the extent of disregarding yourself and your own, at times basic, practical self-care needs. It sounds like a classic romance movie from the studios of Hollywood, but the reality of being pathologically addicted to someone is more devastating than tantalizing.

Fear of Abandonment

Lingering behind the clinging, desperate relational behaviors of love addicts is deep-seated fear that they are not loved at all and are at constant risk of abandonment. A PsychCentral article explains the neurosis origin: “People generally become love addicts due to a past history of abandonment from their primary caregivers. Adult love addicts usually recognized as children that their most precious needs for validation, love, and connection with one or both parents were not met.”

The past sets off a pattern of seeking to fulfill those unmet needs of self-esteem in destructive ways that continue to deplete the very self-regard and love the addict is searching for. What results is an unhealthy dependence on incoming approval and attention from the beloved they obsess over, tightly clasping to them in fear that they will leave.

The Addict’s Faulty Solution

One interesting aspect of a love addict’s romantic habits is the seemingly opposite fear of intimacy mixed in with the intensity of their obsession. Their particular lack of self-confidence results in both “a conscious fear of abandonment and an underlying subconscious fear of intimacy. To a love addict, intensity in a relationship is often mistaken for intimacy,” the article states.

By intensity, it generally means the constant effort to be with the romantic partner at all times or no what he or she is doing all the time in a controlling way, always seeking attention and validation. They overly depend on the other to make them happy and take care of all of their needs, thereby neglecting to take care of themselves and the quality of the relationship. This could create tense feelings of resentment on both ends and eventually lead to an even more contentious divorce process.

The Real Solution

What the love addict really needs is self-awareness and self-love that comes through dealing with past hurt emotions and experiences. Depending on the intensity of the addiction, therapy is usually needed to accomplish this feat. Real love means taking care of yourself as well as the other person, and being a whole, self-sustaining individual who is happy with themselves, without depending solely on someone else to bring them happiness.

What are our readers’ opinions of love addiction and its possible contribution to some cases of divorce?

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One comment on “Love Addiction Causes and Consequences

  1. As someone who has gone through love addiction, and now counsels many love addicts all over the world- it is a real ‘dis-ease’.
    Brain scans in many studies show how other addictions are similar to one who is obsessed and cannot let go in relationships. It is irrelavant that it is not in the Diagnostic Books (by the way, many which are for insurance purposes), it will be in the future. So if your reading this- and dealing with love addiction– don’t let naysayers shame you, get help!- here is a resource I highly recommend (wwas powerful for my recovery): love addiction help

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