Are Any Of These 12 Signs And Symptoms of Relationship Addiction Present In Your Life?

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.

couple gazingAn addictive relationship is usually evident to outsiders, but when you are in the middle of it, seeing the situation can be difficult. An addictive relationship is almost always unbalanced. Instead of a 50/50 split in joy and responsibilities, it is more like 90/10. One person is doing all the giving and the other all the taking. It can produce feelings and problems just like a drug addiction, the belief it will get better, denial, compulsion and obsession. Here is a list for your evealuation of your realtionship:

1. You look for the other person to fulfill you, or 'make' you content and 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 look for other relationships as soon as you've broken one off. 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. Your relationships are frequently with people who are far away, married, otherwise involved, or emotionally unavailable.

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 have a hard time believing you deserve a good relationship. This kind of self-doubt may lead to controlling behavior, jealousy, and possessiveness.

12. You 'yo-yo' in and out of relationships, despite trying to end them. 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. The first step is recognizing that you're hooked on the other person, and trying to understand why. 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.

Bill Urell

Bill Urell is an addictions therapist at a leading residential treatment center. He teaches healthy life styles and life skills as a component of holistic addictions treatment. His websites cover areas of professional and personal interests.

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