Whether you’ve been the friend or loved-one in turmoil, venting about your stagnant, unhealthy relationship, or been on the receiving end of such bantering, one thing is for sure, anyone is capable of developing dependency issues. Being the humans we are, our desire for intimacy is an innate one but sometimes our built-in longing for closeness morphs into one of an unhealthy dependency most refer to as an addiction.
Most think of the terms dependency and addiction in relationship to stuff such as alcohol, drugs, food or sex. The critical factor of these sources of compulsion lie in what they do to our brain matter – and relationships are no different. The charge our brains get from being in addictive relationships is damn near akin to getting ones freebase on, and as well all know, that’s mighty powerful stuff. What many fail to see is that our mind is a tool, not just some automatic organ functioning beyond our control. According to dictionary.com, addiction is: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
Sound familiar? So just how, you may wonder, does this mutation go down behind dealing with a member of the opposite sex? Well, The Site presents the following factors that may be at play:
Where you’re from: Growing up with an addict in the family can influence your life. Some react against it. Others fall into similar habits, though not necessarily the same addiction;
Who you’re with: If your environment leaves you bored or stressed it can make you want to find a way to forget it all. You might also be persuaded because everyone else is at it;
Where you’re at: Many addicts lack confidence or self-esteem, so check out the way you cope with life. Ask if you face up to challenges, or look for ways to hide.
Further insight is provided by Howard M. Halpern, Ph.D. who broke matters down in his book How to Break Your Addiction to a Person:
Some may make brief sallies outside, but quickly retreat to the safety of prison in relief and despair. Something in them wants out. Something in them knows that they were not meant to live this way. Yet people, in droves, choose to remain in their prisons, making no effort to change them — except, perhaps, to hang pretty curtains over the bars and paint the walls in decorator colors. They may end up dying in a corner of their cell without having really been alive for years.
The choice to stay or leave ultimately lies within the individual who lives in the prison of his or her own making. So for those who are unsure if you are just experiencing a rough patch or indeed a doomed dependency, dig these classic symptoms of an addictive relationship:
1. If it is love at first site, an animal attraction, or infatuation, warning bells should also be going off. This might include a person that is too far away, married, not interested, or emotionally unavailable. If these things are true about your partner, yet you feel like you are drawn to them, it could be an addictive relationship.
2. If you try to change the person that you are with in order to be a person that you’d like to be with, this is not a good relationship to be in. If you find yourself constantly thinking that the relationship would be perfect if the person could just change a little bit, it is a sign of a bad relationship.
3. Knowing the relationship is bad for you, and you are not able to get out of it is a sign of a dysfunctional relationship. you may not feel deserving of a positive relationship, perhaps you are so worried about the others reaction to a break up you lose sight of your own needs. no matter what, these are the signs of a bad relationship.
4. If you notice the relationships of other happy people seem boring compared to yours, it may be a sign you are hooked on the chaos of an addictive relationship. There is a big probability that you would spurn these people to stay in your current relationship.
5. If you don’t feel that you can be independent within your relationship, even though you might be independent in other areas, it might be a sign of an addictive relationship.
6. If it is hard to say ‘no’ and stick to it and you find yourself always giving in to your partners needs, this is another sign.
7. If your relationship makes you feel self-doubt, it is a sign that your relationship is dysfunctional.
If you can relate to even half the points on this list, you may seriously want to consider going into recovery. The truth is that nothing good ever comes from being an addict. If you are uncertain, ask yourself: Who controls your mind, the addiction or you? You may not believe that peace or happiness is in the cards for you, but you’ll never know until you let go of the toxicity and the madness. Next time you question whether you should embark, or remain in an addictive relationship, don’t hesitate. Just say NO.