Dependence on the person: emotional, sexual, love
People (often girls and women) who are experiencing emotional dependence on a specific person regularly approach the psychologists at our Centre. Usually such relations have “emotional coloring” of love, i.e. arise between the man and the woman as romantic, sexual. Over time, such “love” transforms from an equal relationship between two partners into a double-edged weapon that hurts both, but at the same time prevents them from breaking the vicious circle.
When a person is emotionally addicted, the whole world is centered on the object of love, and nothing else is important to him except the person he loves and his needs. This condition is experienced as the need to be constantly near, the absence of own interests (there are only common or beloved’s interests). Psychological dependence on the person is accompanied by strong emotions such as jealousy, anger and guilt. The addict is ready to suffer, sacrifice themselves for the sake of preserving the relationship, they tolerate neglect, beatings, cheating and partner addictions (alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction), etc.
Emotional dependence can manifest itself in different ways, but experts have identified several common features that characterize such relationships.
Signs of love (emotional) dependence on a partner
All signs of love addiction can be reduced to one externally observable phenomenon – it is a dramatic change with the person and his life. If these changes are constructively pleasant for the love couple, then it is more about love, but if these changes are destructive and painful, then it is about addiction:
- Frequent conflicts, quarrels, figuring things out.
- The addicted partner seeks to preserve the relationship at all costs, no matter where it leads and no matter how the other partner behaves (endures humiliation, insults, beatings, unreasonable jealousy, cheating).
- The addict tries to change the partner “for the better” at all costs (e.g., trying to cure the partner of drug or alcohol addiction, etc.) The addict has a pronounced Rescuer Complex.
- The addict is under the illusion that the relationship is about to change for the better, refusing to accept reality.
- The world narrows down to one person for the addict (stops seeing friends, forgets about their needs, stops doing what they love, etc.).
- The mood of the addicted partner is lowered, depressed.
- Uncertainty in themselves, their attractiveness, low self-esteem.
- The addict tends to hide problems in the relationship with the partner from others.
- The listed above symptoms may be accompanied (and aggravated) by any other addiction – drug, alcohol, food, shopaholism, etc.
- Disorders of physical health and general well-being (sleep disorders, digestive disorders, skin diseases, psychosomatic illnesses, etc.)
Mechanism of love addiction development
The mechanism of love addiction development is very similar in its stages to the mechanism of chemical addiction development in alcoholics and drug addicts. First there is the intoxication stage – a person falls in love, experiences attraction, euphoria, delight that he is loved. Then comes the stage of hangover and the desire to increase the dose, since some addiction has already occurred and an increase in the dose of love is required, in order to cling, as at the first stage. Next comes the third stage, which is similar to withdrawal. It is the fear of losing a partner, and from here come the following phrases: “I can’t live without him” or “If he leaves, I’ll die.” The addict clings to the “loved one” like a drowning man to a straw. It’s like the last chance of his life. And he does it because the addict’s need for care and love is highly hypertrophied, but at the same time not satiated. This state can be compared with a leaky barrel, which you keep filling up, but it’s impossible to fill to the top. Also the need for love and happiness of an addict cannot be satisfied with the help of someone or something.
Sexual addiction is a particular case of emotional addiction. It is characterized by a compulsive desire for sexual intercourse. If love addiction is characterized by a painful connection with one partner, then for sexual addiction, it is not the object that comes first, but the action itself. Sexual addiction is more common in men. As in the cases of other addictions, for a sex addict the object of his sexual addiction is a way of escaping from reality, from himself and his own feelings. People with this type of addiction are characterized by numerous emotional difficulties: a tendency to low mood, impulsivity, low self-esteem, feelings of guilt and shame, inner emptiness, habit of hiding their problems from loved ones, inability to get pleasure from other sources, combination with other addictions, health problems.
How do you get rid of an emotional or sexual addiction?
If we talk about self-help, we recommend answering 3 questions in writing. This will make it easier to analyze the answers you get.
1. What used to give me pleasure?
After the list appears, it is possible to execute some items, so that again there is a feeling that you can take care of yourself. This method is offered not only to distract oneself, but also to allow one to focus on oneself, on what one wants, on what one is interested in, on one’s needs, on one’s desires. Because when a person is in love addiction, he doesn’t think about himself at all. He undermines his health, his strength, he lives completely on the payoff.
2. What does this painful love affair or relationship give you that you can’t do without now?
You need to try to answer this question in the language of feeling. I feel, I experience, etc. And here you can ask yourself this additional question – in what situations can I experience something like this? Maybe it would be creativity or a journey.
This question shows us those hooks, those weaknesses by which you might be held by the object of desire.
3. How can I make myself happy, support myself, protect myself?
It is important to try to refuse self-criticism, to learn to support yourself, to take an interest in your desires more often. If there is silence in response, do not be frightened. After a while the answer will come. The most difficult thing about love addiction is that, having experienced at least once painful excruciating love, many people no longer recognize other love. In a calm and joyful feeling, addicted people lack suffering, gore, drama. When such a person meets true love, it seems as if it does not notice, passes by.
It should be remembered that the causes of such addictive behavior are always inside a person’s personality. That is, even if an emotionally dependent person breaks up with his partner, in the next relationship he is likely to repeat the same traits of behavior.
If you find signs of emotional dependence, do not despair, you know: it is possible and necessary to work on this in the office of a psychologist. Modern methods of counseling, which owns our specialists, very effectively work with emotional addiction. After a course of work with a psychologist you will not only be “cured” of addiction to a particular person, but will be able to continue to build healthy relationships based on love and trust, full of joy.
If there is a suspicion of emotional or sexual addiction it is necessary to address a specialist – psychologist or psychotherapist. In the process of getting rid of psychological addiction it is very important to eliminate the underlying causes that led to its emergence. Otherwise even in case of parting with previous partner an addict subconsciously will choose new relationships for himself which again will doom him to torments.
Recovery begins with awareness of the problem. Love addiction is not love. It is necessary to honestly assess the consequences of love addiction, your own contribution to this relationship. The second stage is the search for the present self. At this stage, the client learns to listen and hear themselves, since addicts suppress and devalue their feelings. They don’t know themselves well at all, as they keep only their object of adoration in focus for a long time. It is often found that repressed feelings are not directly related to our childhood experiences. Likewise, the therapy strategy focuses on improving self-esteem. Much effort will be spent on finding and resolving negative programs and on forming alternative habits to be as far away from painful experiences as possible.
Specialists at the Amber Center have all the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to work successfully with emotional addiction. At the initial consultation, a specialist will conduct a psychological diagnosis, collect information about your life history and make a plan for further psychological work on how to get rid of love addiction.
Make an appointment with a psychologist by calling (812) 642-47-02 or fill out a request form on the website.
How to get rid of psychological dependence on the person?
We are often afraid of getting addicted to drugs, alcohol, smoking and gambling but we do not take into consideration that the painful dependence on another person can also greatly complicate our life and become very dangerous for our health.
After reading this article, you will understand what causes the dependence on the person, learn to distinguish its symptoms and, most importantly, you will understand how to get rid of this pathology and return to a full life.
Dependence on a person: what is it?
Dependence (addiction) on a person is a psychological condition in which the dependent individual experiences a pathological attachment to the object of his or her love. Because of this, the person practically loses his or her personality and lives with the problems and joys of his or her partner.
Addictive behavior is caused by the inability to take responsibility for one’s feelings and actions, and the addict does not always manage to deal with the accompanying negative emotions (sadness, doubt, resentment, anxiety, uncertainty) on one’s own. It takes a lot of courage and often the help of a competent psychologist to find the resources to stand up to oneself and overcome addiction.
Types of emotional dependence
Addiction can be of different types in different kinds of relationships.
- Love addiction usually begins with a fairy tale love story – two are constantly inseparable, enjoy each other’s company, new sensations, while friends, girlfriends, relatives step aside – no one is needed in love. Then feelings subside and there is a desire to diversify isolated life hobbies and meetings with friends. Healthy relationships easily cope with this period, but pathological – no. The addicted partner has the feeling that he is no longer loved, that he was abandoned and betrayed, and the main emotions are resentment, jealousy and dissatisfaction. As a result, the initial idyll is replaced by quarrels, accusations, and threats.
- The friendship addiction resembles the love addiction, with the only caveat that the actors are friends. The same jealousy of other people and occupations, fear of losing a buddy and an urgent need to communicate with him or her is present. If the friend gets a loved one or other friendship, the addicted person becomes depressed and feels betrayed.
- Parental addiction is a type of addiction that is laid down during early childhood due to faulty parenting. It usually occurs with the oppressive behavior of parents who have a totalitarian style of upbringing or have themselves been a victim, experienced psychological trauma, grew up in an incomplete family. Such parents suppress any attempts of the child to be independent, they are afraid to be left alone, to be abandoned. Their actions have the color of manipulation – they invent nonexistent diseases, promise an inheritance – in a word, they do everything to make the child need them, at the same time depriving him of the opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility, to make a decision himself, to make an adequate assessment of his actions.
What is the reason for a dependent relationship?
If you recognize yourself, your partner or the story of acquaintances / relatives – surely you will wonder: what is the reason for this picture, what is wrong, why it happened?
Causes of emotional addiction usually include:
- parental neglect during childhood;
- The presence of psychological trauma suffered as a child;
- Excessive parental custody;
- Visibly low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence;
- desire for the approval and praise of parents and others;
- disrespectful attitude of parents;
- existence in poor material conditions;
- emotional infantilism;
- fear of own uselessness;
- fear of loneliness;
- Inability to take responsibility for their behavior;
- frequent criticism;
- desire to be in someone’s subordination;
- wrong upbringing;
- absurd idea of love, aspiration to be with the object of adoration as one unit, to be together from morning till night;
- the presence of psychological complexes.
Test: check yourself
How do you know if you are addicted? Usually a strong feeling of dependence on another person is manifested in total control over their actions and movements, in the desire to be constantly near them, in the loss of self-control over their thoughts, feelings, behavior.
The following quiz of 9 questions will help you determine the presence and level of dependence on the person. Please answer the “Yes” or “No” questions as honestly as possible.
- Do you often experience anxiety when you think about your relationship?
- Do you find it difficult to say no to your partner?
- Do you vitally need your partner’s approval?
- Does your self-esteem depend on that approval?
- When your partner praises you – your mood visibly increases, you like yourself?
- Do you feel fear if your partner is not happy with you?
- Do you panic if your loved one is in a bad mood?
- You can not imagine life without your loved one?
- Your old interests are no longer fun?
- You no longer use passwords, have no secrets from your partner and demand the same from him?
If you didn’t answer yes to any of the questions, you don’t have an addiction to your partner.
If 1-2 times you answered “Yes”, you have a mild stage of addiction, which you can cope on your own. Analyze your behavior from the outside, study the information on the subject, think about how to fix the situation.
From 3 to 5 positive answers indicate that you have an average degree of addiction and you are recommended to consult a psychologist/psychotherapist in order to understand in what direction you should work on yourself.
More than 5 positive responses indicate a severe addiction. You need to take action and seek help from a specialist.
And we will tell you about ways to correct addictive behavior.
Step by step instructions for getting rid of addiction
- Step 1 – CONSCIOUSLY. Start with awareness and acceptance of the fact that addiction exists. Talk to yourself mentally, tell yourself that you would like to get rid of this condition. This step is very important, your brain is used to thinking it’s love, not addiction, your sincere willingness to change will make your subconscious look for options to change the situation.
- Step 2 – DECISION. The next step should be a firm decision to leave the painful relationship or a decision to change your personality (thoughts and behavior) within the existing relationship. You need to understand that an addictive relationship supports both parties in the union, so if you get out of the addiction – your partner will either have to change to pull up behind you in a new healthy relationship, or leave on their own.
- Step 3 – DETERMINE BORDERS. Learn to say no to your partner and defend your position. At this stage, gradually return to love for yourself, you will begin to do what you like, listen to your desires.
- Step 4 – FILLING THE HOLE . In an addictive relationship, your own hobbies have long since receded into the background. Start getting to know yourself anew. You can make a list, list what your partner gives you that you can’t give yourself, and start making yourself feel good about yourself. You can also listen to yourself, remember what you liked to do, what was interesting to you, to resume lost friendships or family communication, return to an old hobby or find a new one. Effective medicine will be sports or dance classes, because improving your body, a person not only improves self-esteem, but also gets health and good humor.
- Step 5 – STUDY YOUR PROBLEM INTO YOU. Addiction – a complex psychological condition, not everyone can cope with it on their own, to see their problem from the outside. At our course “Psychology of addiction” experienced teachers will tell you how to cope with emotional dependence, will teach you methods of mental correction and help you acquire a new profession of a psychologist to help not only themselves, but also other people who are in a similar situation.
- Step 7 – NEW RELATIONSHIPS. Start building a new relationship or analyze your feelings in an existing relationship – how strong your addiction still is and if there is a change for the better. To do this on a scale of 1 to 100 determine how happy you are.
When is it worth seeing a psychologist?
If you doubt your strength or if none of the available methods does not help you to change your position as an addict, it is worth to turn to a professional.
It is necessary to understand that in addictive behavior you do not live your life, that emotional addiction is not only a state of mind, but also a psychological disorder caused by self-loathing.
Addiction destroys people’s lives and makes both the addict himself and his partner suffer. Moreover, if the problem is not solved by cardinal changes, then addictive behavior will accompany you throughout your whole life, and attempts to build a healthy relationship will not succeed. It is necessary to regain self-respect and love for yourself, this is the only way to health and a new life.
To change the situation, you will have a long and painstaking work on yourself. An experienced psychologist will help to identify the true causes of addictive behavior and competently correct them. Remember, if nothing is done, the situation will only get worse.
Famous Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero said wonderful words, which we would like to finish today’s conversation: “He who depends only on himself and sees everyone in himself is the happiest of all.” Let us believe in ourselves, friends!