Are You Addicted To Your Relationship?
By: Kathy
February 24, 2013

Are you addicted to your relationship?  Do you spend an inordinate amount of time . . .

  • Thinking about your partner?
  • Talking about them?
  • Trying to please them?
  • Being angry at them?
  • Having mock arguments with them while you are alone?
  • Focusing on how to fix the relationship?
  • Wondering what they are doing?
  • Looking at your phone hoping for a call or text?
  • Spending all of your free time with them?

If you were honest with yourself when you answered these questions, and you answered yes to several of them, then you might be addicted to your relationship!

A relationship addiction puts all of our focus, in some cases our very existence, on our love object.  While we may not recognize it as an addiction, it subtly consumes our thoughts, feelings, and actions all day long. Trust me, if you are addicted and you don’t know it, you will find yourself doing just about anything to keep the relationship going even when it is painfully clear that it is not good for you.

Relationship addiction is harder to spot than the more obvious alcohol or drug addictions.  Our world values an enmeshed relationship where ‘two shall become one’ and couples ‘live happily ever after’.  This culture has been planting seeds our whole lives that a love  relationship will complete us, that we will not be whole until we are in a starry-eyed, romantic and committed, love relationship.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t be in a good relationship. We were made to be relational.  We are drawn to find the person to whom we “belong” in this world.   What I am saying, however, is that we put too much emphasis on the outcome of the relationship and too little focus on learning and growing ourselves.

When the outcome of the relationship is paramount, we can’t hear that we might be doing something unhealthy that could hurt ourselves or others.  We can’t allow our partner some distance so that they can figure some things out for themselves.  We can’t sit in the messiness and learn what we are supposed to be learning because too much is at stake!

I really encourage you to examine this aspect of your life.  Look back at the questions I posed and watch for this in yourself.  If you can’t stand alone, then you will be desperate and addicted to your relationship, causing damage to it, your partner, and yourself!

The good news is that you don’t have to divorce or break up with your love object to fix this, but you do have to stop being addictive.  The bad news is that it will cause some changes in your relationship that will be uncomfortable for both you and your partner.  (Most likely they are addicted to you, too.)  Once you stop behaving in addictive ways, your partner will be forced to make some changes as well.  It is that growth in both of you that allows for a mature, healthy relationship to develop!