Are you guilty of unhealthy loyalty & obligation? If you’re in a relationship with an addict, you can probably are but you may not recognize it. Do you ever ask yourself these questions? . . .
How did I end up in an addicted relationship?
Why do I keep putting up with the behavior?
Why do I feel like I don’t know the whole truth?
When our unhealthy obligation and loyalty to care for others overrides our obligation to care for ourselves, the addict quickly learns how to take advantage. Intentional and unintentional manipulation are at work in addiction. If you’re staying in a relationship out of a sense of personal obligation, then chances are the addiction is getting worse. Unhealthy loyalty and FOG-like thinking on the part of the non-addicted partner allows the addiction to continue. Addiction benefits when partners are in a FOG and are ultimately loyal.
What is FOG?
With FOG and unhealthy loyalty in place, the co-addict unknowingly takes personal responsibility in meeting the expectations of the addict. These expectations, though challenging for family members and co-addicted partners, are bottomless wells of neediness. Partners of addicts eventually fear what will happen, feel obligated to help or support, and then feel guilt if the addicts’ expectations are unmet.
Addiction and Addicted Thinking
The addicted person also lives in a haze of fantasy by minimizing negative consequences and optimizing perceived benefits. This results in circular thinking. Eventually, the addicted person will want support from family members and friends. If loved ones are in a FOG, manipulation becomes simple. The addict wants/needs other co-addicts to be in the FOG to allow the addictive behavior. The addict never gives without expecting something in return. The goal is for personal gain while sacrificing very little, if anything.