Addicted to a Person?
– Elena Michaels, PhD, CCH, LMFT
Have you ingored your own best judgment (and even the judgment of others) to continue in a relationship that you know is not healthy for you? Even when you observe that other person’s behavior and see that there is no improvement, you continue on, unable to break away, feeling trapped and in emotional (and perhaps physical) pain. You know that you “should” do something, but you don’t know what. You feel powerless, victimized, and afraid. You think about this person and your feelings about him or her throughout the day, finding it difficult to concentrate on much of anything else.
You fantasize about when this person will “wake up” and finally appreciate you. You think about the next time the two of you will be together, or you re-live the last time the two of you were together. You give yourself reasons for staying that are not very convincing, such as “he really loves me but just can’t show it”, “she’s been so hurt by others that she can’t see how wonderful I am”, “when he realizes how much I sacrifice for him he’ll appreciate me and finally leave his wife”, “when she yells and screams at me, she really doesn’t mean it”, and the list goes on and on.
Where is your self-respect? Where is your sense of personal power? Why are you acting against your best judgment and from a place of fear? You feel ashamed of your behavior with this person. You aren’t “normally” like this. You actually feel sick to your stomach when you do things like cancel your previously-made plans with others, to go out with him at the last minute. When he doesn’t show up, you call him late at night and drive over to his house. And yet, if you didn’t drive over to see him you would be miserable, feeling worthless, undesirable, and crying yourself to sleep.
Or, perhaps you are in a relationship with someone who has already told you that they don’t want to get married, or that they don’t want children (or that they don’t want to be a parent to your children from a previous marriage). And yet you stay in the relationship thinking that once they finally realize how wonderful you are, they will change. When you do try to break it off, you feel sick to your stomach and every bone and muscle in your body aches and yearns to be with them. The pain is too great without them, so you pick up the phone and call them….you need your “fix”.
If any of this seems painfully familiar to you, you may be addicted to a person. Just like being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or certain behaviors like shopping, being addicted to a person leaves you feeling out of control, powerless, ashamed of yourself, depressed, and possibly even in denial that you are addicted at all. It can be very helpful for you to work with a licensed therapist to find the roots of your addiction and help you to see the way out of the emotional pain you are in. Without the proper help and emotional support required to break out of this situation, it may only get worse and can even go on for years. You can get out of an unhealthy relationship, feel better about yourself, and move forward….it is possible!
If you would like a list of “Addiction-Breaking Statements”, send me an email at Elena@DrElena.com with “Addiction Statements” in the subject line. For more information, call (661) 250-4395.
Dr. Elena Michaels has been counseling in nutrition for more than 3 decades. She is a Doctor of Natural Health, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Collaborative Divorce Professional. She can be reached at 661/250-4395, Elena@DrElena.com and www.DrElena.com and www.facebook.com/DrElenaMichaels