Losing Yourself In An Addictive Relationship
By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
We meet someone and begin to fall in love. When they ask you to do something, you drop what you are doing, wanting to be with them more than anything. When you have arrangements with friends, you set them aside waiting for your LOVE to be available. As soon as he asks, you drop everything to spend time with him.
When he/she doesn’t like your friends, you stop spending time with them, for fear that they will leave you. When your family make inappropriate comments, you steer clear of them also, as you don’t want to lose him/her. When your new LOVE is available and wants to spend the evening with you, even though you have hours of work to do, you say “Yes, I would love to.” You may even wait by the phone, missing your workout, in the off-chance that they might call. Or when they ask if you are available, you say, “YES!” missing your workout for them again. This is the beginning of a codependent, addictive relationship. You are giving up yourself, the things that make you feel confident and positive and putting your relationship ahead of your own self care.
Sometimes, we take it even further; we act the way we think our new found love wants us to be. We become the chameleon, turning ourselves inside out, jumping through hoops to please them. We set aside the fact that we don’t like Mexican food, because they love it. We stop working out, because our new partner doesn’t. We stop working overtime to get our work done, because our new love is available and wants to spend time with us.
When we change ourselves and our routine to “please” our partner, we are dropping our boundaries and putting our own desires behind those of our partner. Codependence is addictive behavior, ignoring your personal needs and desires, for that of the relationship or your partner. Eventually, your true self is lost, you wonder who you have become, as you have strayed so far from your authentic self that you don’t know who you are anymore. You put your partners’ needs ahead of your own, thinking that it is for the good of the relationship. This behavior will send you down a road of thankless events, resentment and poor treatment.
Respect is lost when you don’t speak up for yourself. Lifting all personal boundaries is never a good idea. Without boundaries, we begin to accept mediocre treatment, being taken for granted and set aside for our partner’s desires and needs. Often codependent people attract narcissistic personalities. We are like a beacon of light in the darkness for those who have a strong sense of entitlement and require excessive admiration. The coupling with a narcissist can be a dark and windy road into personal oblivion. Leading you to wonder where you went. Following are characteristics of a narcissist:
Characteristics of a Narcissist
- Has a very strong sense of entitlement. Believes that they should receive special dispensation, and can only be understood by and associate with other high-level people or institutions.
- Believes that they are special or unique. (Yes everyone is unique, yet the narcissist believes they are MORE unique than anyone else.
- Lacks empathy. Will not, and cannot relate to others feelings.
- Cannot show sympathy. You will very rarely hear the words, “I am sorry from a narcissist.
- Haughty, arrogant and above the rest.
- Believes others are envious of them.
- Has a grandiose sense of self. Often exaggerates stories, or talents. Exaggerates achievements.
- Often exploits others. Uses people to get what they want, without regard for other’s needs, desires or feelings.
- Envious of others. Often believes that others are envious of them.
I have heard people ask me, if there really is such a thing as addictive sex? A sex addict does not believe that they are addicted. The biggest issue with an addict is their denial of their issues. When sex becomes your reason for living, governs your life, causes you to be late for work, miss appointments and generally is disruptive to the rest of your life, you have an addiction. When you put the need for sex above all else, an addiction is present.
Accepting Less Than You Deserve
When we are in addictive relationships we accept mis-treatment, disrespect and being taken for granted. We accept less than we deserve. We tend to believe that if we don’t keep this relationship and person that we won’t have another one. Our feelings of unworthiness color our world. We begin to lose whatever self worth we have, the longer we stay, perpetuating our need to hang onto this person. The more needy we become, the less our partner wants to be with us. Our neediness becomes a painful downward cycle of deeper feelings of unworthiness and pain. It seems as if there is no way out. If this person dumps us, for someone new, we feel lost, without roots, ungrounded and flailing. Our work suffers, we talk incessantly about the relationship and our lost partner. If we have any friends left at all, they tire of our constant self pity and stories of how we lost the love of our life. – Our friends may try to tell us the truth, but we don’t want to listen. Our pain of loss is so great, that we have no sense of who we are, we gave our selves away early on. We cannot see the truth if we fell over it.
Recovery From Addictive Relationships
When we are in the cycle of codependence and addition, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees. In other words, when we are in the middle of it, we can’t see anything else. We cannot lift our vibration up enough to feel good about ourselves. If our relationship ends, we immediately seek another, as we feel our happiness and sense of self comes from a relationships. This could not be further from the truth.
We need help. When we are codependent, we will attract another person who will look different from our last partner, but the relationship and the issues will be very similar. It can be very difficult to move out of this alone. We might spend a lifetime going from one codependent relationship to another.
Steps To Take To Heal
- Know you are important. Begin to think of your personal needs and take care of yourself first.
- Stop giving up your schedule, routine for another person. When you make plans with friends keep them.
- Speak up for what you want. When we stay quiet, thinking if we speak up we will lose this person, we are making our needs irrelevant. You are important. Practice speaking the truth with people you feel safe with, like friends.
- Do the things for yourself that make you feel strong. If you used to meditate daily, but gave it up for your partner, bring back your healthy, balanced routine.
- We need more than one relationship to be balanced. If you gave up friends and family time in lieu of your relationship, know that you are giving up part of yourself. Spending time with friends and family is important. We all need more than one person to fulfill our needs. Expecting our love relationship to be the “be all and end all” is cutting out half of your life. When our partner excises us from friends and family, there is something wrong. This is a huge red flag.
- Pay attention. When we ignore our own feelings, putting our partner’s needs above our own, you can lose yourself. We can’t blame the other person, we did this to ourselves. Changing behavior can require hiring a healed coach to do it.
This is my area of expertise. Getting to the root cause of someone’s issues is part of the process. Working with someone who has healed their own addictive behaviors and codependence will move you forward. They will help you to recognize your value. With clear focus, clearing the root cause of the addiction, you will begin to see the light of day. Your confidence will return and grow. You will begin to stand in the truth of who you are, and speak up for yourself. Instead of looking for validation and acceptance from others, you will find it within. You will stand in your power, feel confident and worthy.
With Spiritual re-parenting your past is healed. You can live in the present, fully grounded and secure. Happiness comes from within. When we search for it outside of ourselves, we come up short. We wonder what happened, we give so much, surely we should be happy? This endless giving to others, rather than to ourselves, leaves us feeling empty and lost. Come home to YOUR PERSONAL POWER. Begin to love yourself today. You will begin to see how you can change your perspective and learn how to speak your truth about your own needs, rather than shelving them for someone else’s agenda.
Jennifer’s Podcast on Addictive Love and Codependence
Jennifer’s Podcast on Addictive Love and Codependence
Jennifer Elizabeth Masters is a healed healer, author of Orgasm For Life. Click here for Her website: