Are They Right For Me? Here’s How To Tell

Being in a relationship isn’t always easy – not only does maintaining a relationship require you to put in a good amount of time and effort in order to make it work, but it can also cause great pain and distress if you’re not careful. Overcoming relationship challenges is oftentimes exhausting – handling conflicts with your partner and letting your guard down in the relationship can take a toll on anyone.
Because of this, many people are hesitant to commit once again if they’ve experienced controlling or codependent behavior in a relationship. Unless you’ve known your new love interest for a really long time, it can be difficult to figure out if entering a relationship with them is a good idea. After all, not all people are who they appear to be. So, how do you know if the person you’re interested in would be a good match?
In this article, we’ll share some of the most common relationship red flags as well as give you some tips on spotting a controlling person. Read on!

What Are The Red Flags Of A Relationship?

Once you enter the dating scene after being in an unhealthy relationship, it’s only natural that you’ll feel reluctant to give your heart to the first person that comes along. If that’s the case, you should look out for these warning signs before entering a serious relationship:

  • They don’t express their true feelings. Honesty is key in any relationship. If your love interest can’t seem to communicate their thoughts and feelings openly, they may not be right for you.
  • They are unpredictable and immature. Your partner should be at the same level of maturity as you. If they can’t seem to get the hang of their own life, don’t expect them to be there for you when you need them the most.
  • They struggle with building trusting relationships. If they aren’t willing to open up and be vulnerable, you may want to stay away. We all have our own issues, of course, but having to break your back to make your partner trust you is not a good sign.
  • They are possessive and jealous. Controlling behavior is a major red flag. If your new love interest tries to keep you away from your family and friends and wants to know where you are at all times, it’s best to run and never look back.
  • They are hiding their past. While you don’t have to know everything about your partner’s past, you shouldn’t be kept in the dark, especially if they have a history of illegal or suspect behaviors.
  • They can’t get over their past relationships. If they keep talking about their ex, they are probably not ready to commit to you. Blaming an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend for everything that went wrong is another red flag, too.
  • They are abusive. This one’s a no-brainer. Abusive and aggressive behavior, whether physical or psychological, especially in the early stages of dating, should never be tolerated.

How Do You Know When A Relationship Is Wrong For You?

Just like with everything else in life, nothing is black and white in relationships. All couples have their own struggles and doubts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire relationship is unhealthy. That being said, some relationships are simply not healthy for both parties.
Here are six questions you can ask yourself to evaluate whether your relationship is worth fighting for:

  1. Does my partner take away all of my time and energy?
  2. Do I feel like an independent individual in this relationship?
  3. Is the relationship affecting other aspects of my life negatively?
  4. Do I feel good next to my partner?
  5. Am I certain of their feelings toward me?
  6. Has my relationship negatively affected my mental state?

If you relate to one or more of the abovementioned questions, you may want to consider breaking off the relationship. This would be the best course of action especially if you’ve experienced signs of depression or have trouble functioning in your daily life because of the distress your relationship has caused you. If you can’t break it off, you may struggle with attachment wounds.

Signs You’re In The Right Relationship

While no relationship is perfect, there are ways to tell if your relationship is healthy both for you and your partner. You’re on the right track if you and your partner:

  • Are still attracted to each other.
  • Accept and respect each other.
  • Nurture healthy ways of resolving conflicts.
  • Recognize each other’s needs
  • Get along with each other’s friends and families.
  • Feel comfortable and true to yourselves when you’re together.

What Are The Signs Of A Controlling Person?

Controlling personalities have their way of sneaking into your life, even if you know a thing or two about emotional manipulation. That is why keeping an eye out for toxic behavior when dating is essential if you want to protect yourself from pain and disappointment.

Common Controlling Behavior Patterns

Look out for these signs if you suspect that your current or potential partner may be a controlling person:

  • They criticize you for the littlest things. These individuals love making you feel small by pointing out even the smallest of your mistakes and flaws, whether they are related to the relationship, your appearance, or your professional life.
  • They try to drive a wedge between you and your friends and family. Controlling personalities will work subtly but diligently on making you feel isolated from your family and friends, so look out if your partner is trying to separate you from the people you love.
  • They gaslight you. Controlling individuals have a tendency to make you second-guess yourself and even doubt your own sanity. If let’s say, you’re upset about them saying something insensitive, they’ll pretend they never said it and that you’re imagining things.
  • They make their love conditional. If you hear something like: “I’d love you so much better if you lost some weight” or anything along those lines, you may be dealing with a manipulative personality. They always make you feel like you have to change for their love.
  • They are paranoid and jealous. When these individuals say they want you to themselves, they mean it. Controlling personalities tend to be extremely jealous, possessive, and at times paranoid.
  • They may be abusive. While they may not show their true colors at the start of the relationship, aggressiveness and abusive behavior may show up later on. People with control issues aren’t strangers to all kinds of physical and psychological abuse.

What Causes Control Issues?

Exactly what leads to control issues isn’t exactly clear. One thing is certain, however – the roots of controlling behavior patterns more often than not reach back to the person’s childhood. Many controlling personalities had unhappy childhoods and were raised by neglectful, absent, or abusive parents.
Another possible cause may be particularly low self-esteem. Even if they seem intimidating, powerful, and in control, or at least they want to be perceived that way, their control issues possibly stem from hurt, neglect and deep insecurities.

The PIVOT Process: Your Key To Better Relationships

At PIVOT, we love helping our clients fix their relationship problems or heal their wounds after an unhealthy relationship. Whether you need codependency coaching or struggle with building trust in your relationships, the knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates can help. We offer different forms of support, including couples and individual coaching for relationship problems, as well as intensive 5-day retreats at The Glass House.
Transform your relationships today!

Are You In A Codependent Relationship?

Do you feel like you must prove you are good enough to be loved by your partner? Or maybe you do everything for your partner, but you get little in return?
Or are you always busy and over-committing yourself? Maybe you always say yes to your partner.
If this one-sided pattern reflects your relationship, then you may be in a codependent relationship. Luckily, codependency recovery is perfectly possible, as there are numerous intensive codependency workshops that may give you the tools and resources you need to overcome your struggles and start building healthier relationships.

What Is Codependency?

Are you codependent? Codependency Retreat
It’s where you become excessively reliant on others for approval, identity, and feelings of self-worth.
Being codependent often stems from our childhood and the way we were raised. Consider if any of this relates to you:

  • Did you have your basic needs met?
  • Were there financial issues in the family?
  • Were you neglected?
  • Were your parents workaholics? Were you neglected or abandoned?
  • Did they get a divorce? And if so, how did that impact you?
  • Did you feel safe as a child? Or were you abused?

What Is The Root Cause Of Codependency?

Codependent traits are typically rooted in our childhood experiences and traumas. Children who experience emotional neglect or abandonment by their parents or caregivers early on in life tend to develop insecure attachments that carry on in their adulthood.

Codependency And Childhood Trauma

As children, we are vulnerable and completely dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, and boundaries. However, if you’ve suffered feelings of abandonment, then you can easily take on the role of caretaker.
In other words, you’ve put your parent’s needs first, above your own.
What’s more, childhood trauma can create your belief systems, mindsets, and limiting beliefs; which can lead to repeating the same behavior in adult relationships. It can create who you are relationally as adults and determine how you feel about yourself.
If you didn’t get your needs met in childhood, then you may find you put others’ needs before your own, give of yourself to others and compromise your ability to care for yourself.
Unfortunately, dysfunctional families don’t acknowledge that a problem exists, which means the family members repress emotions and disregard their own needs.
And so, this becomes a pattern of survival. And often, family legacy.
If this is you, then you may also experience emotions of anger, guilt, grief, fear, and shame, due to feeling powerless to change or help another person.
If you suspect that you may be a codependent partner, consider attending a codependency intensive retreat as it may help you understand your own survival patterns and motivate you to work on creating healthier attachments.

What Are The Signs Of A Codependent Person?

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has codependency issues, here are the most common signs to look for:
Most Common Signs Of Codependency:

  • Feel most comfortable when they are giving
  • Try to please others instead of themselves
  • Have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility
  • Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem
  • Try to be all things to all people all the time
  • Unable to say “no”
  • Seek out chaos and then complain about it
  • Get angry when somebody refuses their help
  • A tendency to have self-esteem connected to “doing”
  • Try to prove they are good enough to be loved
  • Try to be perfect, and expect others to be perfect
  • Have self-blame and put themselves down
  • Feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others

Impact Of A Codependent Relationship

Giving up your needs and identity to meet the needs of a partner has unhealthy short-term and long-term consequences.
You can become anxious, exhausted, and begin to neglect other important relationships. What’s more, you may feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others.
Being in a codependent relationship can stop you from healing your past wounds.

How Do You Deal With A Codependent Relationship?

Signs Of A Codependent Person - Codependency Intensive
If you believe that you may be codependent, the best way to facilitate change is to take responsibility for that part of yourself that is no longer needed to provide survival. This means, releasing the survival pattern from childhood by exploring childhood issues.
If you can’t get to the root of the issue on your own, then a carefully designed codependent relationship retreat may be the best solution. A trained professional would discuss your childhood wounds with you and help you find balance in your relationships by teaching you effective overcoming codependency exercises.

How To Overcome Codependency

Sometimes it’s easier to want to change and take responsibility once you link your behavior to your childhood. I witnessed this when I worked with a woman who was in a relationship with a much older man. It started when they had an affair, and she left her husband for him.
In the beginning, he was strong, intelligent and very kind to her. It felt like the relationship she had always craved, even as a child, especially as she had experienced abandonment by her father during her childhood years.
However, after a year together, she began to feel completely lost as he became more controlling. She panicked and felt she couldn’t leave the relationship, as this started to activate her feelings of childhood abandonment.
What’s more, she carried a tremendous amount of guilt because she left her husband to be with this man. She felt she had to make this relationship work.
While working with her, it became clear that the connection she had with this man was related to sex. She was trading sex for feeling loved.
One day, she decided to leave him. As she told him, he said they should still have sex, even if they were not in a relationship. She told herself, “sure, I can just have sex with him. It’s not love. Just sex.”
The truth was that sex with this man was an unhealthy pattern connected to an untreated attachment wound from her childhood. Once she understood this, then she saw herself standing over her child self, the same little girl who had experienced the devastation of her father’s abandonment.
When she imagined sending that little girl into the room to have sex with the man, guess what happened? She never had sex with him again.
She realized she was only with him because she longed for a false connection through sex, which was hurting her because she hadn’t healed her deep-rooted feelings of hurt, loss, and anger from past wounds.

The Next Steps: Codependent Relationship Retreat

We recommend that you seek support from individual relationship coaching professionals and talk about the pain that’s inside of you. Remember, you are worthy of happiness and love and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.Root Cause Of Codependency - Seek Codependency Workshop
We provide support and healing for these individuals at the codependent relationship intensive workshops we offer at The Glass House. Our Repair & Restore Retreat will help you begin a new chapter of your life where you will learn to no longer suffer from unhealthy relationships. We help codependents by focusing on creating healthy boundaries, building self-esteem, learning how to say “no” without guilt, cultivating deep self-care, and you will learn to define and understand your attachment style.
Our clients include family members, spouses, and individuals who struggle in the workplace or in the home with codependency. In addition, we offer intensive programs designed to repair and restore relational challenges. Learn more about our Programs. We’re here to help.

What Is Love Addiction?

I used to be labeled a “love addict.” That’s why I focused my early behavioral health career on love addiction… to deeply understand it.
However, after working alongside my gifted staff of therapists and healers at Five Sisters Ranch, I learned the truth. Love itself is not addictive.
In fact, naming a condition “love addiction” is counterintuitive and shameful.
If you’re told you’re a love addict, and you’ve experienced abandonment wounds from your childhood, then you may be craving love. And that unmet longing is driving every single relationship.
However, with this label, you don’t feel like you can show up healthy in any relationship because you go into every relationship wounded.
Why? Because, if you love too much, you feel like “there’s the example of my love addiction.”
I remember when I was thirty-nine, I was in a therapist’s office, broken-hearted over another relationship that had fallen apart.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t want to go on.
That was when I was labeled as a love addict. Someone not capable of giving or receiving love.
However, that definition didn’t make sense to me. Although my relationship didn’t feel loving, what I felt was a constant and intense longing to be loved.
In fact, I was chasing relationships with the hopes of finally experiencing a sense of belonging. This translated to me being a “stage five cling-on.” I couldn’t be alone. I always had to be in a relationship.
So, when I was told I was a love addict, it confused me because the “cure” I was given was to not draw attention to myself, stay out of relationships for one year and attend a “love addicts” group to listen to others share their stories of abuse.
The “prescription” seemed totally counterintuitive as I felt more abandoned, and alone. What I always wanted was to love and be loved, and now I couldn’t because I was addicted to love. I had to stay away from love, which made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be loved.
It made no sense.
After all, how could I be addicted to something that I had never experienced? What I was addicted to was chasing unavailable people.

What Is Love Addiction Really?

“Love addiction” is painful, because at the core – it is filling a void caused by a lack of nurturing and attention at a young age.
It’s an unhealthy attachment to people, romance or sex to heal past trauma, get unmet needs fulfilled, avoid fear or emotional pain, fill our loneliness and maintain balance.

Addiction To Affection

Love addiction develops from experiencing an avoidant bond in childhood. This could be from a parent who was gone all the time, or couldn’t connect with you, or had their own wound and couldn’t nurture you.
This then leads to craving love.

Understanding Relationship Addiction

Unfortunately, “love addicts” usually pick a love avoider to partner with, which triggers the unhealthy cycle for the love addict, because the love avoider is terrified of anyone get too close, so they push you away. – And, that type of person is familiar.
“Love addicts” live in a chaotic world. They are fearful of being alone or rejected, so they endlessly search for that special someone to make them feel whole.
They become attracted to the intense experience of “falling in love” instead of wanting the peaceful intimacy of healthy relationships.
This leads them to spending their time hunting for “the one.” Their life choices become focused on the search for this perfect relationship – from wardrobe choices to hours at the gym, to doing hobbies that may not interest them.
They live for the hope of finding the one person who will fill their void.

How Does Love Addiction Start?

Early childhood relationship patterns are the first place to look when working to break the bonds of love addiction.
Working with clients, I see that issues in adult relationships relate to childhood experiences. You’re drawn to what’s familiar, regardless of how good it is for you. It is what you know.
Addiction or attachment disorder becomes a survival pattern. They happen because you are trying to fill the hole of an abandonment wound from childhood.
If you’ve experienced any of the following and have not taken the time to heal your wounds, then you are likely to be susceptible to “love addiction”:

  • Your parents got divorced
  • One or both of your parents were alcoholic
  • You were adopted
  • You lost a sibling or parent at a young age
  • You were abused
  • Your parents were emotionally unavailable
  • You were neglected
  • You were afraid of being abandoned
  • You didn’t get validation from your parents

When a child grows up and watches their parents go through a bad divorce, their experience complicates their view of attachment in relationships, creating an attachment disorder.
This drives us to either want overly dramatic and intense emotions in relationships (“love addiction”) or to detach completely for fear of neglect and abandonment (“love avoidance”).
In either case, the result is a disconnected and unhealthy relationship.

Facing Love Addiction

If you have an attachment disorder or you are a “love addict,” it doesn’t mean you are stuck with this forever.
When I was told I had a love addiction, I dug deeper. I wanted to find out where the pain was coming from. What I discovered was that I felt abandoned and I didn’t know how to be alone.
I realized that my love addiction was based on getting validation that I’m lovable and a worthy human, which was denied in childhood. Unfortunately, the pattern is to choose the same kind of person as the parent who was unable to give the genuine love, caring and emotional support.
This leads to a cycle, or addiction.
However, just because you come from a dysfunctional family doesn’t mean you can’t create secure attachments and healthy relationships.

Love Addiction Intensive Workshop: Break The Pattern Of Love Addiction

If you are committed to change, then you’re not stuck with this forever. Instead, be open to change and find a therapist to talk about the relationship and the pain that’s inside of you.
Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. Apart from individual and personalized coaching, we also provide 5 day relationship workshops at our love addiction retreat, The Glass House. We’re here to help.

How To Leave An Addictive Relationship – You're My Obsession

The words “I’m addicted to you” are a warning sign that there is something dark in your relationship. Although this may sound romantic, it might be an indication that you are in an addictive relationship.
If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, then you may not recognize what a healthy relationship should look like and feel like. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find happiness in your relationships. By attending a love addiction intensive retreat and learning more about your childhood wounds, you can transform your relationships and create healthy and meaningful bonds in your life.

Why Do People Choose Toxic Relationships?

Why Do People Choose Toxic Relationships
Very often, issues in your adult relationships relate to your childhood because you’re drawn to what’s familiar, not what is good for you.
If you haven’t taken time to heal your childhood wounds, then you are likely to be susceptible to addictive relationships. Especially, if you have experienced any of the following:

  • Alcoholic parent(s)
  • Losing a sibling or parent at a young age
  • Finding out that you are adopted
  • Some kind of abuse
  • Emotionally unavailable parent(s)
  • Some sort of neglect
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Not receiving validation from your parent(s)

Unhealthy childhood relationship patterns that are unresolved often lead to unbalanced, unfulfilled and addictive relationships. And addictive relationships become a survival pattern. They happen because you are trying to heal the childhood abandonment wound.

Is Love Addiction A Real Thing?

Love addiction, otherwise known as pathological love, is very real and affects a great number of individuals worldwide. It involves a pervasive and obsessive interest in one or several romantic partners.
Love addicts renounce control as well as other behaviors and interests to be with their chosen partner at all costs. They are prone to novelty seeking and impulsivity which tend to stem from childhood attachment wounds.
At PIVOT, we call love addiction attachment dysregulation because many find this term shaming.  Love itself isn’t addictive however many individuals who grew up craving love, are addicted to the craving of something they have not experiences.  Therefore when they feel a honeymoon connection with someone, they mistake it for love and become hooked and crave more and more.

Can You Be Addicted to Someone You Love?

Some individuals have a tendency to become addicted to “love”. But what does this actually mean? Where do you draw the line between what people call love addiction and simply being in love with another person?
Well, for most attachment challenged individuals, their relationship becomes the center of their universe, taking over their entire being. And when an anxious person who is called a love addict ends up with an avoidant or ambivalent partner, these behaviors can become even more pervasive, drawing the love addict into a toxic, vicious relational circle.

What Is An Addictive Relationship?

Just like an addiction to alcohol, drugs or other substances, being in an addictive relationship is unhealthy, toxic and powerful. And it brings you pain usually with a love/hate dynamic.
Addictive relationships are colored with conflicts, emotional abuse, and even physical violence.
Although you may be aware of how dysfunctional the relationship is, you stay in it. This is the definition of an addictive relationship. Now if you’ve dated one horrible person, this doesn’t mean you’re addicted to bad relationships. However, if you’re noticing a pattern, then there may be a problem.

Why Is A Toxic Relationship Addictive?

Unfortunately, many love addicts are attracted to emotionally unavailable partners. This tends to happen because the love addict’s parents or caregivers were unavailable or abusive.
Simply put, the love addict is subconsciously attracted to what is familiar to them, recreating the toxic cycle they experienced in their childhood. They are used to being abandoned and they end up begging for affection and love. Therefore they seek to find the same dynamic in their adult relationships.

Can An Addictive Relationship Become Healthy?

An addictive relationship can’t be saved unless you recognize and heal your relational wounds. If you are in an unhealthy relationship, you will first need to identify your own feelings and be honest with yourself and your partner about both the negative and positive aspects of the relationship.
In many cases, leaving the addictive relationship is the best course of action. If you feel isolated and lonely, know that you’re not alone. Unhealthy relationship patterns are more common than you may think and relationship addiction recovery is entirely possible.
The good news is that you don’t have to be in an addictive relationship for life. You are not “broken.” Just because you come from a dysfunctional family doesn’t mean you can’t create secure attachments and healthy relationships.
It is time to shift. If you are committed to change, then you’re not stuck with this forever. You can have relational freedom.

How Do I Get Out Of An Addictive RelationshipHow Do I Get Out Of An Addictive Relationship?

The only way to get out of an addictive relationship is to change what you are willing to put up with and to make lasting changes. Here’s what you should do:

Step 1

Start by recognizing the addiction. Be present and accept what you are feeling, thinking and what you want.
This is the hardest step for most people. It is especially difficult to be present when your present moment is hostile, hurtful, scary and invalidating. Many people stay locked in an addictive relationship by pretending that this present negative moment isn’t happening.
If you’ve ever said to yourself:

  • “Oh, he/she didn’t mean it”,
  • “He’s/She’s not always so mean”,
  • “He/She can’t help it”,
  • “If I just do this, then he’ll/she’ll be nice again.”

Then you are pretending and you are not in the present moment.

Step 2

Stop judging your feelings, thoughts, and wants. Be aware of them and accept them. Once you accept your feelings, thoughts, and desires, then you can decide what to do about them.

Step 3

Remember you are worthy of love. And the most powerful love comes from within you. Don’t depend on your partner for love. Instead, increase your love for yourself. Love your uniqueness, your views, your personality, and your gifts.

Step 4

Identify ways you would like to express the best in yourself and take actions that reflect your best self. You deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t allow yourself to be treated any less than your best self deserves.

Step 5

Be willing to change. Real change starts with healing and repairing yourself. This step includes dealing with feelings, grieving and healing from past wounds. Healing allows you to reconnect to yourself with self-compassion and self-love. This is best done with the help of a professional who specializes in addictive relationships.

Step 6

Make these changes, work on self-love and healing yourself without trying to change or judge anyone else. This process is about your recovery. You can’t change anyone else except yourself.

Step 7

Once you have started to heal yourself, then you can make choices. You can choose to give up the unhealthy relationship. You can decide that being whole, unique and your true self is worth it. You can determine whether your relationship is working well or if you are just addicted. You have choices.

Find Freedom At Our Love Addiction Intensive Workshop

The best way to achieve relational freedom is to seek assistance from experienced professionals and talk about the relationship and the pain that’s inside of you. Attending a love addiction retreat will help you to better understand yourself and learn to nurture relationships based on emotional support and mutual respect.
Can An Addictive Relationship Become Healthy
Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom. If you wish to learn how to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT.
We’re here to help you by providing insightful individual relationship coaching as well as in-depth intensive workshops for overcoming relationship challenges. Contact us today and start your journey towards relational freedom!

5 Signs You're In An Addictive Relationship

Have you ever felt like you’re in a never-ending cycle for your partner’s love and affection? Like you need them in your life otherwise you wouldn’t survive.
This may be a sign you’re in an addictive relationship. But the truth is… you may not even be aware it is an addictive relationship.
While all romantic relationships may exhibit occasional signs of addiction, the difference with an addictive relationship is a constant pattern of one or more of the signs, leading to increased negative consequences.
If you’re wondering if you or a loved one is in an addictive relationship, here are the five major signs to look for:

1 – Manipulation and Control

An addictive relationship is based on manipulation and trying to control the other person.
You may not always see the sign, but you may feel stifled and uncomfortably restricted.
You may feel like you aren’t independent within your relationship, even though you are independent in other areas of your life. For example, you:

  • Feel like you need to participate in activities that don’t interest you or go against your personal values to please your partner
  • Give up important interests, beliefs, or friendships to maximize time in the relationship or to please your partner
  • Miss out on important family, career, or social experiences to spend more time with your partner

2 – Mistaking Intensity for Intimacy

Addictive relationships happen fast and hard because they are typically based on instant sexual attraction. This leads to mistaking new romantic excitement and intense sexual experiences for real love.
You want to be close to others… emotionally and physically, but the intensity in an addictive relationship is often confused for real intimacy. This occurs if you:

  • Find it difficult to maintain an intimate relationship after the excitement has worn off
  • Choose partners who are emotionally unavailable and/or verbally or physically abusive
  • Use seduction, and manipulation to hold on to a partner
  • Use sex to cope with difficult experiences within the relationship

3 – Feeling a Sense of Worthlessness without a Relationship

If you feel alone and empty without a relationship, then you feel the need to jump into relationships too fast and hard.
Being in an addictive relationship occurs when you need to heal a hurt from childhood and /or adolescence. If you didn’t feel loved, secure or worthy as a child, then one way to try to fix this as an adult is to constantly seek relationships.
The problem is the fix doesn’t last. It can’t.
Here are the signs that you seek relationships to fix childhood hurts:

  • Constantly crave and search for a romantic relationship
  • When you’re in a relationship, you are desperate to please and fearful of the other abandoning you
  • When you’re not in a relationship, you feel alone and may use sex and fantasy to fill the loneliness

4 – Co-Dependency

Addictive relationships are like any other addiction. As tolerance increases, more is needed to feel the same “fix.”
This leads to an increased fear of losing the relationship and translates into a dependency on the other person as the “fix.”
Co-dependency may be reflected by:

  • Preoccupation and obsession in keeping the relationship
  • Constantly seeking approval
  • Fantasized attachment to each other
  • Being needy, worshipping and striving to please

5 – Denial and Avoidance

A sign that you’re in an addictive relationship is how your partner reacts to a confrontation about their behavior. Typically, they may seem remorseful at first, but they never change.
When it feels like a chore each time you bring up issues that need a robust discussion, then this is a warning signal.
Instead of learning and growing from discussions and feedback, your partner prefers that you deal with the results of their addictive behavior.
Most addictive partners deny or downplay their behavior instead of admitting where they went wrong and trying to change. Worse still, they may turn it on you.

What to do if you’re in an addictive relationship?

The reason you’re in an addictive relationship may be because you have attachment disorder as a result of issues from your past.
The good news is you’re not stuck with this forever. Just because you’re in an addictive relationship now doesn’t mean you can’t heal and create a secure attachment. Recovery starts with being aware and recognizing the addiction. It is about healing yourself and being committed to healing.
The process includes dealing with feelings, grieving and healing from past wounds. Healing allows you to reconnect to yourself with self-compassion and self-love.
We recommend that you seek support from professionals and talk about the relationship and the pain that’s inside of you. Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help.

Why Addictive Relationships are the 51st Shade of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey made an impact on society, and although you may not have read the book nor plan on seeing the movie you may know the basic premise… it’s about a young college girl who falls for a billionaire who is into bondage and domination.
Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that there’s more.
The title Fifty Shades of Grey relates to Christian Grey’s many aspects of his personality. He can go from gentleman one minute to S&M manic the next.
But the title is a play on words…
The phrase “shades of gray” refers to an unclear situation. Things are not black, or white. They are in a gray area.
Just like Ana and Christian’s relationship… it exists in a gray area. It’s not defined by our society’s rules. It is not a typical relationship.
It is a good example of the confusion that comes from being in a gray area in relation to sex, relationships, and obsession.
And like addictive relationships, it involves confusion, drama, and feelings of longing.

Addictive relationships

Addictive relationships happen fast and hard because it’s typically based on instant sexual attraction – just like 50 shades.
But the truth is… addictive relationships are not real. They are fantasies. You are in love with what you wish the person was… not what they are.
And just like 50 shades, addictive relationships involve obsession, control and the need to stay in it despite negative consequences.
The core of addictive relationships is to fill a void, to heal past trauma and get unmet needs fulfilled.

Why are some people drawn to begin addictive relationships?

As a child, if you have experienced a lack of nurturing and attention from your parents then you’re more likely to search for healing from an addictive relationship.
Whether it was accidental or intentional, the love you received from your parents shaped the type of adult relationships you would be attracted to.
For example, if the love your parents gave you was inadequate, negligent, abusive or broken through a divorce, addiction, death or illness, then this leads to unmet emotional needs.
So, an adult you search for the transforming fix for anxiety, despair, rage or fear of abandonment within your relationships to get validation that you are loveable and a worthy human.
The motivation is positive… to heal yourself.
But this will fail if you pick someone who is unable to give you the genuine love, caring and emotional support you need.
Unfortunately, you’re wired to be drawn to what’s familiar (someone like your parent), regardless of how good it is for you. This happens because it is what you know and because you are trying to fill the hole of the abandonment wound.
The first step to healing is to heal your wounds yourself. The feelings of self-worth come from within. Not from other people or relationships.

What to do if you’re in an addictive relationship?

If you’re in an addictive relationship it feels isolating and lonely. But, the good news is, you’re not alone. It is more common than people think.
Just because you come from a dysfunctional family doesn’t mean you can’t create secure attachments and healthy relationships. If you are committed to change, then you’re not stuck with this forever.
Instead, be open to change and find the right help to talk about the relationship and the pain that’s inside of you.
Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help. We’re here to help.

Discover If You Are In An Addictive Relationship

Addictions, whether it’s drugs, alcohol or people, is a fix for negative feelings. But the fix doesn’t last. That’s why addictive relationships lead to abuse, drug use, depression, and other negative consequences.
Addictive relationships can be hard to define, and hard to tell if you are in one. Most people mistake the intense feelings they feel in this type of relationship as caring or concern.
For example, it can seem sweet or even flattering to have your partner be insanely jealous… it might show that they really care. However, a healthy relationship involves respect and trust, and not excessive jealousy and controlling behavior.
It is difficult to define these relationships; however, the basis of an addictive relationship involves having power and control over the other person.

Indications that your relationship is addictive

Addictive relationships always start magically. The attraction is instant, and it feels like you are finally understood.
Healthy relationships transition from the initial euphoria to getting to know and love the person as an individual, with all their quirks, gifts and their faults. However, addictive relationships are founded on rigid expectations of each other.
This triggers anxiety as you can’t live up to these rigid versions of each other, which then sets off the cycle of depression and euphoria… in search for the early magic. Tolerating anything for that initial “fix” again.

Lack of trust

There is a lack of trust in addictive relationships. Often anxiety is colored by jealousy and paranoid fears. This leads to constant demands for reassurance to prove that you still love each other… unlimited texts, phone calls and messages when you are not together.

Loss of control

The constant demands for reassurance lead to threats of ending the relationship. This leads to focused efforts to repair, apologize and a willingness to tolerate anything to reconnect again… at the cost of your emotional freedom.

Loss of other relationships

The obsession and dramatic cycles of addictive relationships risk your relationships with family and friends. Either family and friends feel neglected as you isolate yourself from the world and stop spending time together to “work on the relationship.” Or they are witness to the abuse and offer advice, guidance and support, but feel ignored when the cycle starts again. Either way, they can’t watch or feel personally used.

Loss of function

During the obsession cycle of the addictive relationship, if you don’t have “the fix” of the other person, then this leads to a loss of function. Like the symptoms you get when you break up… such as sweating, cramps, anxiety, nausea, sleeplessness and eating difficulties.

Loss of self

One of the most significant consequences of addictive relationships is losing yourself. Being in this type of relationship leads to having a diminished view of yourself, as compared to an idealized version of the other person. This results in higher levels of dependency.

What to do if you believe that your relationship is addictive

The first step starts with recognizing the addiction and being willing to change. This is best done with the help of a professional who specializes in addictive relationships.
Recovery starts with recovering and repairing yourself.
The good news… it doesn’t mean you will always be in an addictive relationship for life. If you are committed to change, then you’re not going to be stuck in a cycle of addictive relationships forever.
Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.
If you are ready to overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help.