I love you, and you, and you, and you.

Love, exciting and new.

One of our secret pleasures is watching Sober House or Celebrity Rehab. We think that Dr. Drew is a great guy and the nay sayers can suck it. Dr. Pinsky is showing the reality of rehab. Now granted, most rehab facilities aren’t that nice but the drama, process and insight are still very realistic. We can joke all we want to about the over indulgent celebrity and the lack of willpower from the spoiled babies of the world but the reality is addiction is as common as blinking and to deny it is just more symptom of an addiction.

Prior to this incarnation as a writer, I was a practicing psychotherapist. My specialty was addiction. Usually, people assume that serious addictions are contained in the drug and alcohol realm. They say to me, ‘Lee, you don’t die from a shopping addiction’. The reality is that addictions of any kind strip your soul. Whether you are gambling, drinking, having sex or shooting up, you ultimately die in some way if it goes unchecked.

          One of the worst, most insidious of the addictions is a relationship addiction. You ask, ‘But Lee, it’s not like I’m selling my body to pay for my stuff’.  My response is simple, ‘Sure you are!’ The classic symptoms of a relationship addiction is identifying yourself with a status of a relationship (if the relationship is happy, so are you), you ignore obvious signs that the relationship is not right for you (this is where the gem ‘opposites attract’ came from), attachment issues (lots of breaking up to making up) and you go from deep loneliness to periods of euphoria in a relationship. You tend to hate being alone and obsess about your partner or lack of one. 

          You are probably thinking, ‘But Lee, this is every movie, song and TV show I watch!’  And you would be right. Relationship addiction is so pervasive that we think it’s normal. But, normal does not mean healthy. Sure it’s normal to drink during college but it can be quite deadly. And the worst part about this is that your friends and family support the addiction! You’ll never see an intervention like the one on TV for this type of addiction. They can hate your boyfriend then give you crap for being single. There is no pleasing people. 

          I say screw them and please yourself. The greatest gift you can give yourself is placing you as your priority. It is relatively impossible to have that mentality and have a relationship addiction. If you choose to be happy, you refuse to allow people to mistreat you and you would never settle for mediocre love. 

          Many people thought Paul and I wouldn’t last. We never had any big fights, breakups or went to parties while angry with one another thus making all the other attendees uncomfortable. We were weird. I will give you a clue, if you are dating and you spend more time fighting and crying than having fun and laughing then change your name and phone number and move away. It will never work and you will never be happy. Sure you will have brief glimpses of contentment but you deserve so much more. And for those of you who actually say things like, ‘I’m staying for the kids sake’, I have news for you. Your kids will do better when you divorce and you are only teaching them to settle for dysfunctional, addictive love. Be honest and tell them, ‘Hello my name is ____(insert name here) and I am a relationship addict’.

11 comments

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  • KW Ron

    Hello, my name is Ron & I’m addicted to “CoupleDUMB.com…

  • Susan

    Geez, I just hate it when you guys remind me to love myself and make myself and my happiness a priority! I just can’t away with being my screwed-up self!

  • Katja

    Hi guys-I am definately making my daughter read this. My first marriage was the drama filled one you describe here. One thing you do need to know, I did leave so that my children would not grow up thinking that how my ex treated me was ok–either for my daughter to ever accept or for my son to dish out–bottom line, I had a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old and saving myself was the hardest thing I could ever do. I made just enough money to not qualify for anything, the ex was paying zero and my parents thought I should stay until my youngest was 18. I agree wholeheartedly with what you say, but our society has no safety nets in place.

    Either way, I survived and am a better person for it…plus, I met my speedo-man and it’s a dramaless love.
    K

  • Lori

    Is it ok to be addicted to my hubby….? He is my oxygen he makes me feel so special and I really learned how to love myself as well as life! Not only do I put me first but he does as well. It is nice to be on that pedistal!!

    PS My name is Lori and I am addicted to coupledumb…..oh boy!

    • Ms. Lori, This is what we’re talking about. Watch what you say because what you describe is not addiction. Calling your hubby oxygen, albeit very romantic, isn’t something to worry about unless you can’t function, and become suffocated without him. You have it good so thank your Higher Power and keep loving your man.

  • Christie

    Haven’t commented in a while… So I was thinking you should have a line of Pillows and Punching bags with coupledumb.com endorsements… After reading this article, I definitely needed a pillow to scream into.

  • A brilliant post. I can certainly see how relationships can be a horrible addiction. I can attest to having one many year ago, where fighting and crying was the norm. Thank goodness I grew out of that one!

    p.s. I <3 Dr Drew and watching Sober House.

  • Aidi

    Well said! Unfortunately I have a successful business treating the fallout and victims of Relationship addictions. Sadly, I can’t see me taking a break from this one since society promotes these kinds of unhealthy behaviors. I commend Lee and Paul for coming out and speaking the truths about relationship addiction. And if I may comment on Lori’s comment… You are your own oxygen. That comment sounds like you are already an addict in need of treatment! 🙂 Healthy relationships are those that have a solid foundation. You can not build a structure with beams leaning on each other only. Standing straight up, on your own, and carrying the weight of the structure equally is what works. When one takes on too much, it will collapse the building. Thank you Lee and Paul again. And you too, Lori!!! 🙂

  • Johnnie Matas

    I couldn’t agree more, thanks for writing.

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