I was once involved in an addictive relationship. This woman was the love of my life, I knew it from the first time I saw her. That should been a hint of trouble to come. After years of very little ecstasy at a great deal of agony, I came to learn something about myself and addictive relationships, I have to be very careful.
Here are 5 key markers of an addictive relationship:
1. Addictive relationships are not usually balanced 50/50. Most of the time one person is either doing all the giving or all the receiving, one party is working way too hard.
2. One the key factors of addictive relationship is the demand for immediate or instant gratification. Everything has to be done very quickly and in the present moment. This is a common trait in drug addicts and alcoholics also.
3. A dysfunctional relationship usually involves a great deal of control, obsession, and fixation on your partner. There is a tendency to 'make them change' or an idea that I will 'fix' them.
4. There tends to be a great deal of dishonesty about the relationship, either in trying to hide certain aspects of yourself you did not want your partner to find out, or presenting all false front to cover up who you really are.
5. The last thing I would mention in this quick checklist is the highs and lows. The few times that high emotional moments occur in the relationship they seem like mountains of ecstasy, but once a disagreement or low occurs , it feels the bottom has dropped out and you are falling. The lows last longer and deeper than the highs ever could. This is reminiscent of chasing the dragon when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse use; it can never be as good as it once was.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learned in how to evaluate my relationships is that relationships with people are temporary. To try to hold on to them for ever is almost a self-defeating, perfectionistic behavior. I believe relationships are meant to be enjoyed in the present, thought of fondly in the past, and with hope for the future. But the balance is more like 10% past, 80% present and 10% future.
It took a lot pain to learn how to handle a bad relationship or dysfunctional relationship. The old saying goes we learn more from our mistakes than we do our moments of victory. I hope those quick tips can help you take a look your relationship and discover if you may be holding on to an addictive relationship.