Tough Advice About Obsessive Love Relationships

obsessive love relationships

There are all different types of love within this world. Some forms of love are healthy and fruitful while others are not. Obsessive love can be unhealthy and dangerous. Learn a thing or two about this problem from our dating coach.

Help for Obsessive Love Relationships

Reader Question

I am still in love with my alcoholic ex after 5 years! We have never been back in a committed relationship. However, we continue talking, texting, spending time together, sleeping together, etc. He has had 3 relationships during the past five years that I know of and he has been unfaithful with me in all of them. Something I am not proud of, but the fact that I broke up with him has always plagued me. I feel that the guilt makes it easier for me to partake in things I would normally never do. It all started when I ended our relationship of 2-1/2 years due to not being able to handle the pressure I was experiencing from him at a very unpleasant/stressful time of my life. He started accusing me of cheating, which I wasn't. It got so bad that he forbid me to go out one night. I had reached my limit and cheated. I regret that I ever did it, but what is done I cannot take back. At the time, I felt it was best to let him go, rather than keep neglecting him and hurting him. After I realized I had made a huge mistake and that we just needed to work on things, it was too late! He had jumped into a relationship with another girl. He cheated on her, it ended Then shortly after he was in another relationship. He cheated again. Keep in mind that during the past 5 years he has been spiraling out of control. I have always been there for him and he has relied on / used me for the past 5 years. I know I have enabled his addiction and that I have allowed him to use me. I don't feel naive, because I wanted to be there and to do things for him. I do require that he seek help and get sober, but I have told him that he has to be the one to want that. He has recently started to verbally abuse me, which he has never done, no matter how upset he has been with me. He recently said he is "dating" someone else. However, he has even talked to his Mom about me wanting to move back into things too fast and that it was scaring him. When we were together he was so committed, loving, etc. He didn't drink like he is now. Now he has no respect for anyone, including himself. I feel like if I walk away completely he will feel like I gave up on him just like I did when I broke up with him 5+ years ago. I also feel that if I stay and enable his addiction, he won't ever see that he needs help.I hope you can give me some advice other than what I already know. I know he has to want help to get help and that he has to be ready. I know that he is with that girl now, but it hasn't stopped him from communicating and seeing me before. I know I will never get over him, if I don't let go (that's why I don't want to let go...I don't want to get over him). I know he needs help, but he won't get it. He admits he is an alcoholic, but says he likes to drink. I know he loves me, he may not be in love with me at this time, but I know he could be if he was sober and willing. I know deep down he wants the help, but his depression and addiction are stronger than he is.

I think you get the point....

HELP...I am addicted to him and supporting him...what can I do?

-- Contributed by: Jesyka

Expert Reply

Dear Jesyka,

There are many forms of love. Love for animals, love for children, romantic love. Love can be healthy as in having a balance between giving and receiving, setting limits, feeling confident and strong. Love can also be unhealthy as in being an obsession. When love becomes obsessive, it is controlling, fear based, anxiety ridden and demanding. Obsessive love does not accept things the way they are; instead, it focuses on how to get the obsession to change. This is you. You know how this guy is and yet you desperately want him to become the man you dream of him being. You are even willing to wait for him to change, no matter how long it takes. This isn't love and this doesn't make you a loving partner. It makes you obsessed.

Your love has turned to an obsession. I think on some level you know this and understand that this is the reason you are so miserable. What you may not be aware of is that you were miserable before you broke up, "I ended our relationship of 2-1/2 years due to not being able to handle the pressure I was experiencing from him at a very unpleasant/stressful time of my life. He started accusing me of cheating, which I wasn't. It got so bad that he forbid me to go out one night. I had reached my limit and cheated." This describes a person who wasn't happy and a relationship that wasn't healthy early on. To illustrate this, try writing a pros and cons list using the letter you wrote me as a guide, you will see that there are far more cons to this relationship then there are pros.

The ironic thing is that I am not telling you something you don't already know about the relationship and about yourself. This is also why I can't give you advice for how to make him and the relationship what you desperately want it to be. You can't change him, you can't change the way things are between you and him. The only thing you can change is yourself and as you have already stated, you don't want to do this. Just as you can't make an alcoholic get help if he isn't ready, I can't make you get help until you are ready. I fear that without the help of a professional you will continue to obsess about this man. Should you not get help and continue to be obsessed with this man, I fear that you will eventually do something you'll regret far more than you regret breaking up with him.

~~Lori

Obsessive Love

Reader Question

I've been seeing my girlfriend for 2 years now, and I think things are gradually getting worse. I feel like I'm totally attached, and can't go a day without seeing her. But she feels overwhelmed by always being with me, and it is now becoming a real problem. I feel trapped; I want to give her space, but I'm so stuck in the routine of being attached it is very hard to stop seeing her everyday. What should I do? How do I get unattached? I know I should get out there and do things with my friends, but it is so hard. -- Contributed by: attached

Expert Reply

Dear Attached,

From what you have described in your questions, I don't think you are attached, I think you are obsessed. An attachment to another person can be defined as two people who share an attraction for one another, but are independent of one another. Therefore, if you were doing your own thing while your girlfriend was doing her own thing and some other girl hit on you, you'd say something like, "Sorry can't go out with you, I am in a committed relationship." Obsessed on the other hand, is when your whole world revolves around another person to the point of dependence. No wonder your relationship is collapsing, you're smothering your girlfriend and in the processes, you're limiting your own growth and development as a human being.

"What should I do? How do I get unattached"? Start by admitting you have a problem, you're obsessed. Talk to your girlfriend about making a plan. How often will you see each other a week? How often will you be in contact (text message, IM, email etc.) a week? After you agree to the arrangement, then stick to it. Tell your girlfriend no matter how much you whine or beg, she has to be the strong one and not answer your calls, text, etc. She is not to let you in if you 'just happen' to be in the neighborhood and thought you'd stop by. In addition, no matter what excuse or reason you give her, she is NOT to give in and feel sorry for you.

For your part, find things to do with others. By keeping busy, you will be less likely to fall back to your old ways. Remind yourself that you have crossed the line from attachment to obsession and this is not good for your or your relationship. Should you still find it difficult to expand your horizons, grow as an individual and become interesting (what likely attracted your girlfriend in the first place), then I would suggest you get some professional help and talk to a counselor, therapist or clergy.

~~Lori

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Tough Advice About Obsessive Love Relationships