“I can’t live without you” is a phrase we often hear repeated in songs, poems or everyday conversations. Not to mention the radio, television with its soap operas, melodramas and all the other spaces dedicated to entertainment. At first glance, we often don’t realize this is a strong statement of addiction.
There is also talk of the other half of the apple, of “I am nothing without you”, of “with you until the end of the world”. The harsh reality, however, reveals that much more can be hidden behind such sometimes innocent pledges. Often it is among the meanders of these words that a feared enemy lurks: addiction.
As we can see, it is the same society that repeats those messages, passing them off as demonstrations of romantic love, that feeds this emotional dependence. It is precisely those messages that make love lose all its meaning, transforming it, rather, into a silent struggle that, little by little, ends up destroying the relationship. It never leads to anything good.
Can we tell when we go from love to addiction? It is not easy to establish this, especially because pride and fear of being alone cover our eyes with a blindfold that prevents us from seeing reality. However, there is a surefire way to spot cases like this: if your relationship is hurting you, but you can’t break away, it may have turned into addiction.
Need to control and be controlled: addictive symptoms
They live constantly on the phone to check when their partner is online; and if he is on the line, but does not say hello immediately, the doubts, the fear, the anger, the suspicions begin. In reality, he simply cannot answer because he is in the middle of a meeting, class, and so on. There is also the possibility that at that moment he does not feel like answering, which does not indicate that you love your partner less.
It is for reasons like these that many relationships end or face terrible crises. Always wanting to know where your partner is, what they do, what they think or what they don’t think is a clear sign of emotional dependence. Social networks turn into scenarios of misunderstanding. The light that signals a Facebook or Whatsapp notification has turned into an accusatory finger.
Just as it has become not feeling important to the other person. “What happens, why aren’t you jealous anymore? Don’t you even care who I dated? ”. We have come to sin by omission. It is at this point that love, instead of being nurtured with a view to common growth, shows one of its worst faces and leaves room for insecurity.
Manipulation and addiction
The relationship must be saved at any cost. It is like grabbing the last wreck of a ship left after the sinking. It doesn’t matter that the pain has multiplied. The only thing that matters is not to allow, for any reason, that person to go away leaving us adrift.
We don’t eat anymore, we don’t sleep. Our immune defenses are lowered and we get sick. At this time, we resort to manipulation – he or she is responsible for the misfortune. If they decide to leave us, there is no longer any sense in fighting, “I need you because if you are not there, I am nothing”.
And this is how the partner comes to feel pressured and even guilty about the situation. Even if he may no longer love, he decides to stay. He does not want to live his days with the responsibility of inflicting serious harm on the other person. He wouldn’t forgive himself. At these levels, it is no longer possible to talk about love: although the relationship continues, it has now become a source of pain.
What to do if you suffer from addiction?
As with any other aspect of life, the first step is to recognize that you have a problem. Accept that all that remains of that wonderful relationship of yesteryear is a commitment that we probably keep out of habit or fear. Reality must be faced with determination and courage.
It often happens to idealize the other and not be able to overcome the first stages of falling in love; this involves the inability to establish new relationships, as one does nothing but compare every man or woman you meet to your former partner. Addiction brings with it the rejection of everything that does not fit into the idealized figure.
In these cases it is essential to speak clearly and without mincing words. It is not about imposing one’s point of view or falling into manipulation. The ideal is to be sincere, tell the truth and free the other from a love that is no longer healthy, but poisonous.
Breaking up with someone we love still inevitably brings pain with it. It is a feeling similar to what we feel when a loved being passes away. At first we refuse to accept that that person will no longer be by our side. Immediately after, we are overwhelmed by sadness and tormented by the memories of the moments we spent together. Finally, after so much suffering, we assimilate the loss: something snaps inside us and we finally feel ready to start over.
Images courtesy of M. Lafontan and Zemael