Over twenty years ago, our understanding of love addiction was still emerging out of our understanding of co-dependency. Therefore, love addiction and co-dependency seemed to be one in the same.
However, today we understand that this is not true. Love addiction stands alone and differs from co-dependency in many ways.
Leigh was the partner of a sex addict for 10 years and a specialist in the area of addiction counselling.
CLAs are the most widely recognized. They want to fix people who they deem to be damaged and they pity them. They are loyal at the expense of themselves. They suffer and still do not let go of the reltaionship. They feel guilty when they need to leave their partner as their needs are not deemed as Important as the partners. They are caretakers and providers. They believe they are here to save the partner. They take on all the work emotionally and sometimes spiritually in the belief that it will heal, rescue and save the partner and thus their relationship. They feel they do not have an identity outside of the relationship and so letting go of the relationship is a surrender of who they are which is terrifying.
Ambivalent Love Addicts desperately crave love, but at the same time they are terrified of emotional intimacy so they usually obsess about someone who is unavailable or inappropriate.
Torch Bearers obsess about someone who is unavailable for years. This can be done without acting out (suffering in silence) or by pursuing the person they are in love with. This kind of addiction feeds on fantasies and illusions. It is also known as unrequited love. This plays into the abandonment wound of childhood and is a desperate plea to receive love when they believe they are unlovable.
Romance Addicts are addicted to multiple partners. Unlike sex addicts, who are trying to avoid bonding altogether, romance addicts bond with each of their partners – to one degree or another – even if the romantic liaisons are short-lived or happening simultaneously.
Switch-Hitting: You may find that you have more than one type of love addiction. Many of these types overlap. For instance, you may be a co-dependent for years and then become a love addict. Or a love/romance addict. The important thing is to identify your own personal profile so you know what you are. This will aid you in your recovery.
Cross Addiction: Many love addicts have more than one addiction: Love, romance, fantasies, relationships, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. All of these must be treated as you treat your love addiction.
Book a session either online or in person where I will ask you a number of questions to assess whether you are on the spectrum of sex and porn addiction, codependency, love addiction or the partner of a sex addict.