Relationship-Addiction . So exactly how do we approach it?
So how does one affected by Relationship-Addictions reestablish healthy boundaries for genuine intimacy?
Once you’ve crossed that invisible line between infatuation and into land of dependence, what then?
Your neediness makes life narrow, unbalanced, and unhealthy. Your sense of self deteriorates along with your self esteem.
My 20 year old daughter married a man of the same age who would come in and sit on the edge of the tub while she was on the commode. The relationship soon failed. Unbelievable need to always be near.
Relationship-Addictions experience a progressive contraction of all aspects of life, not only physical, mental, and emotional, but, their inner spiritual world as well. A shrinking universe of life.
And most people prone to the addictive process tend to choose partners with complimentary addictions. Double strength.
But on a positive note: The upward spiral of recovery from relationship addiction is not a mirror image of the downward process of the addicted behavior.
You will have changed. You’ll end up in an entirely different place from where you started.
In a personal, spiritual transformation lies the essential difference between addiction contraction and the expansion of recovery.
Relationship-Addictions Recovery can be an exciting adventure of rediscovering and finding yourself. An experience of seeing with fresh eyes.
Of course, there maybe some fear of the unknown. This is a natural reaction. However, with trust, support, and some faith fear becomes something you can handle.
Mark twain said: “Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
For genuine intimacy to come about there must be a balance of power in the relationship. Adults and children, for example, can not be peers. There is closeness but not intimacy. Healthy parents model intimacy for their children.
When you give up your freedom to choose, you give up personal power; your boundaries are open to invasion. This childlike state precludes the possibility of genuine intimacy.
Genuine intimacy is possible only between peers. Equals.
For one with Relationship-Addictions genuine intimacy is the gift of recovery.
Your personal boundary is the edge between you and another person. Where you stop and they begin. Where I stop and you begin. It is like a bubble around each of us. Your space. My space.
Individuals with Relationship-Addictions have difficulty respecting other people’s boundaries. Having a weak sense of self, they are unsure of their own boundaries.
Folks with Relationship-Addictions don’t know where they stop and you begin.
Healthy people’s boundaries allow for empathy and intimacy without loss of self. You retain the integrity of your sense of self.
A bright whip said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”
It can be uncomfortable to reopen seemingly closed pages of your personal life. Is the thorns of the rose still as sharp as when we placed the flower there years ago? Often yes.
Realize that defining and redefining ourselves is a lifelong process.
This redefinition process includes shifting our personal boundaries, as to when, where, and how these boundaries can be crossed. And by whom.
Our personal boundaries include our physical, emotional, and spiritual settings. Healthy boundaries are firm, but not rigid. There is a time and a place for many crossings.
Our boundaries are based on our internal feelings, our self concepts, and the working of our embodied brain/mind.
We are empowered when we set and regulate our own boundaries. A sense of personal competence and security. Addiction is closely related to poor boundary maintenance.
A balanced life has been counseled over the history of human kind. “Nothing to excess,” was the motto carved over the Greek Oracles gateway.
Leading a balanced life requires identifying your personal needs. This requires you to know your core values well enough to put your time, talent and treasure to work.
There are two major ways to respond to life. You can respond as a victim or as a fighter. Act or react. To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether to tolerate the arrows of outrageous fortune or by opposing, end them.
It is your choice in the end call. You can deal the cards or play with a stacked deck. You choose.
If you don’t decide how to play with life, it will always play with you.
You must trust yourself. Particularly in regard to your “love” interest. There are too many boundary questions involved in a personal relationship for you not to be at the table; taking your turn at dealing the cards.
Love is something to be reflected back to us when we give it. Find the barriers within yourself which you have built against genuine intimacy.
In regard to Relationship-Addictions or being a Relationship Addict there is great potential hope. This is particularly true if we intend to satisfy the real needs of our hungry heart.
Your relationship with yourself and others is a daily learning lab with opportunities to practice and experience personal growth at the heart of our recovery journey.
Openness, candor, and trust help us practice what we have learned in the course of our life’s journey so far.
Relationship-Addictions is an attempt to heal or replace internal deficits, through something outside ourselves, instead of finding satisfaction internally. That is, through intimacy with ourselves. Self transformation.
Spiritual practice can enhance your internal balance. You can find your inner voice. Your personal sense of joy in life’s encounters. You can learn to work creatively with the inevitable.
We are not striving for perfection, but for Wholeness.
The journey to wholeness means you have to look honestly, openly, and with courage into yourself, into the dynamics that lie behind how you feel, perceive, value and act. Be face-to-face with yourself.
You can create your own Relationship-Addictions recovery experiences. What stands between you and a different life are matters of responsible choice. Boundaries are choices.
Make choices which empower you. Walk yourself through your reality step-by-step. Be aware of the consequences of your decisions, choose accordingly.