“Looking back I see my affair as a breakdown, as simply illness. It was a sickness, an emotional plague. It was equally as threatening as an alcohol or drug problem. I can honestly say it was the worst feeling I ever experienced.”
As suggested above in this glimpse from Ethel Person’s book Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: The Power Of Romantic Passions ( p.155), there is a striking correspondence between the psychological dynamics for addiction or substance dependence and the patterns of use, impairment, increased tolerance and withdrawal found in addictive relating.
Addictive relating, as evidenced by the proliferation of books on the subject, is all too common, painful and suffered by both men and women. In my work with people trapped in addictive relationships, it becomes clear that their efforts to “ desperately keep someone” has much more to do with needing the other at any cost than about sharing a loving relationship.