Archives for Romance

Addictive Relating

The Root Causes of Codependency and Narcissism?


There's an elephant in the room of our conversations on codependency and narcissism, and pretending the elephant is not there has proven costly to our health and wellbeing as individuals, and thus also to the couple and family relationships, even the communities and societies we form.

The costs are high because, as human beings, our biological needs far extend mere physical needs to survive! Indeed, we are wired with core social yearnings, needs not wants, to matter in meaningful ways to life in and...
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Addictive Relating

Codependency and Narcissism: 10 Similar-Yet-Distinct Patterns

On the surface the dance of narcissism and codependency seems to be between two complete opposites; and, in many ways, they are. To see what's really happening in a couple relationship with these dynamics, however, it helps to look at 10 similar yet distinct patterns in their dance steps.

An awareness of these patterns gives us a glimpse of what is really going on to keep both addicted, and stuck repeating the same old dance...
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Addictive Relating

What It Means When a Narcissist Says “I Love You”

Dear Codependent Partner,

What I'm about to say is not something I'd ever say or admit (to you), because to do so would end the winner-takes-all-game that is my main source of pleasure in life -- one that effectively keeps you carrying my load in our relationship.

And that's the whole point.

When I say “I love you” I mean that I love how hard you work to make me feel like your everything, that I am the focus of your life,...
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Addictive Relating

The Neuroscience of Why a Child is a Model Citizen, 2 of 2

Luis Sarabia via Compfight

In Part 1 we looked at better understanding the behavior of a child who is a model citizen everywhere but home by examining what inner strivings, or emotion-drives, the child is attempting to meet in each situation. In this post, the two areas below pertain to questions of how thoughts drive behaviors.
2. What beliefs (or thoughts) does the child's behavior say the child has learned to hold regarding how to best fulfill their core...
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Addictive Relating

Self-Forgiveness: Checklists for Partners Seeking to Heal From Infidelity

When infidelity occurs, though the betrayed partner should not feel pressured to forgive, ultimately, forgiving is a key step to restoring their own sense of safety, peace of mind, hope and belief, ultimately, love and joy. Genuine forgiveness however is a series of steps, only possible when the partner that was unfaithful fully owns responsibility for their wrongful actions, and takes the lead to reconcile and steer the relationship to a safe harbor. (See post that outlines differences between "
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Addictive Relating

Restoring Safety: A Letter in Response to the Unfaithful Partner, 2 of 2

In Part 1 a letter template was included for one partner to write to the loved one they betrayed with infidelity. This post presents a letter for the betrayed partner to write in response.

While only one of many critical, the letter serves as an acknowledgement that the betrayed partner must also play an active role in opening their heart to essential processes for healing themselves, their relationship ... and yes, even the partner who betrayed them. The last part is...
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Addictive Relating

Rebuilding Trust: A Letter to Help Heal Your Relationship After Infidelity, 1 of 2

Informed by clinical research, as well as examples from the author's practice and personal experience, in the book After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful, Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring, , an expert on issues of trust, fidelity, and forgiveness, outlines specific steps partners can take to heal their relationship, and rather than give in to despair, grow and thrive as individuals and partners from the shattering crisis of infidelity.

One...
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Addictive Relating

Sex and Love Addiction: Five Ways the Dominance Factor Erodes or Blocks Couple Intimacy

Though dominance as a value may make sense on the battlefield, in love relationships, tactics of war are the problem. Dominance and tactics to enforce hierarchical relations are guaranteed to produce needless suffering in the form of win-lose competitions, pursue-withdraw dynamics, illusions of power, and toxic relating patterns.

Whereas dominance is a socially approved behavior for males (considered "norm" in many cases), the opposite is true for women. Regardless who starts the...
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Addictive Relating

Authentic Versus Romanticized Love, 1 of 3: What Love Is Not

What is authentic love in a couple relationship, and how is it different from romanticized love? For one, by nature's design, authentic love is not supposed to be "easy" to realize. It is a challenging life experience in which nature stretches us out of our comfort zones, in this case, inviting two individuals to stay engaged, and be transformed, by a process that grows the individual capacity of each to love and be loved, to give and contribute to own and others growth and wellbeing,  bring the love and energy they aspire to realize. In contrast, if anything, romanticized love is easy. Before looking more closely at the characteristics of authentic versus romanticized love, this post outlines what authentic love is not:
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