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Getting Out of an Addictive Relationship

Only by being aware and present in your interactions can you collect the information you need to make your relationships reflect the best of who you are and who you want to be. Fantasy, delusion and denial only lead you to addictive, needy relationships. Read More

Addiction to partner

This happened to me but I put up with it for 30 years until one day I woke up that my husband was selfish and did not love me. I was trying to work out what to do and struggling with my mistakes and wasted years. I did ask my husband for more love, care, attention, respect and more but he walked away and ignored me. Everyone deserves to be in an equal relationship that is satisfying not in a relationship that feels like a war zone. Sadly my husband had a fall and hurt his head. After that he changed and became quieter but still emotionally distant and difficult. Then he died by his own hand. Now I am free but at a terrible cost. I wish I had this knowledge years ago but just have to have the strength to go forward.

I am so sorry to hear of

I am so sorry to hear of these significant losses in your life. I certainly hope that now that you have the information it will lead you to healthier, more caring and supportive relationships. You do deserve to be in a satisfying relationship, and you can make that happen knowing what you are really looking for.

Thank you

Dear Ms. Fjelsted,
It's gratifying to see that after the blizzard of criticism refuting your last article's assertion (that people with BPD do not get significantly better), and despite your suggestion that your next article would cover cognitive-behavioral techniques relating to BPD, that this article did not even mention the disorder.

Perhaps you realized that I and other former borderlines will not take anything lying down, if you write about Borderline Personality Disorder again in such a pejorative way. I hope that you will come to realize how mistaken your views about BPD have been.

Having said that, I actually think your current article is quite good. Eckhart Tolle was one of my favorite writers and his views were useful in helping me to recover fully from BPD, after being diagnosed with the disorder 10 years ago.

Edward Dantes

based on this comment, its

based on this comment, its doesn't sound at all like you've recovered from BPD...


Thank you for writing this article. I have recently exited from a short relationship that was very dysfunctional
. Like my ex hb he has AS, which has a powerful pull for me, given the emotional abuse of my childhood (having to tolerate continuous put-downs, and little experience of intimacy). The lack of empathy, mind blindness, poor impulse control and the compulsion to find fault with any woman meant that I was starting to feel really miserable and obsessed with trying to fix things. I felt addicted to him, trying to work him out, impress him, and convince him to allow me to love him. All affection was rejected. Having learned a lot from articles on here and from the book "women who love too much", I was able to summon the determination to end my suffering. The remaining challenge.. And to me it feels like a huge to go out and find those healthy people with whom to have a relationship!
One stand-out lesson was that I assessed his character and issues and that a successful relationship was highly unlikely, within the first few minutes of meeting him...I.e. Before the familiar dynamic was established!

beautiful article with

beautiful article with practical tips. thanks you

Brain chemistry in addictive/abusive relationships

I have a brain chemistry related theory, but can find nothing in the scientific literature so far to back it up. I am hoping someone might be able to direct me to research around brain chemistry in addictive/abusive relationships. Neuroscientists need to study neurochemistry in abuse victims; this type of research is long overdue! Personally, I think they will find brain chemistry patterns that show similarities to those in Stockholm syndrome. I think that the prolonged periods of fear, anxiety, depression and emotional distress create a brain state dominated by particular chemicals. The rare and intermittent instances of profound relief, prompted by the abusers "kindness", then trigger an overwhelming flood of feel-good chemicals, which the depressed brain then interprets as a "high". I believe abuse victims become "addicted" to their abusers in a very real chemically-mediated sense; I would be very grateful to hear if anyone has actually investigated this idea. If it could be proven that emotional abuse has these kind of physical effects, then society might begin to understand that there is a biochemical mechanism by which abuse victims are harmed and which impacts on their self-agency and ability to protect themselves. I am absolutely convinced this is the case- psychological factors seem only part of the picture to me.

I had this very same thought

I had this very same thought today. I don't have any answers to your questions, but wanted to share my experience. I am in what I feel to be an addictive relationship. The feeling I get when my boyfriend and I make up after a fight feels very similar to being buzzed or high. I am convinced that my body craves this high even though I am aware that this destructive cycle is bad for me. I am taking steps to end it for good, and I can say it feels very similar to quitting smoking.

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Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT, is a therapist, author and speaker on the topic of borderlines and narcissists.


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