When I deal with my codependent clients, they are often surprised to hear me use the word addiction in relation to their obsession with a relationship. I have always maintained that the cycle that drives the more well known addictions such as alcohol or drugs can also be found in codependency. Just for reference, that cycle is depicted below.
One can quite easily see that each stage can be applied to a codependent relationship, especially when in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, as codependents generally are. I see this in terms of contact needed with someone where the ideal measure would be no-contact. The love addicts cannot help themselves and need their fix of contact to make themselves feel “better”. However, all it does is start the cycle that will lead to consequences, pain and shame that will drive the cycle on…and on…and on.
One thing I…
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