An addiction to a man is like an addiction to a
drug. I should know. I'm a recovering addict.
Pete* is my replacement "drug." The
relationship high started off really great...something that took the focus off of myself
and made me feel whole and complete. As with a drug high, I felt wonderful whenever I was
with this man. I would do anything for him -- in order for him to give me my emotional
fix: love and attention. I needed and wanted him no matter what. I experienced a
completely different world with him. A world that I couldn't imagine even in my wildest
dreams. It felt great! In my eyes this was the healthiest relationship I had ever had.
But, as with the drug high, the relationship high hit a plateau. I found myself working
harder and harder to gain his approval and acceptance. But it was never enough. No matter
what I did or did not do, it was not enough. As the duration of the highs diminished, my
desperation to please him (so I could feel whole again) intensified. Slowly, I let Pete
take away my power, my control. As drugs had in the past, Pete dominated me now. Our
relationship went something like this:
trouble started: once he "got" me..."
At first we were deliriously happy. I moved in
with him and we got engaged. That's when the trouble started: once he "got" me.
It was subtle, but something was wrong; I wasn't feeling supported. I got depressed,
I lost my cool over little things, over (what I thought) was no good reason. Still, I
tried to pretend that everything was OK, and put unwelcome thoughts away. I told myself,
"You're crazy. You're ungrateful if you have complaints about this man. He is so good
to you! Look at all the wonderful possessions he bestows upon you: gold, money, diamonds,
cars, trips, etc." I really believed that there was something wrong with me for not
being able to appreciate all that he gave me! It took many cycles of going in and out of
this relationship -- and therapy -- before I began to realize that I was not
crazy. I really, truly was not being treated well, and it was not my
He treated me disrespectfully. He put his
friends ahead of me. He accused me of being selfish, immature, crazy, you name it. He did
not support me. He started fights just when things were going well. He did not act like a
partner. Yet, I wanted him to treat me well so bad! I wanted him to love me
and to treat me the way he used to when he was courting me. When Pete acted in a loving
way, I felt high. When he was blaming and disrespectful, I felt low. No matter how hard I
tried to make him happy, I could not. Soon the lows overshadowed the highs. This hurt too
Feeling confused, I decided to move out of his
home. I hoped that a separation would make this relationship turn for the better. After
still more get-backs and break-ups, one of us, I'm not really sure which one, broke it up.
That brings us up to today.
recovery from this relationship began the moment I realized I deserved and wanted
I think about him every living, breathing
moment -- wishing and hoping that he would change! As per my past battle with chemical
dependency, I have urges to go back to him and get my fix. I think things would work out
between us if only...if...only he was willing or able to change ! SO
SIMPLE! SO WRONG!
My recovery from this relationship began the
moment I realized I deserved and wanted respect, compassion, equality, friendship, and
partnership. I understand in my hearts of hearts that this man loves me and gave me all
that he was capable of giving. It angers me that I can't change him. But I can change
When I feel desperate and alone, which is often
these days, I turn back to that which worked for me during my early recovery from drugs. I
ask my Higher Power, God, for help. I ask for strength to go through the process of
withdrawal from this man. Recovery is a slow process. I remember my recovery from drugs
and alcohol and see the similarities in my current obsession and compulsion, i.e., my
addiction to Pete. It took a long, long time. But, it worked.
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Update! Kristin's Advice Here!
*All names have been changed. This is a true
story written by a real person. If you want to contact Kristen, write Dr. Irene and indicate in the
subject line that you would like your message forwarded to Kristen.