Love Addiction

August 15, 2010

Being a non BPD in a BPD relationship is a lonely experience. It makes you feel like the crazy one. Some BPs do a good job of hiding their disorder from everyone including their own family, leaving their partners to deal with it on their own.  Those who have never been in a relationship with a BP, might callously say “get over it” or “move on” and not understand why it is so difficult to walk away from a BP relationship.

What they fail to understand is a BP relationship is an addiction, a dependence on the feel-good biochemicals that are produced by a BPD love. BP lovers, primarily driven by the fear of abandonment, have become masters at eliciting feelings of attachment. BPs can only play the field for so long before they rush into “love” again. Once they find someone with dependency traits, they are eager to seal the deal.

Even a person who is non-committal by nature may suddenly find themselves in a serious relationship in a matter of weeks. BPs, themselves, are love addicts. That is they love the idea of being in love. The public displays of affection, the cuddling, and the hand-holding are not only lures to pull in the unsuspecting loved one but it is also what gives the BP a feeling of worth and validation. By the end of the process, even the most cautious lover drops their guard.

But their ultimate bait is idealization– a period where the BP lover puts the new lover on a pedestal. They make their partner feel like they can do no wrong, like they are the bee’s knees. But once the BP becomes disillusioned or fears abandonment, that pedestal is kicked out from underneath the once idealized partner. The higher they are, the harder they fall. It is a fall from grace very few people are prepared for. As quickly as BPs can fall in love, they can fall out of love just as quickly.

An ex will often display the same symptoms as a recovering addict – severe depression, lack of appetite, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, etc. Which would be fine, if it is were just a matter of the BP retreating. But often there is a period of devaluation, where the BP badmouths, degrades and sometimes publicly humiliates the fallen lover.

BPs in this period pull a complete 180 and can become shockingly cold-hearted and hostile. They will do anything to protect their heart from rejection and abandonment.

This is not your average break-up. This is an addiction withdrawal.

5 Responses to “Love Addiction”

  1. Amanda said

    The connection between love addiction and PD is strong. Your insights are spot on!

  2. savorydish said

    My BPD Recovery:

    I never thought that recovering from a crappy two year relationship would take so long, but clearly, the relationship was dysfunctional and it struck me hard. It made me question the way I thought, how I thought, and who I was.

  3. Ladyt said

    This is exactly how I am feeling at the moment. I feel like a headless chicken. This site is so helpful because although I recognise after the last break up of 9 that my ex was more than likely suffering from Borderline personality disorder, I realised that I have my own issues that kept me living in fear of being dumped again once he would take me back and so I altered my personality like nearly every other person that he interracts with on a daily basis.

    I am accepting now that our break up is not impacting the same way for me as it is for him as although he said he loved me morning, noon and night, he could switch from being loving to calling me terrible names and tearing my character to shreds because of me responding to something might have said about his alcoholic mother or one of his children. What was ok to say today could be the worst thing in the world to say tomorrow.

    One thing I am grateful for is that at least now I don’t have the worry of wondering when I was going to make my next ” mistake ” or be “thoughtless” or not supportive enough, or not have had my mind reading hat on when I needed it to know what he needed at a specific time when something was going on for him that he wouldn’t have told me about. These are what is keeping me going.

    • savorydish said

      It is important to acknowledge what you DID do right in this relationship, because you are exiting a relationship where you were led to believe that you did something wrong. Spend some time being good to yourself. There will be a time to acknowledge your mistakes, but not until you feel better about yourself.

  4. Jones said

    This goes for me as well. In the beginning, I felt like I was “the man”. She would call me in the morning, noon and night just to see how I was doing. It felt special for a while until I started to feel boxed in and she would make the accusation of me cheating. I told her, how could I do that when I speak to you several times a day.

    A couple of months past and my father past away and things went for the worst meaning anything small thing that was out of place she would critizie me for it. Example, if I had to go and coach my son’s football team, she would say something like fake as— football team or if I place a sweet note on her car while she was at work she would say that I was a stalker. After a while, this annoying.

    What broke the camels back was in November a few months after my dad past away, she started to distance herself from me. Forgot I lived in Dayton and she lived in Indianapolis. One evening I got dropped of in downtown Indy and asked her to pick me up. She said she was tired and asked if I can get a hotel room on my own. Talk about cold or what. Then the next day she dumped me in a text. What a coward. The relationship lasted 8 months to the day.

    About six months after the split, I noticed that made a wedding website without my knowledge. It is still out there today 2 years after the split.

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