You might be aware that addictive relationships are quite common. And both genders are susceptible to becoming addicted to bad relationships. In fact, the chances are good that you have run into these relationships before. And may have even experienced being in one yourself! Have you ever had a woman crying on your shoulder about some jerk who has been treating her badly?
You have a guy friend who is always complaining about his wife or girlfriend and what a bitch she is. After she has had a good cry she goes right back to him? After he has had a good moan he goes right back to her. They are both in an addictive relationship. And if you have been in a relationship where you put up with frequent psychological abuse and yet you stayed with with the partner who is giving you the abuse...Then you were in one.
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What causes psychologically addictive relationships?
The primary cause is what psychologists would call "intermittent patterns of reinforcement". Lets use an example here. Addictive relationships are like gambling addictions. If you play the slot machines, do you make money on every pull of the handle? No. If you did, the casino would soon go out of business. Do you lose money on every pull of the handle? Again, no. If you did, you would soon tire of the game and walk away taking your money with you. On many pulls, you will lose money. But now and again you will pull and win. You will make money. And sometimes you will hit the "jackpot!" That is what gets a gambler hooked. The "buzz" of the big payoff combined with the "buzz" of the unpredictability of the outcome. And just as some gamblers develop addictive relationships with slot machines and gaming tables, so do some men and women develop addictive relationships with each other.
How does it happen?
Addiction works similarly in relationships which swing between hot and cold. The larger and more unpredictable those emotional spikes, the more the addiction will happen. One person sometimes treating the other person well but other times treating that person badly. I have noticed from my experience of both men and women who are in a needs-based relationship. That addiction seems more likely and becomes more intense when the addicting partner would be considered the better catch than the addicted partner.
The idea of a man or a woman becoming addicted to you may sound like a good idea (as a way to hold onto them.) But it is not. I have personal been involved in such a relationship. It was exciting in the beginning which soon turned into a real nightmare. (Think Fatal Attraction here.) However, most men and women do not have the personality to get themselves into that position. Most men and women are decent human beings, and it just would not be like you to treat other people shabbily (especially someone who you are sleeping with with). You do not posses the temperament for it. The risk for most men and women is instead the reverse one. That you will be the one who becomes addicted to a bad relationships.
Because wide mood swings come more easily to women than men. Women are granted more leeway by society to behave more emotionally than men. Yet when a women meets a man who has wide mood swings, she can become addicted to the emotional spikes she experiences with him. Especially when those emotional spikes are mixed with hot sex. Yet it also works the other way. Women hold the main card (access to sex), and a man will often tolerate a lot more mistreatment from women when he is experiencing hot sex with her.
Should you be concerned about getting trapped in addictive relationships? Absolutely! As I mentioned above, I have experienced being in an addictive relationship. It is no picnic for a man to have a woman completely addicted to him, but it is even more unpleasant when you yourself are addicted to the woman. A lot of men and women go through this, especially in their first physical relationship or it is a highly sexual relationship. It is sheer torture when the chemistry completely dominates you. Your worse than a crack cocaine addict seeking their next fix.
Instead of being addicted to an illegal substance your addicted to either a man or woman. How do you protect yourself from getting into addictive relationships? There are steps you can take to reduce the risk:
Improve your own confidence and self esteem.
Focus on building your own fulfilling life.
Whether it is at the flirting or seduction stage.
Acknowledge the chemistry is there but step back and don't let it take control of you.
Men and women who have the most difficulty in attracting new men and women are also the one's who are easiest to becoming addicts.
After all, they are more likely to put up with mistreatment from the man or woman they have now rather than to let them go and find a replacement.
When a partner starts to treat you badly, do not do what most low self esteem men and women do (which is to try to calm the other down by pacifying them and being the people pleaser.)
Instead, look disinterested, and tell them...
"This is getting really boring" and then head for the door.
Exit the premises for a few hours.
Do not answer the phone.
Completely disconnect from them and be in your own space doing what you want to do.
Decline the makeup sex afterward. Very few men and women will do that, but this tactic has quite an effect.
Say "No thanks, you are not looking very appealing to me at the moment" and then reach for the remote and flip on the TV.
If you try those methods and he or she still continues to treat you very erratically, then it is time to do some serious thinking about the relationship you are in and find someone else. Aim for something a lot more than addictive relationships. Cut your losses and move on. And practically speaking, that completes this conversation.
As ever...Always leave a man or a woman all the better for knowing you. Average men and women know only the rules. Masculine Men and Feminine Women know and are the exceptions.
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