Some Love addicts carry a torch for unavailable people. Some obsess when they fall in love and some get addicted to the euphoric effects of romance. Others can not let go of a toxic relationship even if they are unhappy, depressed, lonely, neglected, or in danger. Some Love Addicts use sex to get love or manage feelings; others are sexually anorexic. The common denominator is this: Love Addicts crave an emotional connection and will avoid, at any cost, separation, anxiety, and loneliness.

You will often feel like a “crazy person”. Betrayed partners usually begin to have some idea that their partner is acting out sexually and will confront him/her about it. The person who cheated will say anything they can to make their partner feel wrong and as if they are crazy for thinking anything is going on. And so begins a pattern of “insanity”. 

People traumatized by infidelity become wonderful private investigators. They begin searching wallets, checking emails and phone records, paying close attention to details in stories and looking for contradictions, becoming more attentive to smells and behaviors when their partner returns from anywhere….the list goes on and on. What this all means is the betrayed is losing herself/himself. They begin to lose freedom of comfort in the home, lose a sense of safety and connection, and can become somewhat paranoid. If the unfaithful partner is really good at minimizing and rationalizing their behavior it will cause the traumatized partnLove2er to tumble even farther down into feelings of insecurity, suspicion, confusion, anxiety, depression, and despair. And all along the betrayed is thinking “I used to be so normal and happy, what happened?”

Many times the traumatized partner suffers a loss of sexuality. Sometimes they become sexually anorexic (ie: sleeping with clothes on, eating to much in order to be “too full for sex”, gaining weight, using a pillow to put in between the partner in bed, having headaches, staying up late to work to avoid going to bed at the same time, etc.) Sometimes they increases sex with their partner in order to try and “fix” the situation. In any case, it is not healthy sexuality and it becomes chaotic and “crazy making”.

What happens is the Love Addict continues to create fantasy in their adult life and so begins a never ending pattern of intense, fantasy-based relationships. This is the “I’m in love, cancel everything” syndrome. 

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David Silverman, L.M.F.T.

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