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LOVE

AVOIDANCE

"I am engaged to be married. I know that I love this guy, but I am just afraid for him to get too close.  I am literally waiting for the floor to come out from underneath me, because I have been in so many painful and dissappointing relationships before.  Mitchel is helping me to heal and have hope for a happy future with my fiance.."

Many addicts are avoiding love in their primary relationships. Love avoidance is a pattern of creating distance in the relationship by pursuing intensity in some form outside of the relationship (i.e., being a workaholic, affairs, addictions, or high risk/high adrenaline activities). Love avoidance is driven by a fear of intimacy, that is originally created by being unfairly enmeshed as a child by a primary caregiver. Enmeshment, means to have an unhealthy merger with your parent, either physically or emotionally, rather than your parent or caregiver caring for you (in which case you may be caring for them). This can create feelings of being used, overwhelmed, smothered, or drained.  

As an adult, closeness or intimacy can recreate the feelings of being used or enmeshed as a child.  This causes the love-avoidant individual to feel overwhelmed even within their primary relationship. One “solution” to this problem, is to use sex outside of the relationship to create room or distance from one’s partner and to produce a feeling of being “alive” through creating an intense sexual high and lots of emotional drama, that at the same time voids any true feelings of intimacy.