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Understanding Love and Romance Addiction: Looking Outside for What Is Missing Inside

By Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Unlike the kind of partnership and dependency that many of us seek to complement our lives, love and romance addicts search for someone outside of themselves to provide the emotional stability they lack within. Working hard to catch someone who can fix them, rather than learning about and growing beyond their own emptiness, they can become fixated on troubled or emotionally unavailable partners, often providing others with the very love and security they themselves most desire.

As the love addict’s own emotional needs remain unmet, they may act out through verbal or physical abuse of a current partner or though excessive spending, sex addiction, affairs or drugs – experiences that will ultimately reinforce their underlying sense of shame, self-hatred and loneliness.

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