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Understanding Love and Romance Addiction: Rehearsed Manipulation

By Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Recovering love addicts who have worked on themselves in therapy and 12-Step programs like Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) can relate to the idea of having used a well-rehearsed repertoire of manipulation to find and hold onto sexual and romantic partners.

Jose, a 32-year-old IT administrator put it this way:

I was always hunting in one form or another to find the special attention and sense of importance that only the right girl might make me feel if I could get with her. I figured I could make it happen with someone if I just wore, said or did the right thing or was good enough in bed, etc.

In recovery it was necessary for me to recognize all the manipulative strategies I used to employ to attract and seduce women. As I slowly began to cast these aside, with the support of 12 step members, friends and therapy I actually began to learn my own value and real human worth, which over time has helped to remove the powerful and empty fantasy life that I lived in for so long.

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