Putting an End to Addictive Relationships

10 February, 2021
Do you feel unable to leave a relationship that's hurting you and bringing you down? We'll give you some keys to get out of that vicious circle.

Addictive relationships are very common nowadays. In fact, the link between attachment and emotional dependence, self-esteem problems, and domestic and gender violence is huge.

In many cases, people maintain this toxicity more out of habit than out of love. This person is so attached to the other that they find themselves unable to get out of that maelstrom. They’d feel way too scared and guilty if they were to break up.

Moreover, addictive relationships may even compromise your own dignity. In the blink of an eye, you may find yourself doing everything you said you would never do just to keep your partner close.

Putting an end to addictive relationships

Dr. Castelló made really interesting hypotheses in this regard. According to him, addictive relationships fall into the category of relationships with emotional dependence. These are characterized by the extreme need for affection.

It’s safe to say that both cinema and literature have romanticized this topic over the years. It’s pretty common to read a book and see this type of situation portrayed in there. As a consequence, many people have started to believe that this is completely normal, to the point where they idealize it.

Read also: How to leave a toxic relationship

How to end addictive relationships

Someone who’s being addicted to, or dependent on, their partner behaves in the following way:

  • For one, they become obsessed with the other person; every single thing revolves around them, whether they like it or not.
  • They constantly text or call their partner throughout the day, and not in a good way, but in an abusive type of way.
  • Additionally, they keep tabs on their partner at all times.
  • Fear of abandonment. Even if the relationship’s toxic, they simply cannot imagine being without the other person. They may have the impulse to break up but they never do, and if they ever do, they immediately regret it and try to get back together.
  • There’s no end in sight to the relationship unless the partner takes the initiative.
  • More than love, they have the need to be close to the other person or to have them in their life.
  • They idealize their partner – they can’t seem to do anything wrong even when they do.
  • They may develop anxiety.
  • Lastly, their partners are often narcissistic or show a lot of (sometimes too much) self-confidence.
A woman thinking about ending addictive relationships.

Steps to get out of addictive relationships

  • Become aware of your situation. You need to do some internal work here; reflect and observe what’s actually happening. Do you think the root of this problem lies in your self-esteem? Do you feel empty? How so? You can work on this either by yourself or in the company of a therapist.
  • Focus on your goals. Many people in an addictive relationship tend to forget about what truly matters in life. Go back to all the goals that you left behind and put your focus on them. Do something you’ve never done before.
  • Remember to prioritize yourself. Your emotional health is paramount. Don’t forget that happiness always resides inside and not out.
  • Quit the game. Even if your ex comes back asking for forgiveness or telling you that it won’t happen again. Whatever the case may be, if you’re not fully happy, your best bet will always be to get out of that situation.

Read also: How to improve self-esteem after a breakup

  • Break the routine. This will significantly help your healing process. Find new activities to do and turn to your friends and family for support.
  • Try and get rid of everything that reminds you of them. Get rid of all gifts and material memories they gave you. Avoid listening to songs that remind you of them. Instead, look for new music to listen to that makes you feel good. Following these tips will help you close this toxic cycle.
  • Meditate. This will comfort you spiritually. If you prefer, walk for a few minutes a day and take some time to look around and observe the small details in nature.
  • Forget the idea that you’ll change your partner. No one changes for anyone. The only way an individual will change is if they truly want to. Stop procrastinating the inevitable, don’t wait for things that aren’t going to happen.
A man feeling sad after putting an end to an addictive relationship.

Seek help if you need it

Follow these tips and you’ll see how things improve little by little. However, if you think you won’t be able to get out of your relationship no matter how much effort you put into it, perhaps it’s time to seek psychological help.

It’ll all be okay for you, this is a fact, you just need to realize how much you’re worth and stop dwelling on the past. This may be a tough process, the journey to self-love and self-respect can be long but it’s well worth it. You don’t have to do it alone, either.

  • Aiquipa Tello, J. J. (2015). Dependencia emocional. Revista de Psicología.
  • Castelló, B. J. (2000). Análisis del concepto “dependencia emocional. Análisis Del Concepto “dependencia Emocional.
  • Castelló, J. (2012). La Superación de la Dependencia Emocional. La Superación de La Dependencia Emocional. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tpb.2013.11.006
  • Urbiola, I., & Estévez, A. (2015). Dependencia emocional y esquemas desadaptativos tempranos en el noviazgo de adolescentes y jóvenes. Behavioral Psychology/ Psicologia Conductual.
  • Castelló Blanco, J. (2005).LA DEPENDENCIA EMOCIONAL COMO UN TRASTORNO DE LA PERSONALIDAD. http://www.dependenciaemocional.org/LA%20DEPENDENCIA%20EMOCIONAL%20COMO%20UN%20TRASTORNO%20DE%20LA%20PERSONALIDAD.pdf