Disclaimer: I (Elisa Marie King) am not a licensed psychologist. These are just my personal observations, taking from my interest on the subject discussed in this blog post. *Links at the bottom
There is so much judgment that is placed on toxic and dysfunctional relationships, without any real discussion as to why some individuals continue in such affairs. I am not ashamed to say “I watch reality television”. And although I believe most “reality” shows are scripted, I do believe they touch on social issues. In this post I want to discussion the topic of Love Addiction, in toxic and dysfunctional relationships, by examining the relationship of Peter, Tara, and Amina, from the reality television show “Love and Hip-Hop”.
My purpose in writing on this subject, is to shine light on these “bad romances”, which in actuality aren’t so romantic or loving. There is however a lot of hurt and pain, from past experiences.
Love Addiction (believe it or not) is a serious thought process addiction, and has similar withdrawal effects as drugs, and alcohol. Exploring the dynamic between Peter, Tara, and Amina, they fit the classic Love Triangle, with codependency, relationship and romance addiction.
The traits shown in Peter’s personality regarding his relationships, are that of an Ambivalent Love addict. Peter likes the attention he receives from both Tara, and Amina, but has a hard time being honest about his intentions with either women. He appears to want both women, but his actions isolate him from being the lover he wishes to be. Using romance, and seduction to “rekindle” what he seems to be losing or lost from the relationships.
Before Peter married Amina, he and Tara were in a thirteen year relationship prior. Before his relationship with Tara, he was still in a relationship with another woman. Looking at the duration of his and Tara’s relationships, and the history of infidelity, both Tara and Amina exhibit signs of Codependent, and Relationship Love addiction. Both women enabled certain behavior from an unfaithful partner, and held on to the relationship pass its expiration date.
Going through Love Addiction myself, I can see the underline pain of giving yourself over to an unhealthy relationship, because of the fear you feel of not ever having a successful relationship at all. We must understand these types of relationships, to prevent the mental, emotional, and physical harm, that comes from this toxic behavior.
Looking at the foundation underneath, Love addiction stems from childhood relationships, based on how we were shown love, or seen it displayed. Feelings of constant rejection, or overly being praised, can also cause unhealthy relationship patterns. The way in which we perceive relationships from our childhood, has a huge effect on how we conduct our own adult relationships.
To heal toxic and dysfunctional behavioral patterns in our relationships, we must confront the root of the relationship issues, and acknowledge what is keeping us from truly connecting, and forming secure bonds.