We left off yesterday with the cause of Love Avoidance: enmeshment with the opposite sex parent. If this is the case with you, enter therapy to work through childhood feelings stemming from enmeshment. Often times, these are feelings of deep anger and the pain and fear of the precious child you once were. Some experts even go so far as to call this form of enmeshment “emotional incest”…..
4) Establish boundaries.
Boundaries are essential for the love avoidant. They mustfeel that they can say no. Because the love avoidant often stays in a relationship out of duty and not love, they don’t say no when they need to. Later, resenting the partner and using that as an excuse to “have a life”…..(Leave the relationship for another person or an addiction)…..
5) Whether through working the steps or some other route, to recover, one must connect to a higher power. The 12 steps are designed to bring us to a spiritual awakening, where we can come to rely on a loving God who cares for us and our wellbeing. If you don’t have that yet,it’s going to be almost impossible to get better. I suggest you speak to a minister, priest, rabbi, or someone who can help you.
More on recovery from Love Avoidance tomorrow…..stay tuned.
Love avoidants don’t seem to come in for therapy as much as their counterpart — the love addict. However, occasionally they do….especially when they realize that they have broken up with that perfectly nice gal they were involved with for no good reason….and it keeps happening….As they get older, the love avoidant begins the see a pattern and their loneliness may drive them in for help.
Although on the outside, the love avoidant seems more “together” than the love addict, sometimes they are more difficult to deal with. So what are the steps to conquering love avoidance.
1) Address primary addictions.
Often times, the love avoidant is addicted to something – be it alcohol, sex, excessive sports, risk taking, etc. Their addiction makes them unavailable for intimacy.
2) Join a Support Group.
It is important for the The Love Avoidant to join a support group such as a 12 step group in order to begin practicing healthy intimacy in a safe environment.
3) Deal with childhood wounding.
The love avoidant generally speaking has had enmeshment with their opposite sex parent. As children, they felt the pressure of emotionally and sometimes physically taking care of an addicted or otherwise immature parent. This was too much and overwhelming to the child. So much so, that in adulthood, they fear intimacy and fear they will be suffocated or overwhelmed – a relive of their childhood experience.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article tomorrow…..