Obsessive Love: Understanding Feelings Behind Codependent Relationships

Obsessive love is an unhealthy emotional connection with your partner and is part of being in a codependent relationship. If you have concerns about your relationship and view it as being unhealthy, the first thing you should do is identify any negative symptoms and obtain a sense of clarity to determine just how bad the relationship really is.

It’s important to listen to your own intuition as you will instinctively know if your love is normal or obsessive. While ideally, a healthy relationship is forged where two equally emotionally stable people connect, it will be comforting for you to know that almost everyone experiences a codependent relationship to some degree. For most however, there is an ability to adapt to the needs of the relationship without the negative side effects.

Even if your relationship is unhappy, you may find that you fulfill your role as a codependent and make excuses for the problems within, hoping that things will improve. Hope can be contagious and can become an addiction in itself if a solution to your problem is not found. If you start to feel depressed, self-destructive or self sacrificing, then it’s time to take stock of your situation and talk to someone outside of your family circle.

The origins of your codependency will probably have started within your childhood and this is because as a child you would have been vulnerable to any problems that occurred within the family. Codependent behaviors can be triggered and absorbed even without conscious thought. Feelings of misery and of being a victim can be powerful, and those negative aspects can continue to grow throughout your adulthood and eventually become obsessive love.

Within your current relationship you may find yourself:

  • Finding it difficult to fully trust or commit
  • Having low self esteem
  • Feeling a need for approval in others
  • Experiencing self loathing
  • Needing to control the relationship and being independent outwardly

If anyone has ever told you that you are self destructive, you may need to evaluate if they are right. You may automatically avoid potential healthy relationships if you feel deep down that you are not worthy of a good relationship.  You may want a relationship and someone to love you, but fear abandonment. Realistically you will gravitate towards whatever relationship that you are most familiar with. If you have a codependent personality, you may well find yourself trying to please your partner and to keep the peace, putting their needs above your own whilst trying to outwardly establish feelings of control. A dysfunctional relationship is very damaging and sadly, unless the true cause of the codependency can be corrected, you may well go from one unhealthy relationship to another, a pattern of obsessive love.

In your eyes, giving means making yourself feel good, and making your partner feel gratitude for your kindness. There are expectations of recompense in your eyes, but your partner may not realize that your kind act came with conditions. Alternatively, sometimes the codependent feels the pain that may be experienced by their partner more keenly than the partner does and an obsession with pain and suffering needs to stop. Feeling unloved can make you act irrationally in the eyes of others but as a codependent, your own actions may seem normal.  If you project feelings of being unlovable, then it’s important to recognize that you may not be loved in return. This never ending cycle of need, control and self worth also forms part of your self-sabotage.

Irrational thoughts and inconsistent behaviour needs to be treated for your own future happiness, don’t put off seeking professional help. A trained counselor will be able to help you but it will take some time to identify the crux of the problem and for you to be able to move on. Just remember that obsessive love needs to be resolved, otherwise you will escape from one unhealthy relationship and rush head on into the next.

  1. Very helpful!