Let’s Talk

What Is a Relationship Addiction?

Q. I have just heard the term relationship addiction
– what’s that?

A. Let’s Talk! Relationship addicts don’t just care about relationships, they are hooked on relationships, more than most anything in their lives. They are “okay” if they are in relationship with someone and “not okay” (and unraveling) if there is not a relationship. So, it’s a kind of dependency, like substance abuse, where one is looking to that something for one’s love, joy, peace, and completeness. Addiction to relationships is dangerous territory. It’s idolatry. It’s using another person or more to get your own emotional needs met.

Relationship addiction is not exactly codependency because that involves two people! Just one person can be a relationship addict and not involve another person. In fact, relationship addicts are addicted to most of the key relationships in their life, regardless of the response of the other person(s).

A relationship addict may appear at first very caring and gregarious, but ultimately becomes controlling. Some have even said that being around a relationship addict feels suffocating, like the air is being sucked out of the room. There is also a feeling of panic when a relationship addict tries to pursue and control your time, telephone, and even your other friendships.

We are “wired” by God for a relationship with Him and with one another, but the human experiences are to be healthy. HE is the one who longs to meet our emotional needs and bring us freedom, breath and life! May our dependency be on Him and not one another. May we not treasure anyone above Him.

For Deeper Reflection

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear [reverence] of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord
will be exalted.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.
You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com