Saturday, July 5, 2008

Patterns of Interaction Between Love Addicts and Love Avoidants

From the writings of Pia Melody on Love Avoidance and Love Addiction

The Cyclic Dance Between

Love Addicted and Love Avoidant Partners

Love Addicted

Greatest fear is that of abandonment with an underlying fear of intimacy.

Love Avoidant

Greatest fear is that of intimacy with an underlying fear of abandonment.

1. Enters relationship out of duty, not love

1. Is responsive to the avoidant's seductiveness and enters the relationship.

2. Enters behind wall of seduction (which actually impedes intimacy)

2. Denies partner's walls and importance of life outside the relationship.

3. Experiences an event that shatters the denial.

3. Becomes overwhelmed by the neediness of the partner and moves from the wall of seduction

4. Emotional withdrawal from fantasy


Pain anger fear rage shame panic suicide

This is a psychological emergency of worthlessness

4. Escapes the relationship: In some way, creates distance from the partner



5. Obsesses and medicates to get out of the feelings of the withdrawal from the relationship.


Self-destructive behavior

5. Creates intensity outside of primary relationship and can use addictions or thrill-seeking.


Anger and revenge

Either the fantasy is rejected and the relationship ended

OR The Love Addict

Resolves the conflict and the cycle is repeated. The relationship becomes a repeating of the cycle. Returns to the relationship out of FEAR of abandonment.

Either the relationship ends

OR The Love Avoidant

Becomes overwhelmed with GUILT for abandoning responsibilities (because self-worth is derived from rescuing and care-taking) and returns to the relationship.

From Pia Mellody's writings and lectures,

and professional training with "The Meadows" treatment facility.

And from

Facing Love Addiction

by Mellody, Miller and Miller

HarperOne, 1992.