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The Celebrity Therapist

alonePeople that are codependent or that have a love addictionare people that feel complete when they are in a relationship. They look to the other person to fulfill the relationship and provide a way to identify with themselves and the world around them. They are not comfortable on their own, nor are they comfortable in turning to friends and family for support and advice.

In fact, in the past, being alone has been seen as a blemish, a flaw and a deficit to a codependent. Relationships typically end and immediately another one begins as there is a sense of urgency to find that person to make you whole again. While this may be a very real urge or even compulsion, it is essential to learn to be alone before moving forward with a new love.

In recovery from love addiction, it is important to understand that the need to be a part of a couple, even if it is an unhealthy relationship, is a strong driving force. Being alone seems unnatural, incomplete and very, very uncomfortable. It is more than a passing hope or desire to be a part of a relationship; it is a deep yearning that can become almost an obsession with some individuals.

The Steps to Take

The key factor in adapting to being a person comfortable with yourself is to acknowledge that you have a struggle. This is the first step in recognizing the need for help, as just like any other addict if you don’t reach out for help, there is a high degree of likelihood you will slip back into the old, comfortable negative situation found in a codependent relationship.

To help in the struggle with being comfortable with being alone, here are a few steps anyone can take to aid in recovery:

  1.  Work with a recovery coach– a recovery coach is a specially trained professional who will work with you to develop personalized, customized coping mechanisms and strategies to alleviate the anxiety and stress of being alone and allow you to feel more comfortable as a single person.
  2. Develop a social circle – a network of supportive friends that understand your struggles and will be there to provide emotional support and friendship can help to address feelings of being alone and isolated.
  3. Become mindful – think about your thoughts about a relationship. Why are you choosing that person? Is he or she someone you need to “fix” or someone who you see as a person you need to protect and manage to save them from themselves? Then, consider what you want in a healthy relationship. What does give and take look like? What is the importance of having time as a couple as well as time to pursue your own interests? These questions will help you in developing a guideline of the qualities and characteristics of a healthy relationship.
  4. Do something new – taking a class, joining a group, learning about something new or even getting out and getting some exercise can all help to provide more balance in life. The more you engage with the world around you, the less alone you will feel.

Being alone is a normal condition. Learning to enjoy being in your own company is a wonderful gift to be able to give yourself.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.

image1 (14)My passion to support  love addicts, relationship addicts, and codependents continues into the New Year with the launch of my new book, The Marriage and Relationship Junkie and my new FREE FB tribe, the Relationship Junkie group.  I am one in recovery and have worked with countless others struggling to let go and move on.  Join my FREE tribe and let’s support and build each other up.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1899069590357006/

handsMany people want to know if male love addicts differ from female love addicts. The answer is yes and no. For most part male codependent men exhibit the same symptoms as women. However male love addict do have some differences.

For one thing, more men than women  get violent when rejected by  someone ,  This is especially true of narcissistic love addicts  who were rejected by their mother. Codependent men try to “fix” women , not hurt them.

Male codependents are also   more ashamed of their love addiction and don’t seek treatment or want to talk about themselves. I call them “closet love addicts.”

When a man is rejected by his mother, he is hurt more because she was his primary caretaker. Women are wounded by their fathers but only when they are older after they have already attached to the mother. When the bond is broken between the primary caretaker and the infant/child, they develop attachment deficit disorder.

Finally,   men get more desperate than women and   are more likely to commit suicide. All love addicts get depressed, but guys really think that life if not worth living without their love object because it is like his mother leaving him all over again.

Recovery for male and female loves addicts is the same. You have to admit that you have a problem and reach out for help. Then you have to change how you think and behave. Finally, you have to work on your low self-esteem so that you will not settle for less than you deserve when it comes to relationships.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.

freedom-1886402_960_720With all the stories in the news today about powerful people in the media, in Hollywood and even political leaders and their involvement in inappropriate and unwanted sexual behavior, a lot of terms are being used incorrectly.

Using terms incorrectly and not understanding the difference between two commonly heard terms, sexual harassment and sex addiction only causes more confusion and muddies the waters. While both do have to do with behaviors, this is really all that these terms have in common.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is the targeting of specific individuals because of their sex. It is most commonly seen when men harass women in the workplace as a way to demean or gain power or control over the person being harassed. While it may be physical in nature, it can also refer to teasing, taunting or making sexualized comments that are directed towards one woman or women in general.

It is very common in sexual harassment for the women to be told that they must perform specific sexual acts or endure countless requests for sexual favors. A very good example of this is the Harvey Weinstein scandal were numerous women have come forth to accuse the film producer of making them watch him remove his clothing or demanding they give him massages to be able to advance their careers with his films. However, there is also the Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K, Matt Lauer and several others that are very public examples of sexual harassment towards women.

Sexual harassment can escalate to sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Often this behavior is driven by a need to dominate or gain power or to watch the emotional pain of the individual being harassed. This behavior is not about sexual gratification for the man; it is about power and control over the victim.

Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction includes sexual behaviors, but it is driven by internal factors like any other type of addiction. Individuals with sexual addiction have a compulsion to engage in sexual conduct, even though they know it is risky, dangerous or potentially destructive to their lives and their relationships.

Sex addicts do not abuse or control their partners as a general rule. Sex addicts are often not sex offenders and most do not make their sexual addiction a part of their workplace.

Unfortunately, when prominent men are accused of sexual harassment, they often refer to themselves and their actions as a result of a sex addiction. However, a closer look at the pattern of behavior can often demonstrate they are guilty of sexual misconduct and not an addiction.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.