The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist

What is a Toxic Relationship Addiction?

 Addictions aren’t always in the form of drugs and alcohol,
they can also manifest in the form of relationships. Toxic relationships are
extremely common and not just among drug addicts. An individual can get caught
up in the chaos of an unhealthy relationship with another human being. In the
case of a romantic relationship, both parties can become addicted to the rush
of chaos and drama. It may seem completely ridiculous to a normal thinking
human being, for someone to remain in a relationship that is abusive, violent,
chaotic and potentially extremely dangerous. To the individual that is living
in the relationship, they can’t imagine a healthy interaction with their
significant other. In their mind, their interactions with their significant
other are normal. What these individuals lack are proper keys to communication.
They can’t imagine a relationship that would be healthy, encouraging and sane.


 The theme of toxic relationships can be seen in Eminem and
Rihanna’s song “Love The Way You Lie”, there is a second part to that song on
Rihanna’s “Loud” CD that exemplifies the patterns found in a toxic
relationship. She speaks of trying to run but not wanting to leave and she
questions if she is a masochist for staying in a turbulent relationship. Both
songs are great examples of the explosive reality of an unhealthy relationship.

 Not having a conscious idea of what a “normal” relationship
entails is not uncommon for individuals that have other addiction issues. Many
of the toxic relationships that are seen involve addiction or mental conditions
in both parties. The rush of the chaos explosion that slowly boils and erupts
fills a need within the individuals in the relationship. For some, they only
know violent love. They may think that the only way for someone to show their
love is to yell and scream and possible become physically violent. Until they
see that relationships between people don’t have to be dramatic in order to be
fulfilling, they will continue to engage in relationships that are toxic. An
important aspect of recovering from these harmful interactions involves
professional help and time.


 While the person who thrives on toxic relationships
undergoes treatment, they will learn how to communicate more effectively. They
will also learn that they are worthy of healthy love. They will also learn that
a non-drama ridden relationship, although seeming mundane and boring in the
beginning, can be extremely satisfying. The element of taking the time to heal
is crucial. Jumping into a toxic relationship after toxic relationship is a
habit that needs to be stopped. This is not an easy task but when one learns
what a healthy relationship looks like, they can start to implement ways to
either heal relationships they currently have or walk away from relationships
that are never going to change.



Addicts are comfortable in the chaotic, drama driven life
that they live. Once they become comfortable with the uncomfortable feeling of
“normal” and “sane”, they can progress to a possibility of engaging in healthy
activities with other human beings. Thus, there is hope and everyone deserves
having a safe, healthy and sane relationship.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Recovery and Life Coach in private practice and on Celebrity Rehab on VH1 with Dr. Drew Pinsky.  Contact Sherry at to discuss her recovery and life coaching packages, psychotherapy, workshops, up-coming book signings and speaking engagements, or teleseminars.


  • Janet

    I know 2 people like this, They argue all the time and break up then take eachother back again and again. Its ridiculous. Its very tiring.One sleeps all the time and stays home day in and day out.They complain about eachother but never do anything about it.It drives me crazy.

  • creative dating ideas

    Being in love can always be an addiction for everyone. This is the only addiction where Medical Doctors can never have any prescription.

  • Clark

    Great article on a type of addiction not many people think about, thanks! A wonderful book dealing with how to deal with co-addiction and addiction effects on people around the source is Soaring Above Co-Addiction by Lisa Espich. It not only shares the traditional methods of recovery, such as detachment and tough love, but also teaches the tools of manifestation. It’s like “The Secret” meets “Codependent No More”. Highly recommend it.

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