Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

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.

luv adFor many people, the Royal Family offers a glimpse into a world that is both traditional as well as fascinating. This is true for people in the United States as well as around the world. It seems as if royal relationships are particularly interesting, which does put an incredible amount of pressure on both the royal as well as those they chose to date.

Recently, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement, which seems like a picture-perfect relationship in every sense of the word. This is made somewhat more controversial, at least for the Royal Family, due to Meghan’s past marriage and divorce.

The Importance of Waiting

A very important part of having a successful relationship, particularly in high-profile and always under the scrutiny press situation, is to be comfortable with dating and having friendships that are not escalated prematurely or to satisfy the need for the individual to be seen as “in a serious relationship.”

With Prince Harry, as well as with Meghan Markle, who is famous in her own right as an actress and humanitarian, both had past relationships and were comfortable with being in the spotlight. They are both clearly aware of what they were looking for in a prospective partner, and they took their time in building the relationship while also pursuing their own individual commitments and passions.

In many ways, these passions dovetailed, with both very focused on humanitarian issues as well as getting to know more about each other. While Prince Harry reports he knew Meghan was the one from their first date, he stressed the importance to get to know each other away from the scrutiny of the public eye before determining just how far the relationship would go.

The Result

The result of building a relationship while still maintaining an individual perspective is critical for everyone, and not just those that are famous. In my new book, “The Marriage Junkie: Kick Your Obsession with Relationships and Learn to Love Living with Yourself,” the importance and the result of being true to oneself and not becoming consumed by the relationship become clear.

Learning, like Prince Harry, to wait for the right one and be happy with your life results in finding a person to commit to who will be a positive and empowering match.

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.

Attractionintimacy is mysterious. Just why do we become attracted to “certain” people? Part of the answer lies in our history. We are attracted to our first love which is usually the parent of the opposite sex. We are also attracted to people who remind us of others (real people, movie stars, magazine models, etc.) who stimulated us while we were growing up. But this is all we know about attraction, so we call it “chemistry” because the attraction stimulates certain chemicals that make us “high.” But let’s not allow the mystery of all this to worry us.

The most important thing we need to know about attraction is that it can be both a wonderful thing and a trap. If you are attracted to people capable of a healthy, fulfilling relationship then attraction is a good thing which leads to better things. If you are attracted to, say, people who have anger issues or is controlling, then attraction is not a good thing. I know I was always attracted to controlling men because my father, although amazing in so many ways, could be controlling. This was not good. It got me into a lot of trouble. So if you are attracted to the wrong personality type (for whatever reason) what do you do about it? Well you understand what is happening to you and then you avoid the people that get you into trouble.

Does this mean you have to give up attraction? No! You just need to train yourself to be attracted to the right type, like training yourself to eat right. You buy the right food and you eat it. You find a wonderful, healthy person and you let him or her grow on you. It is a little known fact that chemistry is not always instantaneous. It can happen at any time. This does not mean you must hang in there with someone who bores you to death, it just means you might give the right people a little more time. Then is there is no chemistry you move on. But you never go backwards. Once you identify the “wrong type” you never try to make it happen with that type of person. This is our insistent inner child trying to win back some lost love who was never available.

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.

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.