Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Avoidant

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Yep, another post from me.  Two days in a row, can you believe it?  The kids are back in school and blogging can become a regular part of my week.  I just need to figure out a schedule. 

Sorry guys but I’m doing another post about sex addiction.  I normally don’t do two in one week but, meh, I’ve been gone for awhile.  Plus, I was pretty excited to find the link below and wanted to share it with those who may need it.

Now then, where was I?  Right, revelations.  Not the Bible chapter but self-discovery.  Yesterday, I talked about the importance of not being a parent to Devin any more.  That type of relationship is toxic in a marriage.

While doing some research on Devin's recent diagnosis of SLA vs SA, I discovered a fantastic webpage, and found that Devin and I fit this pattern almost perfectly.  Or, more accurately, we used to fit this pattern. 

Person
Desires
Attracted to
Behaviors
Process of person's relationships
Love addict
Security, safety acceptance, “oneness” (merger)

Fears:

   Greatest fear is abandonment
   Underlying fear is healthy intimacy (in enmeshment the core of the person is actually sealed off)

Self-contained individuals who appear strong, stable (often avoidant or obsessive compulsive, like their families of origin)
Line up next relationship before leaving current one--forming love triangles
Instant closeness, looking for “magic” feeling

Idealizing partner

Obsessing about partner

Talking obsessively to others about him or her

Acting out anger and revenge for being abandoned
Enters relationship in haze of fantasy--found this stable, strong, accepting individual

Gets high from fantasy

Denies how walled in avoidant really is

Avoidant gradually becomes distant and shuts down, abandons relationship in some way

Love addict acts out anger & revenge, turns to affairs and addictive sex

Partner capitulates and renews relationship, or love addict moves on to new relationship

Sense of self and self esteem does not develop--love addict remains in dependent position. Ability to tolerate fear and discomfort must develop for growth to occur
Avoidant
Wants to be connected, but not closely

Fears:

   Greatest fear is intimacy/engulfment
   Can have a hard time rejecting others or saying no

Individuals who provide much of the enthusiasm and intimacy for both of them
Ambivalence all the way through may be in relationship because can't say no
May show initial traditional romantic pursuing, but ultimately enters relationship because love addict provides most of the “intimate energy”; may fear would never make into a relationship otherwise

As love addict wants more and more attention avoidant attempts to please by giving it to them--at least initially

Eventually avoidant becomes overwhelmed by enmeshment and/or neediness of love addict, becomes critical, and eventually backs off from relationship or abandons it

Feels relationship has failed, sometimes gets involved with addictive behavior or affairs to distance, distract, or numb out

May return to relationship out of guilt or fear of being totally alone, or moves on to connect with another partner

Cycle of abandoning and returning can go on and on, especially if love addict starts to move on

If you didn’t figure it out, I’m the avoidant in this scenario.  I feared intimacy with someone and getting too close.  It made me feel vulnerable.  That fear was created after my first husband died.  I also thought I’d lose my sense of independence that I worked so hard to achieve after his death. 

What I didn’t realize was what an emotional mess I was inside after his death.  Instead of fixing myself, I focused on fixing others.  Some of you in a relationship with an addict may be nodding your heads right about now.  We tend to want to rescue people from their problems.  I tried to “fix” two alcoholics before I met Devin.  I didn’t even see the pattern of my relationships until I wrote them down while doing my step work.  How crazy is that?

The last column sums up my relationship with Devin during the painful time period I hate to even think about; 2009-2010.  It includes everything from me backing away from our relationship and then returning out of guilt to engaging in his addictive behaviors in an attempt to rescue our marriage. 

While it’s been a wild and crazy journey, I can truly say I look back on what I’ve been through with Devin with appreciation.  I never would have done this much work on myself had disclosure not happened.  Our marriage wouldn’t be as strong as it is now if he didn’t have the courage to tell me the truth and to get help.  We are better people today then we were in 2009-2010.

***




38 comments:

  1. I'm glad things finally seem to be going right for you and Devin!

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  2. It's been a long road, but you two have come a long way indeed!

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    1. Looking back it's amazing to see just how much progress we've made. As individuals and as a couple. I know it's something we will have to work on continually, but it's well worth it.

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    2. Elsie, we should organize Annzie a parteee, she's having her B-day today :)

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    3. Sounds like a fantastic idea, Dezzy! Let's see, you're awesome at baking. You're also awesome at decorating....what does that leave for me? I can sing!!

      Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear Anne! Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

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    4. and then a hunky stripper jumps out of the cake.... what? You did put me in charge of the baking.....

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    5. and naturally the entertainment!

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    6. Gerard has arrived and he's naked! Thank you so much. This is the best day of my life!!

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    7. what do you mean he's naked? I coated him in chocolate for you, dear, so that you can ... well, you know what you do with chocolate cakes... :PPP

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  3. Glad you're posting moe frequently and I enjoy reading about your and Devin's journey and progress.

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    1. Me too, Keith. I never realize how much I miss blogging until the summer time rolls around. I'm glad you enjoy reading about our progress. I usually try to mix it up a bit on here in an effort not to bore the crap out of you guys! ha ha

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    1. I found it very fascinating.

      I adored the poem you posted today, Debra. Thanks for sharing it!!

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  5. Sometimes the bad can do more good than bad in the end, even though they suck a ton at the time. About time old one eye is back, getting all lazy at your shack. The cat will have to get many kicks in, stick laughing over one I did in the future at my bin lol

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    1. I know you missed me over the summer, cat. Who else can you torment that won't get easily offended? I can't wait to see you try and get your kicks in. I have a few tricks up my sleeve too.

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    2. Oh tricks you say? Should be interesting at your bay

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  6. It's funny how we seem to find the one person who forces all those issues we need to work on to the surface in our personal relationships. :)

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    1. Isn't it? I really wonder how that happens. Then again, after Senior's death I dated someone totally normal and broke up with him because it just didn't feel right. He must have been to normal for me. We are the best of buds now. ha ha

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  7. I don't know if there's really anything wrong with two back-to-back posts of a similar subject. It's actually really interesting to see these charts, to see complete behavioral backgrounds in black and white.

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    1. I fear I will drive people away from my blog if talk about the same topic too much. This addiction is difficult to discuss for those of us who have to live with it, I can only imagine what it's like for you guys to read about and then comment on! ha ha

      I found the chart really interesting too.

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  8. The best thing is that you're able to say that this is the way it used to be but now things are being improved. Never be afraid to discuss this as much as you like by the way Elsie, if anything it does upset me to see you during the low points but they're getting less and less.

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    1. I think that's the best part too, Matthew, being able to reflect on how much things have improved for the two of us. It's good to know I'm not boring the crap out of you or driving you away from my blog with all this talk of SA!

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  9. I appreciate the inputs and pattern of behavior ~ I am happy that you can now look back and see where you have been, and where both of you are right now ~ the self diagnosis are valuable ~ Thanks dear and have a lovely week ahead ~

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    1. I find the reflections are good for me because I tend to lean towards seeing Devin stagnant in his recovery if I don't remind myself just how far he's truly come. I have to step back and take a look from the outside sometimes.

      Have a beautiful weekend, Grace!

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  10. It's really quite frightening that I saw myself and my guy in those descriptions....with a few exceptions of course, but a lot of it was dead on.

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    1. I think if we look hard enough, we can find ourselves in almost anything. =P But, from all you've been through, JoJo, I can see where you would protect your heart. Hugs.

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  11. glad you are in a better place now..and without sounding weird (cause i know it will) the chart is pretty fascinating--see i told you it would sound weird, but not having been there its easy to see through the chart....

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    1. That's not weird at all, Brian. I find it pretty fascinating myself and I'm the dang subject of it! I'm so glad the two of us have grown from all that has happened.

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  12. ah Elsie what long and difficult road you had walked but Im sure you understand alot of things now, yes I understand I have something similar in some relations (not always is about love) is complicated , ah I find you really brave like always Elsie, send you lots of hugs!!!xoxoxo

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    1. Gloria! My dear friend! Yes, I understand much more than I did a few years ago. I'm sorry you can relate to this even just a little. Many hugs headed your way. xoxo

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  13. Hi Elsie,
    I found your blog through Pat and I'm so glad...I read your story and I thank you for taking the time and being so brave as to post it here.
    The chart is very interesting - I'm an avoidant, too; but I already knew that from my time in therapy.
    :)
    I'm adding you!
    -Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle and welcome to my blog. I'm so glad you found me through my friend Pat. He's one of my favorite buds in the blogging world. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. That means a lot to me. I see you are a kindred spirit!

      Be well!!

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