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In the last section, we discussed the Road Blocks of Self Delusions about leaving, Fear, and Loss of Financial Stability many battered women face that postpone their decision stuck in addictive love.
In this section, we will discuss how battered women often fall into this cycle of addictive love.
As you know, addictive, non-nurturing love in battering relationships is often learned. Battered women have often been taught from a very young age that love will bring her elated and happy feelings. When a woman values herself less and feels she needs a greater and greater amount of love, her love has become addictive. Have you found, like I, that battered women in addictive love are certain they cannot; nor do they even want to survive without their partner's love, let alone leave?
♦ Three Stages in the "Cycle of Addiction"
An example of a battered woman who has fallen into the trap of addictive love is Kristy, a 26-year old accountant, who recently became involved with a co-worker, Bryan. Kristy stated, "We were together all day, every day except for when we went to work. Then Bryan started to get irritated with me, like he didn't want to be around me as much. If the least little thing went wrong, like once we ran out of toilet paper, Bryan just blew up. When I was younger I thought that under the right circumstances love would flower. I used to think that everything could be changed, that love could conquer all."
As you can see, Kristy was taught at a young age to anticipate the feelings of elation and happiness from a relationship. This made Kristy very vulnerable to addictive love with Bryan. Kristy's degree of vulnerability related directly to the extent to which she had been taught that love brings elated, happy feelings.
However, battered women are not the only ones who experience this. As you know, battering men often fall into the trap of addictive and dependent love, as well, which has a major impact on the women's ability to leave. These battering men are extremely jealous and feel the need to control each aspect of their partner's life. The battering man's fear of abandonment may lead him to physically and emotionally abuse his partner in an effort make her unable and unwilling to escape. This, in turn, makes the addicted woman more dependent, helpless, and reluctant to leave. Think back to times you've treated clients like these. How did you help them resolve their issues?
What do you do to inform your client about Addictive Love relationships? Kristy benefited from learning four Nurturing Love Basics. As I read these Basics, think of your Kristy and how these may help her to begin to release herself from her cycle of Addictive Love and facilitate her decision to stay or leave..
♦ Learning Four Nurturing Love Basics
In this section, we have discussed the Cycle of Addictive Love that many battered women, and battering men, often fall into. We have also outlined four Nurturing Love Basics that can help you client to further assess they self-delusions about their relationship. Would it be beneficial for you to take a portion of your next session to educate your battered client about addictive love and the basics of nurturing love? If so you might replay this 7 minute tack just prior to you session. To survive her Addictive Love your battered client my need some Life Preserves.
In the next two sections we will be discussing three Life Preservers battered women
utilize in order to cope with the violence and gain new perspectives on leaving.