Addiction to work is one of the ways to avoid oneself something that pertains more to men and loving too much is the way to escape used mainly by women as Robin Norwood says in her best-seller “Women who love too much”.
The well-known American writer goes deep into the addictive behaviors that a great part of our population has. She points out to common soul illnesses like seeking others’ affection and recognition instead of raising one’s self-esteem and living a healthy relationship with ourselves without putting us under others’ demands to feel safe with their approval, denouncing our own genuine vision of life.
“People who love too much” are those who refuse themselves, attracting problematic relationships, living the way they were taught as children and recreating similar situations throughout their lives search time having someone take control over them. As Robin Noordwood says, we grow up following the roles given to us by our families until we are conscious to know the roles that make us unhappy and it is then when we are able to bring love into our life.
A common behaviour often portrayed in films and mass media is how desperate a person can get due to the lack of consolation that is expected from one’s partner. When we feel awful with ourselves we aren’t capable of loving ourselves that we need our partner to make us believe that we are worthy enough to care about. To be loved in such an obsessive way implies that we are fearful, something that we can overcome if we are capable of facing our real life style without self- deception.
It is very common to get obsessed with a partner and call it “love” letting this person control our emotions and a great part of our behavior and, even when we understand that this relationship has a negative influence in our health and our wellbeing, feeling incapable to free ourselves from that, something Noordwood discusses a lot in her book.
To get out of a dysfunctional relationship just to bounce back to another immature and unsatisfactory relationship in order to block our deeper feelings from childhood is a way to escape reality something common in our society nowadays, in which all it does is increase the great divorce rates.
Another common role nowadays is paying more attention to the wellbeing of others than to ourselves. This is something that women tend to do more frequently, representing the role of “a savior”, by trying to change others to whom they would like them to be not paying attention to who they really are. Instead they should look into their inner-self and transform it for better.
Those people who love too much attach themselves to those who need love. They identify themselves with their pain and try to ease it to diminish their own pain in order to find the real meaning of their life which they think is about someone needing them. On the other hand, the majority of men that have been injured in their childhood do not have that tendency to develop addictive relationships but do get obsessed with their jobs through which they look for recognition as a way to get rid of their inner pain.
Therefore, placing our happiness in the hands of others avoiding our ability and responsibility to improve our own life just separates us more and more from our soul by adding new layers.
We should embrace solitude; we are born alone and we die alone so it’s important to understand that we will always be alone with ourselves in some way which is something that should be taken as a nice gift, not as torture.Accepting solitude only implies the new birth of the great pain from the past combined with the present. Learning to admit our fears, our pain and our unsatisfied needs instead of worrying about others’ needs and demands, as Erich Fromm highlights in his book “The art of loving”, are the keys of maintaining the spirit’s peace and self-acceptance and developing our self-esteem.
To love others we should start learning how to love ourselves and start to reprogram our lives to lead a healthier life, with satisfaction, in peace, and without depending on others to be happy.
Some hints to stop loving too much are trying to have healthy, mature, honest relationships, not being manipulative, setting limits and allowing to enjoy real intimacy with the other person. Finally the most important is to learn to love ourselves, a life long task for us all.