Women who love too much

Loving too much is an actual addiction for some people, as destructive as gambling and even alcohol. I’m learning about this addiction that affects so many women, leading to painful and destructive relationships.

There was a point in my life that I “loved too much” and for 18 months the relationship tore my heart out time and time again. I finally lost all my confidence and self-esteem, leading me to a world of constant insecurity and a complete lack of self-worth.  Luckily for me I’m fairly open-minded so I took myself off to see a therapist that specialises in this type of feeling within relationships. And thank god I did!  From that point on I was able to see that my desperation for a fairytale relationship was causing me to love too much, i.e. I was suffering from a ‘love addiction’.  With this ‘diagnosis’ and a true understanding of the effects I was finally able to let go and move as far away as possible from a man that had me on a piece of string for way longer than I should have allowed. Something I did simply because my eye was always on the happy ending and not actually on how awful he was making me feel in the present moment.



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Love addiction in a nutshell
The relationship usually begins with a bang. “Wow,” he thinks, “she’s perfect she cares so much, she makes me a better person”.  “Yes” she sighs, “I can really like this guy he really seems to adore me.” And from there begins a whirlwind of passion until reality sets in. Loving becomes loving too much when your partner is inappropriate, uncaring or emotionally unavailable and yet we are unable to give him up. In fact, we often try harder to please him, wanting him even more.

The men in these relationships are initially attracted to women whom they see as flawless, giving and loving saviours. They hope and pray that finally they’ve met the woman who can make up for all their pain and heal all their wounds and fill the hole that they feel is missing in there lives. (It all makes sense to me now when I recently dug out a letter he wrote after two weeks of being with him, I quote, “I am falling for you because” wait for it… “because you make me a better version of myself”.  There was my first warning sign – he wasn’t happy within himself!).  These men soon become bitter and disillusioned when they inevitably discover that yet another “woman of their dreams” cannot make them feel better about themselves. Soon they retract (pushing you away), causing the woman who loves too much to do anything in her power to rescue the relationship, to meet her need for the perfect fantasy fairytale. This is by far the most awful heart-wrenching position to be in.

It’s no coincidence that “these” men with issues choose “those” women who are generally giving, warm and loving women to be with. Realising that “these” men will never be fulfilled unless they acknowledge their behaviour, is the turning point for any women who are “loving too much”. At this point you can get your running trainers on and run for dear life!

All of us have will at one time in our lives love too much I’m sure. The problem arises when we move from one painful relationship to the next. Recognising the pattern of this addiction can take a long time but when you finally do you can do something about it.  You may need to spend time with a therapist, as I did, to build up your self esteem and confidence. The most important part of my therapy, after spending hours telling her my life story, was realising that “it wasn’t me”.  I look back at this period of my life now and cringe at the fact that, no matter how many times he rejected me, I still came running when he clicked his fingers. Where the heck was my self worth?!

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For women, some of the symptoms of “loving too much” are:
* Being attracted to distant, troubled men who need your help.
* Neglecting friends and your own personal interests to be available for your man.
* Feeling empty without him, though being with him is often a disaster.
* Staying with the relationship, even though it may jeopardise your physical and/or emotional well-being.
* Fantasising about how perfect it could be, i.e. the ‘fairytale ending’

If this rings a bell for you, then I would recommend reading a book called “Women who love to much”, and another great book is “Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl”. I couldn’t understand why he said he loved me but no matter how wonderful I was being I couldn’t make him happy. Well reading these two books and having therapy made me realise “there is nothing wrong with me” and the relationship could NEVER work. Why? Because I could try, try and try again but until he was happy within himself even the most beautiful and flawless of women couldn’t fill his emptiness in the long term. I hope if he hasn’t found this out already that one day he will, because it’s a sad reality to think that he could be like this forever and end up on his own. Nobody should be alone.

It’s so sad to let go of the person you love so much but I promise you love is not meant to mean being constantly rejected and hurt!  There is a wonderful person out there that will embrace every good and bad part of you,  and here is the best bit – they wont reject you. So sit tight and enjoy the ride and make sure you never “love too much” again.

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10 comments

  1. Love your stuff Nicola. Please keep writing!

  2. I could have written this story myself! I have been in a 7.5 year relationship with a man whom I adore and love immensely. However, we spend hardly any time together and when we do he is upset about work, his grown son not calling, his appearance, his cars, his two houses, his two jet skis, his boat, and oh I could go on and on forever. He’s never happy. Never. Sure, he might laugh at something funny, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy and I always thought I was his saving grace – that I will make him happy. I will always be there for him when he calls, I will be uplifting and positive. Well after 7.5 years of this nonsense, I am exhausted. I’ve lost myself. Now I’m depressed, lonely, alone, gained weight, look 10 years older than I should and where is he? Flying home from yet another family function to which I have never been invited. Ugh, I’m just sick of this.

  3. [...] Nicola T blog: ‘Women who love too much’ (hellomagazine.com) [...]

  4. Hi – please recommend a support group for mothers (women) who love too much- I live in Cape Town South Africa -close to southfield – thank you

    • Mornay Schoeman

      Hi – I live in Cape Town and am also looking for a support group around this topic. Maybe if there isn’t one we should think about starting one. If you have found a group could you please let me know about it. Regards

    • I’d be most grateful if you could let your readers know of my recovery coaching work (I coach women who love and care too much to work on their most important relationship… the one they have with themselves) and also blog about my own experiences of loving too much….

      http://www.positivefootsteps.co.uk/women_who_love_too_much/

      Thank you for bringing this issue to light. So many women have yet to discover that there is a way through this :)

      Warm wishes.
      Jane

  5. Hi, The women who love too much is the exact problem I faced & is yet facing after a legal divorce. It was a marriage which lasted for 15 years with lot of pain & depressions but yet with a hope that everything would be fine & he will love me again. Today I look back and realise my problem but I unfortunately reveal a fact that I still love the person who has been giving me immense pain. I think I enjoy getting hurt. I need ur advice. Pls help me.

  6. I’m an addiction recovery coach in the UK, specialising in working with women who love too much/’overcarers’/codependents. I am a recovering codependent myself and have worked with many women, assisting them to let go of loving too much. I’d also recommend Melody Beattie’s books (particularly ‘Codependent No More’) if you’re interested in working through codependency using a 12-step approach. For me, I’ve found I needed to work on the most important relationship I’ll ever have (and indeed, ever had)… the one I have with myself.

    Sending positive thoughts to all those women still searching for that fairytale ending… trying to right something which feels wrong. Be kind to yourselves and dedicate some of that energy to you and your own dreams now.

    Jane

  7. Thanks for your words, it helped me a lot to understand that I loved too much and there is nothing wrong with me. He needs to be happy with himself and that’s the truth. Well, thanks again, I am still recovering from the break up. He broke up with me because he was feeling unhappy and the bond that we used to have “wasn’t there anymore” he said. I am still devastated and shocked, but this definitely makes me feel so much better. He needs therapy and me too but far away from him.

    Regards,

    Roxy

  8. ” I can relate the Only reason im admitting this is because im stronger now. I allowed my pontential soul mate to see that i loved him too much. He was my bestfriend 6 years before sexs i helped him to get over a heart break nuture him but he broked my heart such a lier but he is my bestfriend i except him over him And never will i give us a chance. We are still bestfriends i jus hope that he can except this change i will be dating not rubbing in his face at all.

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