You’re My Obsession: How to Recover from an Addictive Relationship

Close-up photo of young adult leaning over journal while sitting outdoors and writing Are you in an addictive relationship with someone? Would you like to break free from your bondage and feel inner peace? Do you want to stop the obsessions, break the cycle of seeming insanity, and take back your life?

Then read on.

Addictions come in many forms. An addiction to a person involves obsessive thoughts about the relationship, feelings of hope, anticipation, waiting, confusion, and desperation. Addictive relationships are toxic and very powerful.

Healthy relationships do not involve constant drama and continual feelings of longing. Healthy relationships just are. When in a nonaddictive relationship, you simply know your loved one is available to you. You do not have to wonder, wait, or live in turmoil over your last or next encounter.

The first step in recovery is to face the truth. Identify your toxic person as the “drug” of sorts you are addicted to. Before you can break any addiction, you need to own the reality you have one. Acknowledgment is the beginning of your journey toward recovery.

To help you face the truth, get out your writing pad and begin the process. Start by writing the following:

  • Identify your feelings regarding your addictive relationship.
  • Identify the relationship “crazy cycle.” For instance: anticipation – encounter – momentary bliss – confusion – departure – longing – despair. This is just an example; identify the cycle within your own relationship.
  • Write down what is being fulfilled in your addictive relationship (a sense of belonging, feeling wanted, etc.). Notice the temporary “fix” you encounter when you are with your person; identify the “promise” or “hope” temporarily being fulfilled.
  • Write down the common obsessive thoughts you have regarding your person.

Once you have faced the truth, commit to yourself to live in the truth—to live in reality, no matter the cost. Recovery requires living in truth over living in fantasy. Addictive relationships are fantasies. You are in love with what you wish the person was, not what they are.

You are addicted to the brain chemistry attached to the anticipation and traumatic bonding surrounding the relationship. Because the relationship is so utterly unfulfilling, you are left with a constant state of emptiness, which is temporarily assuaged with each encounter with your object of obsession (the person).

It is a vicious cycle.

Once you have identified your thoughts, feelings, and patterns in your relationship, it is time begin abstention (if you haven’t already done so). You must abstain from your addiction. You can abstain in one of two ways:

  1. Abstain from the relationship completely (no contact); this includes texts and social media.
  2. Abstain from and emotional entanglements; this requires detachment.

This will be a very difficult part of your journey. The brain chemicals released when trying to detach are vastly different from the neurotransmitters and hormones released when you are with your loved one. The main chemical released during times of stress (including emotional stress) is cortisol. Any trigger (such as the loss of a loved one) releases chemicals from the noradrenergic system (which includes the release of cortisol and norepinephrine).

As you face another emotionally dysregulating departure from your loved one, your stress system goes into high gear, releasing stress chemicals in your body, which motivates you to “do something about this!” As you anticipate the relief from the stress, your brain releases chemicals such as dopamine, which offer that positive feeling of anticipation. You have entered the craving part of your addiction.

In order to break an addiction, you need to realize you are fighting these chemical responses. This means you will not feel good for a while. But rest assured, if you can abstain from responding to your brain chemistry, you can get through these tough times and your neurotransmitter system will eventually come to rest at a state of equilibrium.

Some suggestions for what to do while you are in this “craving cycle”:

  • Find a positive diversion or distraction—gardening, walking, meditating, or any other healthy activity.
  • Do something nonaggressively physical, such as hiking, biking, jogging, weight lifting, etc.
  • Connect with someone healthy. Talk to a close friend and let them know how you really feel.
  • Write in your journal. Journaling is effective for releasing uncomfortable emotions. Write how you feel and what you want. Encourage yourself in your journal.
  • Create positive mantras to help you get through the craving cycle. Encourage yourself and don’t allow yourself to obsess on self-defeating thoughts.
  • Write a list of all the reasons your addictive relationship/person is bad for you. It is easy to focus on what you miss when you are experiencing feelings of emptiness, but if you can focus on the negative aspects of your relationship, you can gird yourself up with reality.

Understand you cannot change anyone but yourself. Stop focusing on how the other person needs to change. You have no power over other people, and wishing others would change only serves to keep you hooked into a destructive pattern of waiting.

Understand you cannot change anyone but yourself. Stop focusing on how the other person needs to change. You have no power over other people, and wishing others would change only serves to keep you hooked into a destructive pattern of waiting.

The best thing you can do to help yourself on your journey of healing is to be proactive and set up a plan of emotional health “bottom-line behaviors” for yourself.

Here are some personal principles you can internalize to help you do just that:

  • I will trust my intuition.
  • I will no longer participate in no-win conversations.
  • I will no longer participate in impossible situations.
  • If I feel bad around someone, I will remove myself.
  • I will no longer make every decision a crisis.
  • I will live one day at a time.
  • I will learn to reframe negative experiences. In other words, I will look for the “silver lining” in all situations.
  • I will learn how to manage my emotions rather than have them control me.
  • I will take my power back.
  • I resolve to believe in myself.
  • If I feel emotionally unstable, I will connect with a safe person, not the object of my obsession.
  • I will have self-compassion.
  • I will honor and pay attention to my feelings.

Recovery from any addiction, including a relationship addiction, is hard but worthwhile work. You can do this through perseverance, hope, self-discovery, and grace. The best way to accomplish any long-term goal is to do it one step and one day at a time. Don’t scare yourself by thinking beyond today. Live each day as it comes and take the next indicated step on your journey to healthy living.

For compassionate guidance, seek the support of a licensed therapist in your area.

© Copyright 2017 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Sharie Stines, PsyD, Topic Expert

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Raven

    April 20th, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    It can totally be scary to be the object of someone’s obsession, and you know that no matter where you are they are probably watching you.
    I had this one guy that the only way to get him to stop was to actually go and get a restraining order out against him, and I think that that is the only thing that saved me from him.
    I know that there are plenty of guys who wouldn’t even have been scared off by that but luckily he was and I hope to never hear from him again.

  • Jackie

    April 22nd, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    Great way to shame people who are struggling with this issue. And way to miss the point. The article isn’t about people who are labeled as “dangerous” stalkers. It’s about people who are trapped in cycles of unhealthy relationship patterns and are ultimately in an unbalanced, unfulfilling relationship. The word “obsession” doesn’t mean that someone is dangerous. So let’s clear that up and have some respect for people who are trying to be happy.

  • Renae

    May 11th, 2017 at 10:42 PM

    Thank you for explaining the article to counter that response. Learning to believe in yourself after being in a Toxic relationship is not easy. Most people have had an emotionally abusive relationship early in their lives which blindly attracts them to the toxic relationship. No, it isn’t easy.

  • Sarah

    June 12th, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    Very much agree!

  • Steve

    August 23rd, 2018 at 7:58 AM

    Thank you, Jackie. I am one the guys suffering terribly and reading this article for healthy ways to let go. NOT tips on how to stalk … nothing in the article even suggests that.

  • Jeb

    April 21st, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    For some reason I have always gotten so enmeshed with the women that I date. I get hooked on them so fast and even when there is no reason to be so in love with them, that’s what it winds up feeling like to me, and quickly. And then when they break it off inevitably it is hard for me to let them go. I don’t want to be this possessive person but that’s how they all tell me that I start acting even though I don’t ever see it that way. What can I do to change this pattern?

  • Sarah

    June 12th, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Typically all the issues we have in our current relationships somehow relate back to childhood and how you didn’t get something you needed from your parents or one of your parents. I didn’t get enough validation from my mom. The best thing to do would be to explore this with a therapist who is trained in picking up on where our relationship issues come from.

  • Tobias

    April 24th, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    hoping that everyone can make it out of these relationships safely

  • Olivia

    April 24th, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Why can’t we just acknowledge that these relationships are generally very abusive and manipulative and to say otherwise would be wrong. This is not behavior that should be excused, and yes they need help, but don’t let them off the hook quite so lightly.
    In many cases relationships with this kind of addictive edge can become quite dangerous to the other partner, and it isn’t cute and sweet but quite scary actually.

  • Lillian S

    April 27th, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    My ex boyfriend has made me very scared to even leave the house. I am pretty sure that he is stalking me if not in person then at least online. Everywhere I go he tends to either be there or at least he knows that I am there. I have tried talking to him but it is of no use, he denies that he is following me or doing anything wrong. I don’t want to cause a scene but at the same time he is making me a little jittery.

  • The Team

    April 27th, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Hi Lillian,

    Thank you for your comment. We wanted to provide you with links to some resources that may be helpful to you. We have more information about stalking at and additional information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Whitney

    July 4th, 2017 at 9:13 AM

    This relationship I am thinking about had its ups and downs but I was never threatened or felt afraid. I was generally very happy. I only became addicted to it once we broke up. The loss of him hurt me really bad so that was the only way I could cope.

  • Louise

    July 16th, 2017 at 3:31 AM

    Thanks for this article – which eloquently describe the problem, then goes on to outline a solution. I believe exploring attachment theory and disruptions can also be helpful to understand the causes and to find compassion for the self if caught in this web of “longing”. The only way out is through but recovery is possible with hard work and willingness.

  • Mike

    November 7th, 2019 at 10:35 AM

    This article really hits home. I am married and met another woman. We never had sex but we were emotionally attached to each other. She has continued to break it off and disappear for a time over the six years we have known each other. She just did it again two days ago after she “came back” two weeks ago. I honestly can’t count the number of times she has done this. Each time it is a different reason but usually because she feels it is immoral, which it is. Each time she goes it destroys me just a little worse than the last time but I keep taking her back and chasing after her begging to come back. I make no excuses for emotionally cheating on my wife but this other woman gives me something I just don’t get from her. My wife is not the warmest person and a person that really likes to talk much. I feel so lonely all the time. I know all of these issues are my problem and I wish I could figure out how to get over them but I have tried for so long and have had very little success. At times lately I just wish I would die in my sleep so I didn’t have to feel the pain I feel anymore. I know this is more that what the article talked about but I do get the point of it. I am in a vicious cycle that NEEDS to stop. Sorry for going on for so long.

  • Sabrina4

    November 13th, 2019 at 9:34 AM

    Mike do you mind if I ask – have you considered leaving your wife for this other woman ? I’m not saying that as advice – just trying to get an idea of your state of mind. Would there be a possibility of a future relationship with this other woman ? or is she too in a long term relationship?

  • Mike

    November 13th, 2019 at 3:22 PM

    Hi Sabrina,
    To answer your question we both considered, at least she said she did, leaving our spouses to be together. At this point though I have zero intention of doing so. The more I have gotten to know her the less I would do that or even like her anymore. At this point, frankly, I like my wife more than her. That is why I hot my head against the wall as to why I keep chasing after her. The problem is that this other woman does offer things, not sexual, that I so wish I had in my wife. My wife shares very few interests in common with me which is hard to deal with at this point. Other than sex and watching some TV together there is very little that we like to do together. At times I wish I just had someone else to hang with, go to football games with and just generally enjoy their company. I have guy friends to do that with but it just isn’t the same. I know that may make very little sense but it is how I feel. I guess I just want the whole package.

  • Cindy

    December 27th, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    I am in exactly the same situation. Married and love my husband but emotionally attached to someone who had kept coming back after telling me that he shouldn’t and can’t message me. He finally broke it off last week and I just can’t stop thinking about him.

  • Sabrina4

    December 28th, 2019 at 4:39 PM

    Cindy are you ok ? Heartbreak is one of the most painful human emotions. I wonder if Good Therapy would allow us to exchange email addresses ?

  • Sabrina4

    December 7th, 2019 at 8:10 AM

    Hi Mike – I understand and I can totally relate. You are not alone in thinking this way. How many spouses – including ourselves – could be EVERYthing to another person – sexually and otherwise – that would be impossible – we are only human after all. I respect monogamy I’m just not sure if it ever should have become the ‘norm’ since so many humans are not able to stick with that level of commitment for an entire lifetime. The other woman may be breaking it off and making herself scarce often …… because she loves you chasing after her ……. it’s the scarcity principle ….. we often want what we think we can’t have. As I mentioned – you’re not alone – many people feel the way you do – you’re just brave enough to discuss it. Good luck my friend – stay strong. 😊

  • Mike

    December 9th, 2019 at 8:37 AM

    Thank you Sabrina I think you are totally right. I try and stay strong, I really do. I can’t begin to tell you how much I would love just a normal person in my life that I feel safe with. I assume you are in the same situation or have been due to your understanding. If so, I am sorry.

  • Cindy

    January 5th, 2020 at 2:19 PM

    I hope you’re doing ok Mike and that you’re staying strong?

  • Cindy

    December 29th, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Hi Sabrina

    I’m ok – just really struggling to get him out of my head. As I said, I love my husband very much but this guy was like a drug. It’s so hard to break the habit of checking his social media etc

  • Sabrina4

    January 12th, 2020 at 10:55 AM

    Hi Cindy – glad to hear you’re ok. Is this something you’ve been able to discuss with your husband – does he know ? Sending strength.

  • Cindy

    January 14th, 2020 at 12:00 PM

    Hi, no he’s not aware. I’m just trying to get through it. Keep telling myself – this too shall pass.

  • Mike

    January 13th, 2020 at 9:05 AM

    Hi Cindy and thank you for the well wishes, I wish you the same. The woman is still here but funny enough I find myself losing interest over time. I guess the big reason is it seems our relationship has stalled at a certain level and has never moved on. The life I have with my wife is so lonely and in truth I desire the “real” thing and so much more than I have with this other woman. But I do understand how you describe him like a drug. It has felt like that for so long and I have just reached a state of bitterness and despair. If it were not for my kids I would be gone so fast you would hear the sonic boom across the country! I hope you are doing better and I wish I had good advice for you but I keep running back too. :( If you ever need to talk let me know.

  • Cindy

    January 18th, 2020 at 11:03 AM

    Hi Mike
    Good to hear from you. Do you mind me asking – are you and the other woman are still together? Just with you saying that’ she’s still around.
    I haven’t heard anything from the other guy since just after Christmas. I messaged him yesterday (I was drunk!) but he’s not replied. I feel so foolish. I want to lose interest as you describe but it’s not getting any easier. How did it happen for you?
    Stay strong

  • Mike

    January 21st, 2020 at 9:17 AM

    Hi Cindy,
    I can’t really say we are still “together” but we do still talk. I am not really sure how I got over her but I will say I am not interested at all in being with her anymore. I can’t really say it was something I did more than just time took away my interest. How are things with your husband? I had a friend tell me that if it were not for the fact I were married and could find someone else this girl would have been out of my life a long time ago. In truth she just became less and less the person I wanted or thought she was as the years went on. If you ever want to chat let me know. I can definitely feel where you are coming from and can be a friend. :)

  • Mike

    January 27th, 2020 at 1:51 PM

    I totally get that Cindy. Let me ask you, if you had the opportunity to have a physical affair with this man yet stay with your husband, would you?

  • Cindy

    January 27th, 2020 at 2:04 PM

    Hi Mike
    Honestly? Yes I think I would. I think the only reason we haven’t is because we don’t live in the same city and he has a partner too. He messages me – it goes down a really sexually explicit route – he then feels guilty and tells me he can’t do it because he loves his girlfriend – then a few weeks later it happens again… as I say – vicious circle.

    Part of me wonders if I should just have sex with him to ‘get it out of my system’ but know that is not the answer.

    Just can’t walk away. I’m so weak!

  • Sabrina4

    January 29th, 2020 at 8:13 AM

    Hi Cindy I was in the same situation as you almost exactly and thought the same regarding ‘get it out of my system’ …… well that backfired and I fell in love. Now I’m going thru the process of breaking up since there’s no future there and I’m completely heartbroken. Just warning you that this could happen and it’s extremely emotionally painful.

  • Mike

    January 29th, 2020 at 1:24 PM

    That is rough Sabrina, I am sorry. I guess that have become kind of jaded and just feel that love is a lie, at least romantic love. I see so many people in so much pain these days due to their relationships or lack thereof.

  • Mike

    January 27th, 2020 at 2:18 PM

    You aren’t weak you are human and something inside you needs more. If you don’t mind me asking where are both of you?

  • Cindy

    January 27th, 2020 at 4:06 PM

    We are both in the UK. But and hour and half drive from each other. We used to work for the same organisation which is how we met

  • Cindy

    January 27th, 2020 at 4:36 PM

    We are both in the UK, but 1 and a half hours drive from each other. We worked for the same organisation (just in different offices) which is where we met. He no longer works there

  • Cindy

    January 28th, 2020 at 5:42 AM

    We are both in the UK but an hour and half drive from each other. We used to work for the same organisation which is how we met. He no longer works there

  • Mike

    January 28th, 2020 at 10:13 AM

    Hmmm, I guess I am weird but 1.5 hours isn’t that far but it is probably good that you feel it is. I have been told that Americans are weird that way. LOL I wish I had a good answer for you. If you really want to get rid of him change your number and you have to be strong and not contact him. But I am CERTAINLY no example of that. Do you feel it is strictly sexual or does he meet an emotional need that your husband does not?

  • Cindy

    January 28th, 2020 at 11:44 AM

    Yes I suppose the size of the USA is much different to the UK! 😀

    It’s completely sexual. We are so sexually compatible it’s unreal. Our relationship situations are both very similar too. Both love our partners but missing something that we get from each other.

  • Mike

    January 28th, 2020 at 1:12 PM

    Well I can tell you the “right” thing to do but I can also tell you what I know you want to do and what I would want to do in your situation. Please don’t get me wrong, I do feel that adultery is immoral and wrong. With that said I TOTALLY get it and want passion and excitement in my life so desperately. With that said I think our situations are a bit different in that my relationship with my wife sucks and is terribly lonely and wont change.

  • Cindy

    January 28th, 2020 at 3:33 PM

    Do you mind me asking why you know it won’t change?

  • Mike

    January 29th, 2020 at 8:16 AM

    I guess after 23 years of the same thing you just know it wont change. She also feels there is nothing wrong with how she does things and it is all my fault.

  • Cindy

    January 29th, 2020 at 3:09 PM

    Do you have anyone to talk to? Happy to be a listening ear.

  • Mike

    January 30th, 2020 at 8:03 AM

    Yes to a point. I guess I don’t really have someone that I can be completely honest and open with because I do feel embarrassed about it all. For me right now I so want the “happiness” of having a true partner in life. I have no belief that I will ever have that.

  • Cindy

    February 1st, 2020 at 3:07 PM

    You shouldn’t feel embarrassed on here. We are all in the same boat. Happy to chat through and you can be as open and honest as you want – no judgement.
    I’ve taken the decision today to cut contact with the other guy and not respond if he messages me. It’s gonna be so so hard but I’ve got to do it. As it’s slowly tearing me apart inside. Day one starts here.

  • Cindy

    January 30th, 2020 at 8:50 AM

    Hi Sabrina
    Sorry I missed your comment earlier. That sounds really tough. How did the other guy respond?

  • Sabrina4

    January 30th, 2020 at 7:08 PM

    Hi Cindy –
    Well he doesn’t want to let me go …… and like you say …. he’s like a drug to me and I don’t like to feel like any other human being has that kind of control over my emotions – it’s crazy ! So I’m fighting really hard to keep away ….. only time will tell – we haven’t spoke now in 8 days and I’m trying not to initiate contact. Same as you ….. love our partners but getting something from each other that we must be missing. I’m not a bad person …… I feel like developing feelings for another person is involuntary….. we’re only human. Are you still in touch with the other man ?

  • Cindy

    January 31st, 2020 at 3:02 PM

    Well done. 8 days is brilliant. Keep it up.
    I heard from him last Friday/Saturday. We chatted – but we just go round in circles. He says he can’t keep in touch – loves his g/f – feels guilty – shouldn’t message me but can’t help it. Then I don’t hear from him for a few weeks. Then we go through it all again.

  • trevor

    February 11th, 2020 at 9:02 AM

    we are both married but are no longer in love with spouses, both have kids. we are 20 years apart (50-30) and are both addicted to each other. the sex is incredible, we share all our thoughts and want to spend every minute possible together. i have read a lot on addictive relationships but not seen anything on what happens when both are addicted. thx and good luck to all!

  • Candy

    May 11th, 2020 at 10:19 PM

    If you don’t mind me asking, is there anything else besides sex that a 20 year gap between man/woman share?

  • C

    August 16th, 2020 at 1:35 AM

    I just realized I’m totally addicted to someone. He got me hooked. Increasingly got me to spend more and more time with him until I was dependent on him emotionally, we were seeing one another every day. He needed to know where I was at all times and he was checking my location via Snapchat maps obsessively. If I took too long to communicate with him, he would be upset and feel ignored. He was very needy and required a lot of attention to the extent my own children (as a single mom) started to feel a bit neglected. Yet I still cast all cares aside and acted recklessly to spend as much time as possible with this person, intoxicated by his need for me. It’s sick, the way people cultivate your need for them based on their own neediness and lack of wholeness. Then when they decide they have had enough.. they can leave you in the ruins.

  • Donna

    November 14th, 2020 at 6:42 PM

    I am addicted to a man. He likes me a lot, I’m in love. I move way too fast in a relationship every time. I’ve only had a few relationships in the past and only one of them was mostly healthy for awhile (maybe?) – I married him and 6 1/2 years later he left me for another woman. I was on my own raising my young son. This was 30 years ago. I’ve been with a couple of men since then, but none in a REAL relationship – each already had another woman in their lives. I met this current man on an online dating service. He’s single, unattached but after we started dating (with a couple of missteps since then) he said he wasn’t sure what he wanted. He wanted to date, but to take it slow and didn’t know what he ultimately wanted. I know he’s had a couple of failed relationships including a 25 year marriage. I figure he’s scared. Up until a little over a year ago, in the last 20 years or so, I hadn’t even WANTED a man in my life. I had been on my own for so many years I didn’t think I could tolerate living with someone else (my adult son lives with me – that’s another story!) I wasn’t interested in sex in any way and the thought of dealing with someone’s idiosyncrasies did not appeal to me. Then I had bariatric surgery, lost a ton of weight and am much happier with myself than I’ve been in a LONG time. Decided to “try” dating. This man was the 2nd man I dated and I was smitten from the start. He was the opposite of what I typically think I’m attracted to – tattoos, pony tail, wears a bandana on his head, tie dye and cammo. He’s very easy going and is pot smoking hippie :-) The sexiest man I’ve ever known. I’m addicted to him. He’s done nothing wrong except tell me, when asked, that he’s not looking to get married and is not sure what he wants but is in no hurry to get there. I don’t think that’s toxic. He’s honest and has always been. He’s never tried to coerce me to spend time with him. He says he enjoys my company as I do his. I’m in love, he’s not. It’s only been 9 months that we’ve been seeing each other. The few times I’ve brought up the subject of the future he’s kinda freaked out and laid low by not contacting me a few days. After we talk about it, he wants to keep seeing me. I have in no way ever begged him to be with me. But because there’s been these few missteps, I’m constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even with Covid we do things together. He’s a rock hound and I really like digging for Herkimer crystals with him. We love the same music and had planned on going to concerts this past summer. We like to snuggle on the couch and watch TV. He’s not much interested in sex (we waited a while before we first did it because we wanted to see if the relationship was based on mutual like and not sex). And we talk, ALOT. We have sex a couple times per month. He says it’s been that way for him for the last several years. Unfortunately, I’m VERY interested in sex and want it more often. I’ve never had a problem with being turned down before, but he has many times. But that’s his prerogative, right? He is also not (as he refers to it as) touchie feelie – like I am. It’s come to my attention recently that he doesn’t really like being touched as much as I touch him and I never thought of too much of that. I honestly thought he never had anyone touch him the way I want to. Now, I’m not so sure that’s what it is. He’s probably really just not touchie feelie. My issues with him are that he’s not as affectionate as I might need. Not sure if this is just because I haven’t had anyone in my life for like forever or what. I guess many relationships aren’t spark filled all the time. But I’m obsessing about it. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thinking the worst. And then I get clingy. I hate that. I want to see him all the time. He’s not into that. We see each other 3-4 times a week. And our time together is fun. Sex is fun when we have it. But he’s very content on the days we are not together. And I don’t think he thinks about me anywhere near how much I think about him. And not only do I want to see him every day, I CRAVE the time for us to be together. I KNOW THIS IS NOT HEALTHY, but I can’t seem to figure out how to stop my brain. We could have a nice relationship. What I don’t understand about myself is that he’s not done anything TO me that should be considered toxic. BUT, I’m the one that makes all the arrangements to get together. I’ve been advised by well meaning friends to back off and let him make the plans. He’s a self proclaimed free spirit and doesn’t make plans. He lives day to day and goes with the flow. I make plans because I’m afraid HE WON’T. THAT is my issue. I’m afraid he won’t find me attractive, interesting or whatever enough to see me often. I think he’d still like to see me, but I don’t think he’d “plan” to often. We are very compatible in so many ways. I just don’t like my reaction to his “speed” in this relationship. I know the relationship has moved forward to some degree and I’m not sure why I think I NEED to know where it’s going right NOW, but it’s always on my mind. I AM obsessed. And I don’t like the way it makes my brain feel. I don’t WANT to end the relationship. I just want to learn how to change my thinking and NOT be obsessed, because my guess is that IF I were to date again if I ended this, then I would be the same way with the next guy. I want to handle my thought process better and NOT be obsessed WITH him. To enjoy when we’re together and be content when we’re not. Its not like a long time goes by between our time together. I really like him and being with him. I feel like a crazy person sometimes.

  • Sabrina4

    November 15th, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    Hi Donna – couple questions – does he know you’re addicted to him ……. is it just in your own mind – or do you tell him that …… or make it obvious to him ? Also are you seeing each orher exclusively…. or does he date other women as well ? I tend to agree with your friends advice – pull back a bit for awhile – like at least a couple months and let him come to you. He may not for the first couple weeks but stick it out – and if he really likes you – he’ll come around – and if he doesn’t…… that’s good to know too ……. then you know it’s purely a one sided relationship and you don’t want that. If you stay in a one sided relationship you’ll be miserable forever…….. and feeling rejected/unwanted/unloved ……F that ….. that’s no way to live. Anyways try it out and see what happens. Give us an update ! Sending virtual hugs. 🤗

  • Mike

    November 18th, 2020 at 5:58 PM

    I am really sorry for everything that you are feeling right now. I know only too well how you feel and just how much it really hurts. While reading your post I saw time after time where you said that you were “obsessed” with this man. I don’t think you are obsessed with him as much as you are insecure with him. The feelings you are describing sound more like fear to me than obsession. In truth it doesn’t sound like he makes you feel that good. He also doesn’t sound like he is meeting any of your desires for a partner. It sounds like you will constantly be having to settle for most of what you DON’T want in order to get very little of what you do. I wish I could give you the perfect advice on how to let go and just forget him. In truth you may never totally forget him but from the outside it seems to me that you should let go and find what you do want. No no one can ever make us happy and frankly it isn’t their job to do so, nor is it fair to ask them to do so. But that doesn’t mean we should also purposely put people in our lives that make us hurt. I have no doubt there is someone out there that will bring more joy into your life than this man. Someone that brings what this guy brings but the other things you desire as well. Keep your chin up and have faith, I am rooting for you.

  • Donna

    November 19th, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    Sabrina4 & Mike
    Thank you both for your responses. When I wrote this message, I was in a very dark place – I suffer from anxiety and depression and take medication for it. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by my own mind and over thinking. I’m normally a very healthy, strong person – except when it comes to relationships. I get ALOT of good from him. He’s sweet, unselfish and very giving in many ways. And we have a ton of things in common and we’ve had a lot of fun together so far, despite COVID. We planned many activities early this year, but haven’t been able to do much of them due to the pandemic.
    No, I haven’t told him that I’m addicted. And I don’t THINK I’ve shown him that I am as I don’t want to scare him off. Maybe as Mike said, it’s not an obsession either. It is definitely fear. Mostly from past experiences. I do have low self esteem when it comes to relationships as I’ve had nothing but crappy ones in the past. I don’t do well “picking” men. He does know I have anxieties and usually after talking about something I’m feeling better with the communication of whatever issue we might have.
    We recently talked about the touching issue. He understands where I’m coming from and said he would try harder to be more cognizant of my needs. He said he doesn’t mind me touching him. It’s just never been something he’s used to doing/receiving.
    We are exclusive, I wouldn’t date him if there was a possibility of anyone else. We discussed this in the very beginning. Both of us believe strongly in being faithful.
    I have decided that I do want to continue seeing him as long as we can communicate about what we want. If I get to the point of feeling lousy all the time in this relationship, then I will consider breaking it off. For now, I do enjoy being with him.
    Thank you again for your responses. I truly do appreciate them.

  • Joy

    November 23rd, 2020 at 11:10 PM

    Been in this situation and I want to stop but can’t. Been addicted to this man. We are 22 yrs apart but I got myself so hooked on him. Initially he led me on but now he barely have time to respond to chats. I want to stop needing him. How do I start

  • Mike

    November 24th, 2020 at 8:26 AM

    That is really tough and the hardest parts are still to come. The first step you need to take is to make up your mind that you are done and WANT to move on. Next, delete and block in every way possible this man from your life and don’t look back. Both of those sound easier than they are in reality but they are possible if you want to. It is much like a drug addict, until they decide they want to change all the therapy in the world wont help. You didn’t mention much about your situation so I cannot comment directly on specifics. But you need to work to get him out of your heart and out of your life. And be prepared for him to suddenly start contacting you after you stop with him. I am sure he loves to feel like he is being chased and in control. It is a messed up control game that I know all too well. If you want to post more about what is going on please do so. Just know that everyone is worthy of a healthy, loving, relationship. And being obsessed with someone is neither healthy or loving.

  • Sabrina4

    November 25th, 2020 at 4:00 PM

    Hi Mike – haven’t talked to you in a while and wondering how you’re doing ? After 2.5 years I’m just starting ‘no contact’ again …… but getting this person out of my heart is not gonna happen. I have to accept the fact that I may always have strong feelings for him …… but have to live without him. Were you able to emotionally detach from the other woman ? And if so – how did you do it …… I’m sure it was excruciatingly painful ….. hugs 🤗

  • Mike

    November 30th, 2020 at 12:09 PM

    Hi Sabrina,
    Congrats on working to get him out of your life. She isn’t out of my life but we don’t talk much and the feelings I have for her aren’t much any more. The only reason I make any attempt to talk to her at this point is the situation with my wife. I am more lonely than I have ever been and don’t see that changing until I divorce. So, when it gets really bad I reach out to this other woman. Other than that she holds no major interest for me anymore. If anything she has become part of the big ball of anger I feel towards my wife. Ha ha. I am glad you working to get away from him. No matter what we are both in toxic relationships that we need to get away from.


  • Joy

    November 30th, 2020 at 10:03 PM

    Thank you for your comments. He is a much senior colleague. We do not work at the same place but we pretty have to work together virtually due to the nature of the work. We met about 18 months ago, we stay in different cities so chances of physical meeting are limited but we did meet once or twice in the past months. Oh yes I am married to a great guy but I sincerely didn’t know how I got so messed up with this much older man. At first he seemed so very patient and understanding. I started with him about the time I lost my dad although we had been working together before then. But on that particular evening he was the one I reached out to and something shifted for us. Gradually he started to confess love and attraction and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. He will tell me how cold his wife was ( I really was not interested in having him as a partner and so tried to encourage him with her). We were good for about a year until the ghosting started and I realized he mattered more to me than I am willing to admit. Oh yeah I forgot the relationship is very sexual although we do not stay close. I am so messed !!! and I want to be free.

  • Mike

    December 1st, 2020 at 8:21 AM

    I’m sorry for what you are going through. You say it is very sexual, does that mean you have had sex when you have met or just cyber. One is more difficult to deal with than the other. If you have not had sex please don’t, it will make things more difficult for you. Not to go all Freud on you but are you looking at this “much older” man as a father figure? That is my limit as a therapist. Ha ha There is freedom, even though you don’t think there is. You have to be willing to sacrifice and hurt for it, something most of us on here have not been will to do (me included). Does your husband know about this man? Would he leave you if he did? If not then maybe you need his help to keep you honest?


  • Sabrina4

    December 1st, 2020 at 10:14 AM

    Hi Mike – sounds like you’re doing somewhat better these days …….at least you have the ‘addiction’ part of it under control – thank God ! I assume you’re waiting for children to grow up before divorcing. Take care – best of luck – hugs 🤗

  • Joy

    December 2nd, 2020 at 4:10 AM

    Many thanks for your response. I do get encouraged reading these responses. I know I can pull through this and I am willing and ready to try. Opening up to my partner might be risky as I sincerely do not know how he will take this ( I know he will be devastated and I feel so bad for being such a disappointment even to my self) so I am gonna pull through this on my own. Today is the 5th day I deleted him on my social media ( I cannot do this on email as he is a colleague professionally and so I cannot completely get him off) I haven’t contacted him and this has not been easy but I am willing to regain my freedom ( I sincerely hope I can. I didn’t know how I got to this point !!). He did try to chat me and I did block him . This took a great effort on my side and I hope I can keep this up. I am glad that so far I have managed to keep a cool facade and my partner does not know my inner fights.
    Many thanks

  • Mike

    December 2nd, 2020 at 12:17 PM

    Thank you for the kind words. I “kind of” have the addiction problem under control. Ha ha, I guess it just doesn’t hurt like it used to. Still hurts but not as badly. I was going to wait until the kids were grown but I am pretty sure I wont now. Life is just too short to life in misery for another eight years. I am waiting until after the holidays and then I think I am going to file on her. Hope you are well and hugs back at you!


  • Joy

    December 5th, 2020 at 10:04 PM

    Dear Mike
    I am ashamed to admit this but I failed myself on the no contact stuff. After about 6 days of no contact the need to get in touch became so excessive and I did get in touch with him (Now I feel bad) he did respond. However, I know that I do not need his response as I want to be free of him. I need to be. How do I pull this off as I have started again today another no contact. I know I will be in the same place of need again in a few days but I want to stay strong during this detox period. Is there anything that can help. My partner is presently away on a work related trip and will be away for 15 days. There are no kids. How long will it take me to get completely off him. Maybe it will help me to continue to strive.


  • Mike

    December 8th, 2020 at 9:09 AM

    I am just going to be honest with you that it is going to be a difficult road ahead for you. I have been trying to get rid of the woman in my life for a very long time. But I look at it like a drug addict, until they WANT to beat it nothing will make them do so. Time is what heals these things, your desire not to quit and time. Right now this man is your crutch for something that is painful. What emptiness does he fill in you? What need or longing do you have that he fills? I know this may sound like psychobabble but I think it is true. Take an internal inventory today and start to learn about yourself.


  • Sabrina4

    December 8th, 2020 at 10:05 AM

    Hi Joy – I failed at no contact several several times …… don’t beat yourself up ….. just have self compassion and try again. What worked for me I would text myself whatever it was I wanted to say to him. I could text 40 times a day if need be …… just to get those feelings out and pressing send felt very satisfying. Sometimes the texts were angry, sometimes loving, and sometimes sad. If i had alot on my mind – I would send myself an email …… as if I was talking to him ….. I could go on and on and nobody would know. I could keep my dignity and self respect in tact but still express all those pent up feelings. I would also journal alot. The urge to text him still remains but it gets weaker and keep reminding yourself how bad you felt the last time. After 2 or 3 months …… you’ll be so proud of yourself and will never look back.

  • Joy

    December 11th, 2020 at 1:51 PM

    Hi Sabrina4
    Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement. Today is my 6th day after I initiated the no contact again and not so bad although still hard. Been quite busy for some days so this kind of helps to keep my mind occupied and I talk to myself and journal nowadays. I noted that as the days roll by I get kind of melancholic but I now know that these feelings are probably part of the withdrawal symptoms ( part of the reasons I failed the last time it was too hard on me). Presently I am taking it cool and try to exercise just to keep up activity and be happy knowing that this phase will pass if I hold on. I am also looking forward to my spouse return in a few weeks maybe this will help as well. It is very clear to me that I do not need this man or anyone to make me happy but even this realisation doesn’t seem to help much. I will hold on to reverse whatever chemical imbalance that have occurred over the months. It is quite refreshing writing it down as it kind of gives inner strength.
    I recently started asking myself what should I do if he ever tries to contact me. While I know that this shouldn’t concern me presently I guess inside me it will be satisfying. I do not want to give much thought to him anymore and I am hopeful I will get there. Thanks

  • Joy

    December 11th, 2020 at 2:13 PM

    Hello Mike
    Thanks for being so honest. It kind of helps to keep me mentally prepared for the bumpy road ahead for me. I am ready for this and I will take it one day at a time. I had always been a very independent person never letting anyone come very close emotionally. I have had crushes in the past but usually let my head lead me and never my heart. I have always been weary of depending on anyone. People kind of depend on me not the reverse. I guess it was very refreshing and exciting having someone to show part of me that has been suppressed for long. During my dad’s long journey with cancer I was the anchor to all family members partly because of my medical background. Dishing out instructions and being very practical with decisions and preparations for his eventual demise ( while hoping for a miracle break through in the field of cancer). While I understand clearly what is happening to me it was difficult for me to stop as the highs were very exciting. However I am willing to go through the hard lows to regain my freedom. I will not let the failures deter me and I will see how it goes.
    I really do appreciate your inputs and I will keep you up with my progress ( hopefully ) or failures ( I hope not).

  • cee

    January 4th, 2021 at 3:42 PM

    I stumbled upon this article and it was if the words applied to me directly. I am currently in a relationship and I am finally understanding that I am obsessed with this person. I always feel good when we are together but I cant seem to enjoy our time together as it is not enough time spent. He tells me I should understand that he’s running a business and when he gets home he’s tired. On the weekends, he has his child for a previous relationship which only leaves us to spend on 1 day a week together. In the beginning time was not an issue for us. We could not get enough of each other, which lasted about 6 months. Now I feel like I am fighting for his time to the point where I just resent him. I am constantly worried, upset, desperate for his attention. Once in awhile he will make plans for us to take a trip or one off day together which I get so excited but then things go back to normal. We are constantly getting into disagreement over the lack of time spent in the relationship. I am so unhappy but yet I am on holding on hoping that he will recognize my value and want to spend more time with me. I want to walk away but I just don’t know if I am over-reacting. Currently we are not speaking due to argument. In fact we haven’t spoken for the year and don’t know what do. I am constantly thinking about him and I am so upset that he hasn’t missed me enough to reach out to me. At the same time, I refuse to reach out to him, as may have guessed by now, I am always reaching out solve our issues. This time around as much as it hurts not hear his voice or see him, I just don’t want to be the one to break the ice once again.
    I appreciate reading all of the comments. It is all very helpful.

  • Mike

    January 5th, 2021 at 9:39 AM

    Reading what you have written here I laugh only because it is EXACTLY what I could have written myself. It is like looking into a mirror what you are going through. The woman I was close to is exactly like the man you are close to. I wish I could give you a perfect answer but the best I have is what I am beginning to realize about myself. For me the way I feel is a mixture of depression, insecurity and lack of self esteem. A person that loves and respects themselves wont put up with being treated poorly by another. I know I don’t love and respect myself, in fact, I hate myself. I have begun to realize that until I fix that it wont matter who I am with because they will never be able to give me enough to feel whole. And that is really what I was looking for, someone to make me love myself and feel whole. I think for myself I am on the right road for where I need to go. I am still married to a woman that sees spending time with me as a sacrifice and chore and has told me there is nothing good about me. I believed what she said and have wallowed in it for a very long time. After I am gone she wont have anyone to fill that potential desire so her loss. If I were you I would take an honest assessment of myself and what you are really looking for. Are you looking for someone to make your 100% life that much better or for someone to fill the holes you have inside yourself? I am always open to talk. Have a great one and take care of yourself.

  • James

    January 13th, 2021 at 10:43 AM

    wow, what a well written, structured and useful text, thank you for sharing
    i am in the midst of addiction withdrawal from my ex, and your approach is so well structured, i keep reading the article everyday as a reminder
    Thank You for putting this out there for the world to benefit from it – truly a real public service
    again, thank you, and well done

  • Julia

    January 13th, 2021 at 4:08 PM

    You guys are not alone. This also happened to me. I was in a very healthy long term relationship in a civil union. This guy approached me and after one day of talking, I fell for hard. Looking back it seemed purely sexual and we were terrible at communicating and expressing feelings. I confessed my desires and feelings for this new guy to my current partner and we opened up the relationship. Long story short I fell hard in love for this new guy and the sex was literally mind blowing. That is why I don’t recommend getting physical because the addiction would be harder to break. The problem is he was very emotionally closed off and he would ghost me leading me to do the same so it became very unhealthy just lots of sex. I couldn’t stop fantasizing about what that man he could be and it was putting a strain on my relationship with my primary partner. I just could not fathom why my heart would be so drawn to a player type energy when I had someone who met my every need. It was and still is very hard for me to get over him regardless of how he treated me, like a drug. I sort of understand why now. What helped me was the decision to stop and realizing that I shouldn’t need someone else to feel complete. I know he doesn’t deserve my love because I love hard and he is ultimately pretty selfish. I started to see how he really is and honestly don’t want to be with a person like that no matter how good the sex is. Sometimes I feel like he was put into my life to revaluate myself and bring issues I needed to work on with myself to the surface. Since then, I started to work on my shadow side and heal my inner child to find peace. I also don’t beat myself up for still feeling certain things because things take time and sometimes feeling the guilt leading to self deprecation wasn’t healthy either. I take it one day at at time.

  • Mike

    January 14th, 2021 at 11:18 AM

    It is a great idea to read these articles and more (positive self help books, etc) everyday. It has likely taken you years if not decades to get where you are so not much is going to change in one day, one week or likely one year. I know this because even after writing what what I did I started to fall right back into the person I was and it was a great reminder to read what I wrote again. But knowing where you are and where you want to be is half the battle. The other half is fighting your way out of that rut. I believe anyone can get out if they are willing to pay the price in blood, sweat and tears. You are worthy of a healthy life, physical, spiritual and emotional. You deserve to find joy and feel peace within yourself. And once you not only believe that but KNOW AND DEMAND nothing less you can have it. You can do it and we are all always here for you and anyone that wants to be free.

  • Mike

    January 14th, 2021 at 11:19 AM

    That is awesome and I pray for you as you continue down your path of finding peace!

  • LADY D

    March 9th, 2021 at 12:58 PM

    I’ve been obsessed with a guy since I’ve met him in august. I can’t stop thinking and fantizing about him. Our first encounter was magical, we spent the night on top of a mountain straight away. Since then we’ve spent the night toguether a few more times at my place, but without sex. When we are toguether we have a deep connection, he says it to me too, although he doesn’t seem to make time for me. He doesn’t even have my phone, we haven’t had the oportunity or the need to give it to each other. We hardly talk to instagram, only to arrange a fantastic plan away from civilisation. Since december I haven’t seen him, we’ve talked a few times but he hasn’t replied the message I’ve sent him last week. I can’t stop thinking about him, I LOVE HIM, i can’t get him out! I’m lost, it hurts, I don’t know what should I do…

  • Shell

    March 18th, 2021 at 10:18 AM

    This article really helped identify what I think i’ve been going through. I am married but have recently been off an online relationship that was going on for almost 3 years with a man across the world. It was intense, and sexting was involved. I have came clean to my husband the first time I felt guilty about it and we talked through it a bit. I quickly went back to the other man, because I didn’t realize it was an addiction at the time. The more we talked, the more it became clear to me. When i tried to cut him off for 5 months, I felt extreme anxiety and like I couldn’t breathe, so I reconnected with him. It’s been 3 months since the last time we connected, and since then, I have come clean to my husband again and have started to get theraphy. At times I feel like I need medicine because I am still dealing with the thoughts of him and the stress that was described in the article. My husband and I did have several issues in our marriage which is what made it easy for me to excuse what I was doing. But he is so loving and forgiving after what I have done, that it is giving me the strength to fight this obsession. We are working on our marriage and I feel i am growing as a person. I am communicating more to him about things that I never have before. It’s like we are rediscovering ourselves and growing closer. I have been learning to trust and lean on God as well. So although the obsession felt like torture at times, I feel that overcoming it is making me stronger. I hope whoever comes across this can get encouraged to keep fighting and not give into temptation. God sees you and you will make it.

  • Jane

    March 23rd, 2021 at 3:46 AM

    I could have written your piece.
    I’m just coming out of a year long period of living with a guy I met pre-Covid. He’s gone home (we live 2 hours apart) and I feel utterly bereft. I had no sleep last night whilst he slept like a log!
    In the past he has said some truly awful things to me (I’m too old, too short, don’t have a degree etc) yet I feel as though I’m in love with him. I’ve told him I love him but it’s not reciprocal. I always find a way to justify things he’s said, like, he doesn’t mean it, he’ll come round and “how can he not love me?”
    We have a,great time together, especially in bed but I wonder what the heck I am doing staying with him?
    I think its called cognitive dissonance. Knowing but not doing what is good for me.
    I feel addicted up to my eyeballs and he is all I can think about.

  • Freda

    March 28th, 2021 at 3:52 AM

    Hi all! I just ‘arrived’ here, both in the comments section and in relation to the contents as well. Noted this has been ongoing for a few years! I read every single comment, particularly Mike’s, Sabrina’s and a few others. I’m in a dark place right now and not sure if im in or out of a relationship that spanned close to 4 years. Suffice to say it is not fun to be addicted to someone. When and how did i even get here? Im 53 yrs old, single mum since my 20s. Had my fair share of relationships but never remarried. Consider myself ‘strong’, until a crime incident that nearly took my life and that of my daughter’s. That was abt 8-10 years ago. ( I kind of lost my sense of time since then but by and large still survived, have good and bad periods and so on) Went into a hibernation of sort for many years, till a friend forced me out of the house once to a wine bar nearby. She continues to drag me there many times and this was how I got to know this man who is my current bf, or no more im not sure. We took about a year to start our relationship, not sure at first due to the fact that he is married. When we both ‘succumbed’ to our attractions we got ourselves deeply involved. We lived nearby, he works nearby too while I work from home. He became my man in every sense took care of all my needs except that we are not married and he is. He even gave me a retainer job that I truly enjoy. (I’m a freelance copywriter) As time progresses (3 and half years now), I’m feeling a sense a loss and dissatisfaction as I’m wanting more and due to lockdowns needless to say I’m getting less. But he still fulfills the basics, buy the groceries, pay some bills regardless of whether i manage financially or not. He is just there for me even if i needed a paracetamol. Helps me set up another business and sends me to places I need to go. Of late it has been a little hard due to him finding out his wife has been telling others she is suspicious but she has not confronted him. All this time our arrangement has been that there are lots of impromptu visits but some planned ones as well. The impromptu meetings are still there but the plan ones are getting difficult to come by except weekday lunch hours. Work load has also been increasing and that adds to the time issue.
    I guess I was still in hibernation mode due to the traumatic crime incident and couldnt care less what the long term repercussions were when our relationship started. We were happy, Im ok wth the arrangement and someone who took care of me in every sense of the word. Sex was mind blowing and we both openly acknowledged that. I can tell that was missing fr his marriage. We took some time mostly due to his conservative nature in bed but in due course brought on new dimensions, sexually speaking, to each other. If there is anything to look back to and treasure that wld be 3 and half years of great sex and someone who cared for me. On his part, he enjoyed a second home wth home cooked meals at any time while in his primary relationship no one cooks. We are in Asia and outside/delivery food is in abundance. He told me his kids grew up wth the maid’s cooking or packed food from outside. He was amazed and never met a woman who can cook almost anything under the sun. I’m also a qualified baker and if any baking products is needed for own consumption or gifts, he just have to ask. I even help him out wth his work (beyond my call of duty for which I’m paid). Sometimes we laugh at how we ‘exchanged’ work. We each do the ‘preferred’ task and fit in just about perfectly despite him being in senior management and me a freelance copywriter/consultant.
    I guess the problem is me. He is feeling the pressure of me constantly asking for an arranged meetup at a time when according to him he is walking on eggshells. And the more I dnt get, the more I want. According to him, he has given all he could and cant give more. According to him, my relentless asking for a pre arranged meetup is eating him up and he wants out cause despite our compatibility I’m driving him over the edges. He also strongly expresses that I made him feel like a failure, and that in turn makes me extremely sad. A few years ago I would hv thought that if a relationship doesnt suit me anymore I wld just walk out, or if someone walks out on me I’ll move on. So I am rather shocked at my own addiction on him. Just what am I addicted to? Not as if we had any marriage plan. He has expressed desire to keep this going forever if im alright wth the non marriage arrangement while I had told him I will move on when ‘the time is right’. I’m not big on marriage but figured at some point I’ll like someone ‘full time’ and not ‘part-time’..though admittedly he is more full time than many other supposedly full time partners I’ve come across, whether my own or that of others. So, here I am, broken and at a complete lost of not being able to move on. Makes me feel stupid and nonsensical and I am tired and hurt. We both thought we were not asking too much of each other but apparently we are. I do not like how he wants me to just accept nothing pre arranged at this time, I am happy for all he has done for me but believe he cld still do some pre arranged meetups. So he told me a few days ago he is done wth the pressure. We still have work commitments and that is hard. I welcome all comments including those that may criticise me dating a married person though I hope that wont happen. Thank you all.

  • Sabrina4

    March 30th, 2021 at 8:30 AM

    Hi Freda – I feel your pain – dating a married man ends up being an excruciatingly painful experience since you’ll never be #1 in his life. The best thing you can do is end the relationship and go no contact. Believe me I know that sounds completely impossible but if you can see him less and less over the coming months and ease into ending the relationship. There’s 2 websites I will point you to …….. read the comments after each article – they are current as of this year – and it will show you that you are not alone in your feelings – and you can get strength and support from various women who are living in your shoes.
    These women are all very supportive and there’s no bashing surprisedly.

  • Debber

    April 7th, 2021 at 11:53 PM

    I can relate to all of you who have a “love” addiction. I have not seen my person in over a year. The longing never ends, but the crazy cycles are gone now that I am not partaking in my drug of choice. Recently I found an online organization called, “Love Addicts Anonymous”. You can just google that name and they have zoom meetings everyday where you can be with others like yourself. It is based on a 12 step program. I think it is helping me, even though my longing for him has been extremely intense lately.

  • Max

    April 21st, 2021 at 6:16 AM

    I think i am going through a similar situation. No matter whatever i do, i fall back to the same girl and inititate conversation. I think i am addicted to her and i want to break it. she has started treating me like shit now and i dont approve it. I need riddance from her.

  • Cindy

    April 21st, 2021 at 12:50 PM

    Hi Max,
    I’m in exactly the same boat. I’m addicted to a complete narcissistic prick but I can’t shake him. Don’t know how to break the cycle

  • Max

    April 22nd, 2021 at 7:48 AM

    I know how to do that. If you are comfortable, we can connect over discord. Lets help and support each other.

  • Sabrina4

    April 22nd, 2021 at 2:56 PM

    For me – I had to distance myself and break my own heart. I was shattered completely and this led to anxiety and depression from which I’m still suffering. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do ……. and he made me feel guilty too ….. so now living with guilt on top of it all. I’m working hard to get back to my old happy self but I know it will take some time. Good Luck – stay strong – you got this ! ♥️

  • Cindy

    April 24th, 2021 at 5:19 AM

    How have you managed it?

  • Sabrina4

    April 24th, 2021 at 5:20 PM

    Hi Cindy – I figured I was going to experience emotional pain being with him that would be ongoing and never end. I knew I would also experience severe emotional pain leaving him but that pain would eventually have an end date ……… so I was screwed either way – I decided to choose the pain that had an end date rather than living like that indefinitely. I miss him terribly and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him – but I just keep telling myself it WILL get better. It’s hellish hard believe me – I know what you’re going thru. Sending hugs and strength! xx

  • Risper

    June 22nd, 2021 at 7:22 AM

    I totally feel for us….am inthe same shoes with a very toxic guy…..he is very handsome….he is my addiction and he compliments my sexual fettish…how i wish it was that easy to do away with an addiction…he treats me terrible…talks to me how he feels….but the sex is mind blowing… screaming from inside….it will take time i know…..

  • Jack

    July 13th, 2021 at 3:38 PM

    This article is extraordinarily helpful. We all feel like our circumstances are unique, but in reality it’s a biochemical trick that our brains are playing on us that are being triggered by a person that has no consideration for our well being.

  • Aco

    July 22nd, 2021 at 6:46 AM

    Hi everyone. I didn’t know I was addicted until I came across this.

  • Glynis

    August 25th, 2021 at 10:12 AM

    I just want to thank everyone who has posted and shared their stories. You have really helped me and many people I’m sure by helping us feel we are not alone. I have been dealing with this for 3 years,( just called him this morning because I couldn’t take it after lasting about a month, which seems to be the longest I can go.) its a long and painful story, and I have had this happen before in the past which destroyed me in similar ways and took YEARS to get the person out of my system so clearly I am sensitive to this problem. I googled “can you be addicted to someone” and this article came up. There is no way to describe it other than it feels like a drug, but perhaps even better than a drug, because it is all encompassing. But what if that person isn’t good for you???? Then you get stuck in a cycle of KNOWING what you need to do and the emotional side and physical mental pain that keep you coming back. Thank you so much for the SLAA recommendation, I didn’t know that existed!! I think that will really help, I even felt calmer just looking at the website. THANK YOU to everyone again :)

  • Sn581

    August 28th, 2021 at 11:10 AM

    Thank you , something that I should have read a long time ago and to Prevent putting myself out there again and again causing damage to my own self . Thank yiur Good therapy

  • Gena

    September 8th, 2021 at 8:59 PM

    Just broke it off with someone I was dating for 4 months. He asked me out, but somehow I became completely smitten with him. I couldnt sleep, had no appetite, thought about him all the time. I hadnt been in a relationship in over a year, and I think my hormones and chemicals in my brain went haywire. I never was that much into wanting to sleep with someone, and it wasnt his looks. I know I was being completely irrational, I still couldnt stop. Side benefit, I havent been in this great of shape since college. I even went on dates with other people just for distraction, and made sure I was doing something all the time to keep my mind occupied. He was a nice guy and had a lot of good qualities, but then it just hit me that we wouldnt work. We were on different spectrums when it came to pace and suddenly I realized even though we had a lot in common there were many “issues” that I would have to deal with. When I accepted that he wasnt really that vested in the relationship I told myself there was no reason I would jump through hurdles for someone who isnt sacrificing anything for me at this point. I told him point blank that I think our priorities didnt align. I feel horrible because I miss that feeling of contentment being with him, but is it all just chemicals I have to flush out? I am glad I did it, just wish I would stop thinking about it. I gave my last relationship too much leverage – and accepted things I know weren’t right for me. He pursued me like crazy, where this is nearly the opposite. I know time heals all, just wish it was quicker:).

  • laura

    October 18th, 2021 at 7:40 PM

    I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories. It helps. Part of whats so painful about being in a toxic one sided relationship is feeling so nuts and alone in it. My person is significantly younger than I. The first lover I have ever had who has met me sexually and passionately in a way I dreamt of. It has degraded to me being the one to reach out to him and him not reaching out to me… I feel insecure and resentful and angry and resentful and keep trying to end it. But it seems I cannot bear the heartbreak at the moment. I know there is another woman. He told me from the beginning that he was non monogamous. I balked at it but thought I would just give it a try. 2 1/2 years later it feels toxic and hurtful to me and ending it feels like stopping sugar, or carbs or any other addictive substance used for self comforting. I am older so I feel my social cache is less yet I know that is bull crap also. Just pandemic times make everything feel more dire. Anyhow I am happy to have found this site. I salute us all the courage it takes any where along this journey.

  • Amy

    October 25th, 2021 at 5:56 PM

    Hi Cindy, I know how you feel. I’m addicted to a man who has just cheated on me (yes I am cheating on my husband too) but the thing is i old still have him back – he keeps telling me all the right things. I am so sick of this feeling – it’s been nearly two weeks. Pills and therapy started. I want him gone – but I cant do it. Help

  • Amy

    October 25th, 2021 at 6:00 PM

    Hi Laura – i feel you. I am married. But have been with another man 9 Mainly emotionally, some sexual for 2 yrs – i haev just fond out that he has been having an affair with another lady for the past 4 months and lying to me each day about it. It hurts real bad but I am addicted to him. The relationship was emotionally toxic in the end we would argue all the time – he would think that I was off with other me (which i wasn’t) but then he is. Oh there is so much I can tell you – but it really hurts- I want to heal quickly.

  • Cindy

    October 26th, 2021 at 1:48 PM

    Hi Amy
    It’s so tough – it will take time and there might be hiccups en route but stay strong and believe. I’m still in contact with my obsession. It’s still hard some days but it’s getting easier. I no longer crave him and don’t spend all day thinking ‘what if?’. Happy to be a listening ear if it helps you.
    Go easy on yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you have setbacks – we’re only human. Take care xx

  • joy

    November 20th, 2021 at 1:59 PM

    Just finished reading all the comments under this article, and boy could I relate. I found comfort mostly with Mike’s, Cindy’s, and Sabrina4’s comments, but I truly empathize with everyone who shared their story as well… I have been in a committed relationship for four years but in the last 2ish years I felt like this relationship wasnt working for me mentally and spiritually. I tried to break it off multiple times, and my partner was very much in love with me but I knew in my heart i couldnt stay with them! at the same time we always found our way back to each other and would talk for a couple weeks/months but would stop, let weeks/months pass and then start talking again. this past summer, we told each other we will lead separate lives as we both know the cycle would never end. I tell myself that the person is not good for me, yet the comfort and security they give me is insaaaane. I thought i would be done for good this time, as we blocked each other’s numbers when we said it would be the final time, but guess who unblocked their number and started texting them and calling them throughout these months… even if i knew they wouldnt receive it, i was wishing that they would talk to me. dont get me wrong, im a pretty independent person and have kept myself tremendously busy, i know how to do that, but i have such a weak spot for them.
    We started talking again last week. We actually talked on the phone until 6am and then they picked me up from work, where we talked again for hours and i even spent the night at their place… no sex but a lot of cuddling. Before they dropped me home, i told them not to talk to me, but that i would always be be there if they need me… i am dreading the encounter since then, because i feel like my progress from the last 6 months kinda went down the drain! i want to talk to them again… theres so much more we agreed that happened in our lives that we want to share with each other… i love talking to this person and am absolutely dreading that they are not contacting me. i want to reach out but do not want to seem easy. like i said being in a relationship with them is not healthy for me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, but i know i am still addicted to this person and i hate to admit it. a comment up here said after 2-3 months i should be okay, but after 6 months ugh why do i still feel so attached… i know what i gotta do, but theres so much going on in my head

  • Sabrina4

    November 21st, 2021 at 8:29 PM

    Hi Joy – my fascination with this person started around summer 2018 and I’m still dealing with it, so I’m definitely in no position to give advice. I feel like I have a lifelong struggle on my hands. I think my comment regarding 2-3 months was more about the urge to text …. not the time it takes to get over a person ….. unfortunately that could take years. What has at least helped me somewhat ……… At first I was mentally fighting my feelings and feeling like a bad person for having these feelings. I was crying and trying to deny what I felt and trying to go no contact over and over. I was longing for this person and white knuckling the pain every day – it was hell – until I finally broke down and spoke to him again – and then this vicious cycle would repeat itself. I’ve been reading about self compassion and acceptance – so instead of beating myself up repeatedly – I’m telling myself I’m a good person, I’m human, and these feelings are involuntary and may never go away….. so may as well learn to accept them and live with them. Somehow once you stop fighting the feelings and you learn acceptance – you may still enjoy this person’s company – but the intense craving and longing seems to lessen which in turn, helps to manage the anxiety which surrounds the whole situation. I guess it’s a bit of a mental trick – but hey whatever works. I know exactly what you mean about the weak spot for them ……….it makes you feel like you’ve lost all your personal power and I absolutely hated that feeling. I know there’s alot said about the no contact rule – but for me personally – that just makes it worse and makes me crave them all the more. Humans want most what they cannot have or aren’t supposed to have. So for me – less contact instead of no contact works better. Knowing this person isn’t strictly off-limits to me …… eases the emotional pain and eases the anxiety – knowing that I can reach out once in a while is comforting. Sometimes being TOO strict with yourself and beating yourself up doesn’t work. Ease up a little and remind yourself you’re only human – and the way you’re feeling is natural and normal – and it’s something you have to gently manage rather than pushing it away with an iron gate. Maybe you’re like me and the thought of 100% strict no contact only serves to make things worse and increase your cravings ….. something to think about. I do still see this person and talk to them because I work with them – but easing up on myself has lessened the anxiety so I’m better able to function in everyday life now. Hope this helps.

  • Amy

    November 22nd, 2021 at 10:02 PM

    That’s exactly how I feel. My issue is he’s had am affair either two other (at the same time) women while supposedly loving me. Im gutted. But still can’t get over him. It’s sooooo hard. I’ve cut contact with him today. But tbh still longing to hear from him knowing what he’s done to me. He’s very addictive, (hes not good looking, just a charmer) im still gutted. Therapy tomorrow. But I’m addicted to him. I also find in incredible that I was unaware. He’s an amazing liar. I thought I was a smart women.


    November 30th, 2021 at 1:15 AM

    thank you guys , I WILL TAKE MY POWER BACK.

  • Antony

    March 20th, 2022 at 2:48 AM

    Some problems feel just to ridiculous and basic as to hold court here.intrinsically a loner and a limerent too love’s choices can be exhausting.But it’s basic stuff right plug to right socket but boy o boy do we mess it up.

  • HG

    June 7th, 2022 at 6:37 PM

    Hello. I’m reading this article and the comment section below. Thank you for making me feel less alone. I think this obsession or fixation or addiction to a person stems back to my teenage years until now. I’m happily married but always find myself in a deep crush with someone from the opposite sex. It’s addicting to feel the validation and acceptance…I think something about being raised by 2 alcoholic parents…I formed an insecure attachment during my childhood …this is all gathered speculation…I’m going to meet with a counselor tomorrow and I’m hoping I can get to the bottom of this feeling. Wishing you all the best on your journey.

  • Lynne

    July 25th, 2022 at 1:45 AM

    Wow! I just realized today that I get addicted to toxic relationships! I am suffering now as we speak after being blindsided by a man I feel in love with. He was “fading” after 6 months, and I cornered him as to what is going on? Then he said very very hurtful things to me. Meanwhile he is gone, ghosting me from that point. All I can do is think of him. Even though he showed a very ugly side, or is it his real self? Love bombed at the beginning 6 months ago. I hope I can learn more about loving myself here. Thank you.

  • Cindy

    August 11th, 2022 at 7:58 PM

    So I am still fixated on my obsession. It’s been 6 months since I last heard from him which means he’s cut me off – blocked on FB etc. just cut mr off without warning or a goodbye. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. Just don’t know when it will get easier

  • Sirry Johns

    September 1st, 2022 at 4:02 PM

    How is everyone doing?

  • Sabrina4

    December 21st, 2022 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Cindy – it’s been 3 years now – are you still married ? I’m sorry to hear you’re still struggling with this obsession – me too. I said I couldn’t be in touch any longer and it’s been a couple months now …… but same as you I think of him daily.

  • Cindy

    December 29th, 2022 at 5:17 PM

    Hi Sabrina
    I am still married. I heard from my obsession again – a couple of times since my last post on here. He does the usual – use me then tells me he can’t do it as he loves his girlfriend.
    So sorry you’re still hurting from your obsession. How are you?

  • Cindy

    February 20th, 2023 at 7:19 PM

    I’ve heard from him again and still can’t break that cycle. Any thoughts guys?

  • Mary

    June 3rd, 2023 at 1:15 PM

    You were supposed to help me get over a fling. You became my addiction. I’m not sure I’ve ever been addicted to a person, actually I know that I’ve never been addicted to a person in this way. You walked up to me at the bar, we were both drunk, but it was so natural and obvious the moment I met you. I gave you my phone number. I never do that. I got home and was sitting on the kitchen floor looking at my phone about to text you, trying to think of what to say, when you texted first. I was hooked. You texted me first thing the next day. A couple of days later we met at the bar again and just talked. It was so natural and easy. I was feeling a little under the weather, I had two drinks and said I needed to go home. You walked me to my car and that’s where we kissed for the first time. I remember your arms pressing me up against the wall of the building I work in. Again I was hooked. I didn’t quite realize at the time how truly addicted I would become. A couple of days later I came down to the bar near your place. We had a few drinks and went back to your place. The sex was so intense. I remember asking “WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?” So many times we met. Every time the sex was mind blowing. After each time we met I would think about it, think about you, your face, for days after, every moment of every day.

    You started to message me a little less often, but every time you did the rush of happiness engulfed me.

    I wouldn’t hear from you for a while and I would become despondent, my emotions were out of my control, I could barely hold myself together. I would wake up every day with immediate thoughts of you and it wouldn’t relent until I passed out drunkenly at the end of the night. Only to start again in the morning. Mornings were hell. Laying in bed wishing I could just go back to sleep. Hoping sometimes for that infinite slumber that might release me from this hell.

    I became terrified that I would never see you again.

    I would send you texts that you claim you never got. “Your phone didn’t get good reception” “It wouldn’t let you text back”

    I tried to break the cycle. I tried not to see you. I had sex with the fling to try to break the spell you had on me. It did nothing. What had once been fun became at once completely devoid of joy.

    The times I’ve seen you since have been pure joy followed by utter despair.

    I read our old text conversations like a cokehead licking the empty baggy.

    I told my husband about you. It destroyed him. I broke his heart. It makes me feel sick. He knew there was something wrong and I just couldn’t hold it together to spare his feelings. I thought it would be a good idea to open up to him. I thought maybe he would understand and maybe we could open up our lives to other people. Other loves. I was being foolish and utterly selfish. I told you about this thinking maybe you’d say “I want you, be with me” You didn’t. You said you couldn’t commit. You said you have too much going on. He somehow, for some insane reason, still wants me. Still loves me. And here I am writing this junkie love letter to you.

    I feel broken.

  • Damien

    June 21st, 2023 at 4:40 AM

    Thank you

  • Cindy

    February 15th, 2024 at 5:58 PM

    Has anyone managed to ‘crack it’ yet??? The ‘getting over someone you shouldn’t be in love with’?!?!?!

  • Glynvt

    February 16th, 2024 at 2:19 PM

    YES , you can beat it. If you keep no contact, all it takes is TIME. That’s how I did it. But it takes much longer than you expect nor want to get over. BE PATIENT. Eventually you will go from thinking about them 50 times a day……to 10……to 5……to NONE. And you will be free of the pattern and pain it causes. Good luck!

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