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When the passion is still there, we’re lucky to have both love and lust.Love and codependency may coexist or be hard to differentiate, because codependents idealize and often happily self-sacrifice for their partner.Time spent in fantasy fuels our craving to be with him or her.
When differences and serious problems are largely ignored, minimized, or rationalized, it looks more like codependency, because we’re not really seeing or loving the whole person.
Facing the truth would create inner conflict about our fear of emptiness and loneliness.
Nonetheless, we stay and don’t heed our better judgment to leave.
Increasingly, we hide our worries and doubts and rely on sex, romance, and fantasy to sustain the relationship.
Healthy partners don’t “fall in love;” they “grow in love.” They’re not as driven by overwhelming, unconscious fears and needs.
Compare: Intense attraction – feel anxious Idealize each other, ignoring differences Fall “in love” and make commitments Get to know one another Become disappointed Cling to fantasy of love Try to change our partner into our ideal Feel resentful and unloved Attraction and friendship begin – feel comfortable Attraction grows as they know each other Acknowledge differences (or leave) Grow to love each other Make commitments Compromise needs Love and acceptance of each other deepens Feel supported and loved Codependency is an addiction and underlies all other addictions, including sex addiction, and romance, relationship, and love addiction. When we heal our codependency, we can see whether love remains.Excitement and desire may be heightened by intrigue or our partner’s unpredictability or unavailability.We may remain attached and even crave our partner, but our discomfort or unhappiness grows.We might even leave an unhealthy relationship and still love our ex.Meanwhile, some things are knowable: Healing from codependency and addiction require abstinence and the support of a Twelve Step program and/or psychotherapy.Out of sympathy, we might even be drawn to help and “rescue” our partner and/or try to change him or her back into the ideal we “fell” for. But lust can also lead to true love as we become attached to and get to know our sexual partner, and lust doesn’t always fade.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating