“How can I love her one minute and hate her so much the next?”
“I feel he’s my soul mate, so why do we constantly fight?”
Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Most “love relationships” eventually turn into love/hate relationships. Feelings of love can turn into drama—hostility, attack, or withdrawal of affection—at the flick of a switch. This duality of pleasure and pain is considered “normal.” Many people believe that if you love the person it will all “work out.” Sadly, this is not the case. The reality is that the relationship will probably get worse. Other areas of your life will begin to be affected: you snap at your children more or fight in front of them, you withdraw from your friendships, or you are distracted at work. You’ll keep the cycle going for a while until it grows so destructive that the relationship finally collapses. You are trapped in an impossible addiction that maintains a destructive game: It makes you feel so good, and at the same time it is eating you alive. It might seem “normal,” but this is not what you want, is it? “Normal” is not an aspiration to strive for. If you want to stop the love/hate cycle you need to know why it happens and how to make changes before the relationship drives you crazy or ends.
First, let’s look at why the drama begins.
The path of a typical relationship: Circle what phase YOU are in.
1. You’re “in love.” You feel alive. Your life feels more meaningful—someone needs you, wants you, and makes you feel special. You feel whole. The feeling can be so intense that the rest of the world fades into insignificance. It feels as though you are healed—your pain is gone. (Although in reality it is just temporarily covered up.)
2. It feels great until your partner fails to meet your needs or expectations in some way. You develop a feeling of neediness and clinging.
3. You are addicted to the other person (or rather, to the euphoric feelings you experience due to the chemical reactions and hormones produced by your brain when you are “in love.”) He or she is like a drug. You are on a high when he or she is available, but even the possibility that they might not be there for you can lead you to feelings of fear, abandonment, and rejection.
4. The numbing quality of the drug wears off and you, again, feel the pain you had before the relationship. This time, however, you believe your partner is the cause.
5. This is when the drama begins. You both may begin to feel jealousy or resentment, and you take offense to practically everything your partner does and says. You become possessive and controlling, you withdraw, demand, criticize, judge, blame, and attack, all in attempt to coerce your partner to go back to meeting your needs.
So, you begin the love/hate cycle—but, now you’re not just addicted to the love, you’re addicted to the drama cycle, too. It makes you feel alive.
Research shows that relationships that are full of drama can be more addicting than most drugs
How can this be true? Well, the simple answer is that when you fight your body has an adrenaline rush. This adrenaline eventually crashes and you calm down. Have you ever heard the phrase, “There is nothing like making up after a fight”? The reason the make-up period is great is because when you come down from the “high” you are usually apologetic and “loving”—so you both swing back into the positive-feeling addiction (and the brain releases other chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin), making you feel happy and euphoric once again.
Unfortunately, this state is short lived because, like with all drugs, your body will start looking for that “high” (adrenaline rush) all over again. Eventually the rush loses its strength, and as a result, you have to keep increasing the dose or look for alternatives to fuel the addiction. In other words, the more of a routine it becomes to fight, the more adrenaline you are going to need, and so you find yourself fighting more often and with greater intensity. Maybe the make-up period continues to feel good to you—that is, if you are looking to experience a roller coaster ride in your relationship.
24 sessions via in person, Skype or phone. This includes emails and Texts