Facing Love Addiction has the best description of the conscious and unconscious layers of the avoidant.
My take . . . Someone who avoids the deeper levels of intimacy. Some men can't get past phallic intimacy (orgasm). To mix friendship, intimacy trust and other such issues is what Scott Peck calls genuine love. His book, The Road Less Traveled discusses the male fear of emotional intimacy (sharing secrets with a non-judgmental partner or someone who is willing to enhance the spiritual growth of his or her partner.
Men are natural avoidants because, according to the book Intimate Strangers, their primary caretaker was a woman. Women become avoidants because of childhood trauma.
It has been over a month since I've done some work here outside of NC but find myself coming back to understand myself and my XPOA. I have various traits of love addiction and she is clearly ambivalent/avoidant. Having quiet time out of this relationship has cleared some cobwebs. However, I still think about her everyday and wonder if I would or should ever go back. Yet, I feel I could if she would contact me provided I simply keep a low profile and let her know month to month I still am here if she needs me. I really thought she was the one because I have had a history of triangeling out of my relationships. I have learned why our relationship cocktail is so toxic. Is there a cure, is there any hope. I wanted to hear from a someone who is an Ambivalent avoidant what they think. We were engaged only for a few months but she abandoned our relationship when I called her out when she wasn't wearing her ring one night to a social event and spending each week in night clubs with her girl friends. They say: "if you go into the barber shop too often, you're going to get a haircut". And I think she may have found a Barber.
I don't have happy news for you Jazz. My thoughts are that she is not going to give you what you need. She is getting a haircut. I also have a history of triangles but I'm not going to do that anymore. NOT.
I am ambivalent avoidant and am trying to heal and become a more kind person, a person who would try to help others feel good and happy. It's not easy for me, I'm bitter and sad and angry and fed up with being used. In order to change that, I have to change myself, my thoughts, ideas, values, perceptions and yes, desires. It has come to my attention that my thoughts, values, perceptions and desires are twisted. Not blaming me or parents or anything at this point. It doesn't really matter how I became who I am. Right now I'm just admitting it and looking to see what the heck I can do to change. I want to be nice. I don't want to run from a potential good relationship with anyone anymore.
It seems to me that you would benefit if you would do the 12 steps and become clear on who you are and get help in becoming strong and wise so your behavior no longer puts you into harmful situations, but rather into healthy and happy situations.
jaz: I am sorry, but I agree with margot - she is getting haircut.
Did you watch last Batchelor's Pad? There was Holly there who was engaged to Michael. She broke up an engagement with him and moved out. Then they both came to this Bachelor's Pad. If you don't know what it is, it is a reality show, real life, Google it. Anyway, Holly was flirting left and right, and finally settle on more flirting with Blake. After the end of the show, they kept texting, calling, etc. and Blake proposed to Holly and she accepted. He asked her if she was going to brake the engagement as she did with Michael. She said "no" because she never felt like this before. Whatever the reason is, she did not feel it really for Michael. I initially thought that she was avoidant but later I thought that she just did not really have it in her for Michael.
Jaz: you don't want a girl/woman who spends her weeks endlessly in night clubs. Can you imagine being married to her? she is going to do the same thing: go to night clubs and whatever else they are doing there. She wants fun with her girlfriends and not the commitment and family. She either does not have it for you or she wants to have fun. She is not ready or does not want a commitment. I am very sorry for your pain.
Jazz, I am sorry, I'm in a similar situation, and like you even after 3 months NC I am still hoping to hear from him and get a response. In the end, it doesn't matter if she's getting a haircut elsewhere (although mine had a season ticket to every barbers in town) the point is she is not choosing to spend time with you. Mine wanted me around when he needed some friendship and nurturing, but when his fear of intimacy took hold he was off again.
Our relationship was toxic to both of us; it amplified my codependency and LA. Like you I've made it clear that I am here for him if he needs me... but today I am wondering why I do that. I'm a fool and its unrealistic if I think i'll put everything on hold if he needs me. I've needed him so much over the last 3 months and he doesn't want to know. So why would I offer that in return?
Don't get me wrong, I am compassionate for him and his situation and problems; I do want him to sort things out and have a happy life, but it is HIS life, not mine. I wanted to save him (and him to save me) from the chaos of his life, but only he can do that, and only I can save mine. Being on this board has helped me see that I need to take responsibility for my life and my decisions, to be comfortable with myself, to know that I'm ok and not look for that validation in a relationship with someone else.
It is so tough when you've been engaged to have someone leave you. We had talked about marriage and adopting kids, and looked at houses... then one day on the phone I'm told that our relationship is "all too stressful" and he wants a break. I'm left confused, alone, abandoned, wondering what I did or didn't do. I now realise that at a certain point in intimacy, something clicks in his brain and he's off out of there. I heard it on the phone to him that day. He'd done it before.
The point of all this? I guess its that I need to let him be who he wants to be. If he works on himself, acknowledges his role in the problems (it was all always my fault) then I'm here. But honestly, its not likely to happen. So I'm getting myself sorted. I realise working and supporting him was an excuse not to work and sort myself. And that bit is tough. I've got beliefs and behaviours that don't serve me well. So I'm seeking them out and working to change.
I wish you strength and luck. Keep coming back here... the support and advice has helped me enormously.
I havent written on here in awhile, I am 2 months into my new relationship which I thought was going well, but now I think I have an avoidant on my hands. We had agreed to take things slow and I thought we had. I had asked him on several occasions if he was uncomfortable with where we were at and he had told me no. But recently we have been spending less time together and yesterday he told me he was worried that we had been going too fast and wanted to slow things down. I asked him what he meant and he said at times I had made him feel guilty about not spending enough time with me (which I wasnt aware of) and also that he wasnt ready for the "mushy love stuff."
That part really confuses me because I had told him on many occasions not to say it if he didnt mean it. He told me yesterday that he never said he didnt mean it, that he really does love me. But wouldnt explain to me exactly what he wasnt ready for. We only see each other a few times a week and we havent even spent the night together yet, so I am very confused by what he has told me.
Can anyone give me any insight as to what I am dealing with here, and how I should deal with it?
Post by Jacarandagirl on Sept 22, 2012 5:59:03 GMT -8
Maybe the best thing you can do is to just do nothing. If he is avoidant, let him show you he is, and then end it. So maybe you limp along for another month. What does it matter if you really like him and want to try to make it work? If he's worth waiting for, you will get that feeling in your bones. If he's not, you will get the feeling you are at a dance on your own. Then find someone who wants to dance!
"You deserve better than something that may be comfortable for you but you already know doesn't work and that you'll be complaining about soon enough and hoping that something or someone else will do what you can't even do for yourself. You deserve better - you deserve change".
Excerpt from www.baggagereclaim.com
Post by LovelyJune on Sept 22, 2012 14:48:30 GMT -8
Two months and already talking love? You both need to back way off, relax and let the other person breath.
Listen to what he says and no matter what believe it. If he told you that you had made him feel guilty about not spending enough time with you, then that is how he feels and you need to respect his pace. No one wants to be pushed into love, or guilted into spending a certain amount of time together.
If you find yourself doing this (constantly asking for more time, or 'guilting' someone into spending more time with you) then you are pushing someone to do something they are not capable of doing. When you realize that, it means you will always push and probably never get this person to see you as much as you'd like.
WHat does that mean? In recovery it means you are honest with yourself and your needs. If you need someone who wants to spend a lot more time with you and this man is not meeting those needs, even after being asked, then this might not be the right relationship for either of you.
But here's the bigger problem, and guess what…it's not with him. It's with you. Why are you asking someone to spend more time with you so early in the game? Two months into a relationship you should be letting things happen organically, at their own pace. If he wants to see you once a week, and you want to see someone more, that could be a sign of incompatibility.
Don't try to figure him out. Let him be who he is. If you have needs, ask him to meet them once---no guilt needed. If he responds and tries to meet your needs, there's potential. If he whines and says back off, that's a red flag.
Do not pay attention to the I love yous. Pay attention to the actions!
We recommend that you don't call it love yet because that is a special word reserved for the phase of a relationship after the honeymoon. See M.S. Peck in The Road Less Traveled. Also, the media has totally distorted healthy love and it means so many different things to different people. This society practically worships romantic love and devalues genuine love (Peck's word) so we should really be specific when you use the word love. It definitely needs an adjective.
This is just my opinion which it sounds like I share with LJ.
Last Edit: Sept 23, 2012 13:45:11 GMT -8 by Susannah
Post by sunflwrs4evr on Sept 23, 2012 14:23:18 GMT -8
mlchris becareful what you wish for as they say it might come true. I have been in a new relationship as well and its been almost 5 months. My situation is the complete opposite, he wanted to see me all the time, and I wanted me time alot. We got together like almost everyday and it literally drove me nuts, he lives like 5 minutes from me. Last month I was talking with my sponsor and she suggested a 2 day nc and it was great I felt free to me again. After reading the feedback on here, I am seeing it more as a problem on both ends with us. I wanted alot of me time because there is so much going on in my life right now, and he isnt working and has lots of free time on his hands.
Friday we had a communication break down and from there on he hit the panic button and tried to push his way to see me to talk to me about our future together. I know that I was triggered by the communication break down, and apparently he was as well. It seems like we are both being avoidant at this point. I didnt appreciate his behavior and NO means No. So I am not sure where this is going at this point if anywhere. For now we have to let the chips fall where they may. Thanks so much for your post I was keeping it inside and that is not a good place for me to be. Sun
Like Jacarandagirl stated its best to do nothing because as LJ states that is doing something.
Thanks everyone for your advice. After I had a chance to clear my mind and look at everything in perspective it became easier for me to understand his side of things. He could see where it was heading and cared enough about the relationship to say something. This in itself means alot to me because I know that alot of guys could have just as easily said "whoa this is too much" and just ran. So I do know that he wants it to work enough to say "look we need to slow things down a bit."
On the other hand, I can't say I totally agree with you on your opinion about love and that we are probably not using the correct term for what we are feeling. I cant speak for him, but I can say that what I feel for him is unlike anything I have felt before. The terms you used above I have felt all before, and this is something very different. I also understand that 2 months may not seem like alot of time to already be feeling this, but at the same time no two relationships are the same. In this 2 months he and I have shared alot, spent alot of time together, and have learned alot about each other. We have been through alot together in the past 2 months, alot more than some couples could say for themselves. I dont think love should be measured by the amount of time you have been together, but by what you have experienced together in that time. I don't think that anyone knows this except for the two people that are involved with each other in that relationship.
With that said, I feel much better about our situation now that I have thought about it and discussed it with him. I am more aware of his needs and wants and how to deal with them on a level that we are both comfortable with. I am also aware of the things I was doing that made him uncomfortable and I know that I need to be more in control of those things.
I explained to him that all of my relationships had always been "all or nothing." I understood that he was wanting something in between that, but I didnt know what "in between" was and he told me that he would be patient with me and show me. I am so grateful to be with someone that recognizes my weaknesses and is willing to stay with me and help me through them. To me this is love. I dont know how you could call it anything else.
Post by CodepNomore on Oct 17, 2012 4:59:16 GMT -8
In my humble opinion, yes when both of them is no longer LA and become healthy. If they have mutual desire to have a relationship and willing to work for it. (Relationship is partnership work). And they enter a relationship as a whole person and do not depend on each other or the relationship to complete them.
Your recovery is worth the pain of your withdrawal. Remember that "the pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow." Fantasy-based relationship is a lie. Face your reality and stay well!Kind Regards to all LAA members here, - Codepnomore
Post by ladypheonix on Oct 18, 2012 6:57:03 GMT -8
The "all or nothing" comment caught my attention. I have a stomach ache just reading this. Ive been in "on/off mode with my ex POA so many times in the last 3 1/2 years. I asked him to wean this thing over three months the last time he wanted to break off and he agreed except that he treated me so badly, resentful and angry, that we ended with an explosive disaster and cold turkey anyway. Now the withdrawal is as painful as ever and Im very grateful to have this board and the one on one coaching to help me through it. Avoidants are a slippery slope and I will be in recovery for a very long time before I try to "make it work" with another one. God willing I wont need too, hope to find a healthier choice. Thanks for being here.
The "all or nothing" mentality is a form of splitting which is a symptom of the Borderline Personality Disorder.
Splitting is where you can only live in one reality at a time. If things are bad you are stuck there. If things are good you can only see that. You cannot see the middle ground, the past in its true light, warning signs etc.
A love addict will split and only see the good in her partner no matter how toxic the relationship. An avoidant will see the bad and get stuck there. He cannot see the good at all.
We all split to a degree. Denial is splitting. We are literally a prisoner to whatever reality we are in at the time. This is the true meaning of the first step, "I am powerless . . ."
Post by LovelyJune on Oct 18, 2012 15:37:48 GMT -8
Yes! But ONLY if their cases are not extreme. I am still inherently a little bit avoidant with D. And he is a little bit of a love addict (in my opinion). But a VERY little bit. If one or both of you are at extremes, you have a lot of work to do first, before worrying about whether it will work or not.
Last Edit: Nov 3, 2012 4:29:48 GMT -8 by LovelyJune
Love is mutual. If just you are feeling it and showing it, then it's not love.
IMO LJ is saying it is not "genuine love." It is unrequited infatuation which feels like love which is not reciprocated. LJ and I agree that we should reserve the word "love" for the real thing and find another word to describe addictive love. Just so you don't ever kid your self find another word.
Post by Loving My Life on Oct 19, 2012 14:33:35 GMT -8
This is all mine was unrequited love, fantasy, because I was lied too and manipulated for almost 3 years, for my poa's gratification and entertainment...was he a avoidant? Yes he was until he needed something from me.
I just kept thinking and hoping if I just keep loving him no matter what, he would come around sooner or later, well knowing what I know now, he never wanted love, it scared him to death.
There are some greats books out there to read on this, and only you can make a decision if he is an avoidant or not and is he worth just getting crumbs from.
Books: He's Scared, She's Scared.
Attached by Amy Levine & Rachel Heller..
But what we have to realize is how much are we willing to put up with? And how long are we going to keep hanging on if we know the relationship is going nowhere? And are we ok with just being put up on the shelf until our poa needs us again?
We need to learn to love ourselves first, and then the love we are looking for will find us.
We have no control over people, places or things, we only have control over our actions to the situation.
We deserve so much better than what our poas are willing to give us.
Keep coming back, it works if you work it, and you are worth it. :-)
One day at a time :-) :-). . .We can do together, what we could never do alone. :-) And a problem shared, is a problem cut in half. :-) :-)
The biggest problem I have in dealing with him is that he has been sick pretty much ever since we met. It started out small but now has progressed into something more serious and the doctors have not yet been able to determine a diagnosis.
While the illness itself has tested our relationship, what is causing even more friction is the fact that he just doesnt want anyone with him when he is sick, including me. I wouldnt have an issue with this if he was healthy and only sick from time to time with the occasional cold or whatever, but this is something more serious that causes him to be ill the majority of the time. Many times we have had to cancel our plans together so he can go home and be sick alone. I constantly worry when this happens and him constantly telling me no when I ask to come stay with him is driving me insane.
He says Im being pushy but in my eyes loving and caring about someone and wanting to be with someone when they are sick is not being pushy. Am I wrong?
This is not love on your part. Don't fool yourself. It is manipulating him into being something and someone he does not want to be. He is a sick person who seems to want tons of alone time, for whatever reason. This is who you are with. DOn't try to save him, inspire, encourage him, change him. He doesn't seem to want it.
When we love, we love a person as they are. Not as they "should" be.
With that in mind, the "biggest problem" is not his illness, but your desire to change him into a person he is not. A healthy-thinking person.
We try to change people to meet our needs when we don't think the world offers something better for us. The "this is all I've got or will ever get" is toxic thinking on our part. It comes from low self esteem and not knowing what really matters to us.
If HEALTH matters to you and going out and spending time with your significant other, then, this is not the man for you.
Know your values. What is most important to you? If this man's health issues is upsetting you, then he is not the man for you. We stay way past the point of dignity because we think,"but I love him…"
Only a small part of healthy relationships are built on what we think is LOVE.