RELATIONSHIP ADDICTION

Fr Jim Cogley


With any and every form of addiction we lose our identity. A form of addiction that usually goes unrecognized is relationship addiction. This is where we live our lives through another person and even describe our identity in terms of that significant other. So it’s quite common to hear, when introductions are being made; I am Mrs so and so, or I am John’s father or mother. With couples who meet at a young age, before they have matured as individuals, or have fully separated from parents, there is a very real danger of relationship addiction. This is also called co-dependency. Initially, the intensity of the relationship can be envied by close associates, who would love to be in such a bonded relationship. They may appear so close as to be breathing from the same pair of lungs while the unconscious reality is that they are both smothering from lack of freedom and fear of separation. In such a relationship where the couple feel they are inseparable and can’t live without each other, they are like two birds that are tied together. They may have four wings but are unable to fly.