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The Affairs of the Heart

9.21.12 Journal Blog post about my experience counseling in the inner city (For more context- please refer to Corporate Girl in an Inner City World)

 

 

 

 Addicted to Relationship

Today I learned something new about women. Hm…maybe not something completely new to me but…let’s just say, I gained a different perspective about why some women become addicted to substances, eating disorders, serial dating, and other destructive lifestyles. In the class I attended today called “Addicted to love,” they reviewed their learnings from the book When You Love Too Much. (Great book for those who are struggling with on and off relationships, by the way…)  Many women from all walks of life spoke about their experiences with bad relationships…abusive relationships…relationships with married men. The whole gamut.

One thing the teacher said struck me the most– she said that women’s greatest weakness is relationship. We are hungry for intimacy. (think– when the common saying is that women want relationship with a guy, while guys gravitate towards sex) No doubt, the bible even speaks to that desire women have! When Adam and Eve fell into sin in the Garden of Eden, Eve was cursed… “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

ok, let’s not go into the deep nuances of the latter part of that verse…but focus on the first part. Your desire will be for your husband. (Think how many single women pine to be married) Certainly for those who have read the book, Captivating by Stasi and John Eldredge, they talk about this desire. Simply put, women were made for relationship (think of how well we get along with our girlfriends, and need to talk everything out!) and intimacy.

That being said, relationships, that chase for wanting to be needed…wanted, really can be an idol of sorts for many women.


<The Addiction Cycle> From Celebrate Recovery describing the  cycle of romance that many women find themselves in when in unhealthy or abusive romantic relationships


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your drug of choice?

And this is the kicker–many women who I encounter who are in these unhealthy, abusive relationships or horrible substance addictions are because….they crave relationship and intimacy.

It is the pain of broken relationship, the pain and inability to process the emotions associated with broken relationships, the pain of rejection and isolation, somewhere in that shame and despair phase of the addiction cycle… that’s when many of these women spiral into other addictions. Meth, crack. Alcohol. PcP, you name it.

The high of a romantic relationship just got replaced by another high.

In the Chemical Dependency class I took this morning, I sat in the Meth group when they all split into different small groups based on drug of choice. In the group, there was a precious lady who has been addicted to Meth for 30 years since being introduced to it at age 12. Wow, 30 years with no time longer than 18 months sober. Ever. I don’t fully know her story or all the stories out there of those with drug addictions in particular but what I’m beginning to learn is that many women are addicted to other things because of the triggers that originate from unhealthy or broken relationships.

 

You make me feel good

During my lunch break, I was sitting at a coffeeshop consuming their Wi Fi when I heard this song—”You make me feel good” (by Cobra Starship) So catchy but when I examined the lyrics further–it just dawns on me….

This is why these women have such a hard time…. This is part of the reason why it’s hard to stay away from bad relationships, from abusive relationships…our whole society or culture idolizes this drug of choice– romantic relationship. You make me feel good? Kinda sounds like a drug!

Don’t get me wrong, romantic relationship when it’s God ordained, healthy, edifying, and life-giving and pure is…divine…(and it should be) However- simply put, it doesn’t take long after looking at our music, our TV, our movie celebrity idolatry…that we realize how much relationship (finding what we should find in God alone in another person) is so missplaced. It breaks my heart to think that our music, our culture is feeding into the lies that relationship with another human being holds the end all satisfaction and purpose to life…and as a result, those who unfortunately started in unhealthy families and exposed to other drugs of choice are being destroyed because of it.

My prayer

My prayer is these women would run to the One they were wired to be in real relationship with (God) and be free forever from the destruction of other drugs of choice.

 

 

HEART CHECK

1. What are the ways that you have idolized romantic relationships? (Looked to romantic relationships not God to fulfill you)

2. You may not be addicted to drugs but what are the things you turn to when romantic relationships cause you pain, loneliness, or rejection?

3. If you are currently in an unhealthy on-and-off romantic relationship, what phase of that cycle of addiction (image above) are you in? What are some ways for you to break this cycle?

 

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