Bill of Rights

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Love, Attachment, and Connection

I used to think I knew what all these terms meant. I've felt that crazy kind of love in the beginning of a romance; that feeling you get when you can't stop thinking about him.  I've felt that kind of heart wrenching love looking into the face of my child for the first time. In my small human way and because of the great love I have for my children, I have a sense of how much Father loves each of us. He created this beautiful world, he sent His son to suffer, die, and atone for us. He provided a way for all of us to return to His presence.

After addiction, love takes on a whole new meaning.

I used to think people made love with someone they loved -- that was supposed to be special.
I used to think that if you told someone you loved them -- you wouldn't ever hurt them.
I used to think that if you loved someone -- you respected their own individual worth and value.
I used to think love was the impetus for that deep connection that happens between two married people.

I used to think a lot of things before I realized I was married to a sex addict.

Including....that the problems in my marriage were because I was too _______________ or not enough___________________.

All lies!

Except for the part about babies, moms, Heavenly Father and the Savior.

H and I have known each other some 30 years. Except for my siblings and extended family members, I have no other relationship with that kind of time invested.  While there may have been bumps and bruises along the way of growing up with siblings, no one has hurt me to the great extent H has.

Now I am wondering, is this love or just a long-term attachment?

Does love get mixed up with need?

I need someone to open jars I can't open.
I need someone to help me carry things that I can't manage on my own.

I can't think of other needs.
I'm a pretty independent soul.

I have long since separated need from wants or like to haves:
  * I like to have someone I can really talk to
  * I want a husband I can trust enough to talk to
Neither of these are love or attachment

 Dr. Sue Johnson says, "Bonding with a trusted other is a compelling drive wired into the mammalian brain by millions of years of evolution. This is all about survival."  Johnson goes on to say that when we lose that, we panic, and we are lonely or hurting.

How do you trust enough to give or accept love or connection when there is betrayal?

As important as the need for connection is for us as human beings, I'm beginning to see that safety has a primary place on the need ladder.

 According to Maslow, safety comes only after basic life needs of food and water are met.

As I was studying these concepts, trying to make sense of what comes first, I read somewhere (I'll try to find the source) that the deep emotional connection happens only when that person is truly open, and 100% responsible for their own feelings and needs. I took that to mean that safety happens inside first, before it happens with another person.

When I try to connect all of this to my present situation and the intense amount of PTSD I am experiencing, I feel like all I am doing is spinning my wheels. I'm not getting a bit of traction to push myself from my stuck place to the starting point of change.

I have embarked on a new introspective course to find me. I have started to study principles of self-deception and self-betrayal. As I do this self-reflection, I am not expecting to change my H. I'm not expecting to see his betrayal as anything less that it is. I am absolutely NOT taking responsibility for anything H has done. All I am trying to do is take this trauma and this emotional dis-ease with a lack of safety and see what I am doing to contribute to it.

Wish me luck.

Seriously, the PTSD around H has been horrible lately. I can't stand him to even touch me. I need to get to the bottom of this because it is just as bad around my kids too.  There are times when I just cannot have another human body in my personal space.

That is no way to live.

I can't keep all of my associations at arms length....even though right feels the safest to me.


  1. Thank you for your honesty . You are very brave .

  2. I SO get this...what a conundrum. I struggled with the whole co-dependency issue in the same way. Need vs. want? Co-dependent vs. married? When you've been in a relationship for a long time (nearly 40 years!) those basic lines are very blurry. Good luck in your quest to sort it out! *hugs*