Here's an excerpt from a blog piece on the Huffington Post entitled, "Signs That Your 'Loving Relationship' May Be an Addiction," by Suzanne B. Phillips, Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, Author:

"Addictive relating, as evidenced by the proliferation of books on the subject, is all too common, painful and suffered by both men and women. In my work with people trapped in addictive relationships, it becomes clear that their efforts to 'desperately keep someone' has much more to do with needing the other at any cost than about sharing a loving relationship."

Like Suzanne Phillips, I speak often in sessions with couples about the dynamics and dysfunction of "co-dependence," as it is popularly known, though initially, most people who are in co-dependent/addictive relationships don't know that they are.

So many people confuse love with co-dependence, just as so many people confuse love with Eros.

Those feelings of "need" - for validation, self-worth and caretaking - and the "incompleteness" one feels without the constant presence of the other in one's life are two sure signs of co-dependency. But let me say it again: co-dependence is not love, and it is not not Eros. In fact, co-dependence suffocates love and Eros, and love and Eros dissolve co-dependence

Love is that Universal feeling, the energy of the essence of All That Is, that channels through all of us to varying degrees for friends, family, lovers, nature, humanity at large and for ourselves. Love is eternal and all-encompassing and unconditional.

Eros is that special "in-love" feeling that we experience usually for one particular person at a time. It is like a laser beam that raises our vibration to the highest heights, that energy that makes the very cells of our bodies sing, that focuses and intensifies our senses. And in many cases, Eros can be fleeting, so direct self-work must be done to keep the channels open enough for it to flow through us as long as possible.

True love and Eros create independence, not dependence. Allowing love and Eros to flow through us is its own validation of the self, its own source of nurturance, and creates within us a singular feeling of completeness.

For more on this subject, you can read, or re-read, my favorite Pathwork Guide lecture: THE FORCES OF LOVE, EROS, AND SEX.

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