The Relationship between Love Addiction and Trauma Bonding

Why you can’t just walk away and how to change that.

Jennifer Jones
May 6 · 9 min read
Photo by Marionel Luciano on Unsplash

Love Addiction: An All-Too-Common Coping Mechanism

Love addiction out in the wild is the soap opera of codependent relationships. Simply put, it’s where you crave the rush of the honeymoon phase and struggle when the buzz wears off. It can also manifest as being completely consumed by your partner, feeling “addicted” to them even.

Love Addiction: Navigating Life Without Boundaries

Like most survivors of childhood trauma, I built up an arsenal of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a raging case of codependency. I became a bottomless giver to everyone, unable to set healthy boundaries for my own preservation. I let partners diminish my worth because I wanted to keep them comfortable.

Love Addiction: The End is the Beginning

Over the years, I kept trying to establish romantic relationships only to find myself disconnected with no clue why. While I still cared about those people, I didn’t want to be in a relationship with them anymore.

So How Can Love Addiction Lead to Trauma Bonding?

I’d like to preface with the point that not all love addiction leads to trauma bonding. Typically trauma bonding occurs when a love-addicted person gets with a partner who has an abusive Cluster B personality.

Love Addiction: My Trauma Bond Damn Near Killed Me

From April 2016 until summer of 2019, I was in the most toxic relationship I’ve ever known. It depleted every part of me.

Love Addiction: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

In therapy, I learned about how all of these coping mechanisms I’d developed from childhood trauma were why I acted in relationships the way I did and why I wanted to make people happy all the time. (Fear of abandonment = “No no! I’ll be whatever you want! Don’t leave!”)

  • I’m reprogramming the self-defeating narrative in my head that plays in his voice and tries to convince me I’m a “piece of shit.”
  • I’m rediscovering my worth after being triangulated against multiple people and things.

Love Addiction: Breaking Out

Coming to terms with what love addiction was and how it was playing out in in my life was hard. I felt horrible for having treated partners the way I did. Hell, at the time, I even thought my psychopathic now-ex was my karma for that. (Not true; he was just a narcissistic ass.)

Love Addiction: In the End

It’s important to be real with yourself about the situation. Until I was ready to face it, I couldn’t work through it. I spent months on my therapist’s couch trying to wrap my brain around how horrible a person my ex is and how someone can actually enjoy causing people pain. I still don’t understand it, but I’ve at least learned that’s his cross to bear.

Love Addiction: Closing Thoughts

Love addiction doesn’t always lead to trauma bonding, but it certainly opens you up to the possibility of it more so than any other coping mechanism I’ve seen or lived through.

Wholistique

Déjà you, but better.

Jennifer Jones

Written by

Therapy, Me, & the 38103: Stories about life, trauma, recovery, creativity, and finding a way in this place from a kid who’s finally getting her sh*t together.

Wholistique

Personal stories on health, relationships, and a holistic approach to happiness. Wholistique is about Growth not Change. We DO NOT want to fix You because You are not broken. We want to shift your perception of reality and to empower you with the proper tools to navigate life.

Jennifer Jones

Written by

Therapy, Me, & the 38103: Stories about life, trauma, recovery, creativity, and finding a way in this place from a kid who’s finally getting her sh*t together.

Wholistique

Personal stories on health, relationships, and a holistic approach to happiness. Wholistique is about Growth not Change. We DO NOT want to fix You because You are not broken. We want to shift your perception of reality and to empower you with the proper tools to navigate life.

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