Okay, Shoshanim, Shvanpanim and Baby Seal.
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January 16th, January 27th.
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My name is Avaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited and a professor of psychology in various universities amongst them. CIAPS Center for International Advanced Professional Studies, the outreach program of the CIAPS Consortium of Universities.
And today we are going to discuss Obsessive Love, Unrequited. Love that consumes you whole. Love that permeates every cell in your body. Love that takes over you. Love that is very reminiscent of phenomena such as addiction.
This kind of love is pathological. It's dysfunctional. And of course, it has an etiology, psychodynamic roots, reasons in your psyche that hark back to childhood and other life experiences, object relations and so on.
I'm going to discuss all this momentarily.
Obsessive love, the main characteristic of obsessive love is the inability to put an end to it.
In all other forms of love, even dysfunctional types of love such as, for example, dependency and so on and so forth, there is always an exit strategy of some kind.
I don't know, you have sex with another person. The spell is gone. You can release yourself. You move to another city. You change the job. You fall out of love.
All other types of love allow you to free yourself from the shackles of a relationship that is not working, that's dragging you down.
But in obsessive love, the harder you try, the more immersed and enmeshed you become.
That's the paradoxical nature of obsessive love.
The more mental energy you invest in trying to extricate yourself, trying to run away, trying to let go of the intimate partner, this very mental energy that you're using to free yourself becomes your investment in the obsessive love.
The more you contemplate your intimate partner, your relationship and the love, the more you imagine things, the more you try, the more you attempt to work out wrinkles and the more you run away, avoid, the more you invest in the management of the obsessive love, the more obsessive it becomes.
Emotional investment, even negative investment, cements the unhealthy and unholy bond between you and your intimate partner in an obsessive setting.
This is a very, very difficult situation. It's a difficult situation because whether you act positively, whether you act negatively, whether you adopt these strategies or those strategies, nothing works. Nothing works.
You feel like you are sinking deeper and deeper into a vortex, into a black hole. You're being sucked in inexorably.
There's very little you can do, if anything at all.
You have, it's like a nightmare, like running faster and faster just to stay in one place.
It's as if you hear footsteps to your back. Someone is coming to get you, to consume your whole, to merge and fuse with you to the point of disappearance.
Obsessive love is about disappearing. It is a close cousin of death. It is a death wish. It's a self-destructive, self-loathing, self-hating, self-harming and largely self-trashing syndrome.
You find yourself inside the obsessive love because you want to avoid life. You want to let go of reality. You want to vanish into a togetherness which is so acidic that it will consume you and dissolve you, dissolve you and leave no trace behind. Somewhere in your mind there is the underlying belief that you can find happiness only by ceasing to exist and that existence and pain, presence and hurt go together.
Emotions, intimacy, involvement, commitment, all of these portend pain, agony.
You don't want this pain.
You're anxious, you're depressed, you hate your life, you detest yourself, you resent and reject the world, reality, your environment.
You just want to close your eyes and go into eternal sleep and what better cradle than your intimate partner.
This is the true character of obsessive love.
It's about, it's a suicide act. It's about dying together.
Being obsessive love.
There are bad object introjects.
Now I recommend that you watch my previous videos about bad object introjects, especially the video about you don't deserve to be happy.
So what are bad object introjects?
These are the voices of significant others in your life, primary objects, caregivers, parental figures mostly, mother more specifically. These are introjects, voices, representations of these people, internal objects of these people that represent these people in your mind, snapshots of these people that have a voice and these voices keep disparaging you. They keep telling you your bad, hence the phrase bad object.
Your bad, you're unworthy, you are not lovable. You should harm yourself. You should hurt yourself. You should be self punitive because you deserve, you're deserving of punishment. You're not deserving of happiness.
And these are the bad object introjects and bad object introjects spew out an endless stream of negative thoughts, automatic negative thoughts.
Like I don't deserve better. I cannot be loved. Everything I try in a relationship will end disastrously. I will undermine myself and my partner. It will all end in a calamity.
Calamity, red wine.
So all obsessive love is a way of validating, affirming and confirming the voices of the bad object introjects, these negative, these automatic negative thoughts about yourself.
Obsessive love is intended to prove to you yet again that the bad object is right by failing in the relationship.
And the only way to fail in obsessive love is to transform it into hell, into an infernal landscape, a Dantian hell.
So obsessive love very fast evolves into a scene of mutual torment, gleeful torture, inflicting hurt and pain on each other as a means of communication, hurting each other to the quick, horribly, in order to elicit an emotional response, to get a rise out of the intimate partner, to restore a sense of commitment and emotional investment.
I cheat on him. He will love me. He will love me again. It's a reclaim, a reclaim scenery. Fulfilling the other partner is fulfilling their wishes. It's an act of love, sometimes selfless love.
Obsessive love, therefore, is not love at all. It's a form of extreme hatred.
And this is known as ambivalence.
But obsessive love is also a fantasy defense.
One of the sentences that keep replaying in the minds of people in obsessive love is"He is or she is the perfect match for me. She is my twin flame, my soulmate." It's a fantasy defense.
Narcissistsand to some extent borderlinestake it a step further and establish an actual fantasy, the shared fantasy and the invite in intimate partners.
The shared fantasy of the narcissist is about a mother figure. The shared fantasy of a borderline is about an intimate partner who would regulate her, stabilize her, make her feel safe, and finally engulf her and assimilate her.
These are the fantasies that underline obsessive love.
And the borderline's love is always obsessive love. And to a large extent, the narcissist's love, at least in the initial phases, love bombing, etc., is also obsessive love because it involves fantasy.
It is not grounded in reality. It requires idealization of the intimate partner, imposing on the intimate partner unrealistic expectations and demands that are bound to set the intimate partner for failure, frustrate her and hurt her badly, pushing the intimate partner to do ego-distonic things, things she feels uncomfortable with, actions that she hates, kind of brainwashing her and training her to not be herself.
All these are features of obsessive love.
And then we have, of course, catastrophizing that I mentioned before.
I will never find such a perfect partner again.
He is so suited to my needs. He is so resonant with who I am that he's the only person on earth who can cater to my emotional needs. He's the only one who really understands me, cares for me and loves me.
No one has ever loved me before the way he does.
It's about falling in love with the way you are loved.
Obsessive love is a sick malignant form of self-love because it's a way to experience self-love through the gaze of a dysfunctional, mentally ill other.
In this sense, obsessive love is a form of trauma bonding.
Both partners traumatize each other and then reward each other, hurt each other and then comfort each other, cause each otherdebilitating pain and then soothe each other.
And so this creates intermittent reinforcement and trauma bonding.
Obsessive love is a reenactment, as I said, of early childhood conflicts, mummy issues usually or later life conflicts with parental figures, including daddy issues.
It's about regressing back to childhood.
You see, if you regress back enough, if you reverse your life sufficiently, you end up not being. You end up reentering the womb.
And that's the foundation and core of obsessive love.
It's about not beingby becoming a child, a less than a child, an embryo, a fetus, being immersed and engorged by mother.
So obsessive love plays out a lot of parental conflicts within parental roles, but extinguishing parents, parents who take away individuation and separation, parents who regress you to the point that you become a single cell.
Obsessive love is an addiction, of course.
Because it is an addiction, it's addictive.
I don't recommend that you rush from one addiction to the next.
If you have just miraculously exited an obsessive love relationship, don't rush into another relationship.
Take your time. Get to know yourself. Realize what had happened. Find out your weak points, vulnerabilities and chinks in your armor. Tell yourself never again. Define the kind of intimate partner who would not put you through the grinder the same way.
Create a job description. In case you cannot select a mate, you cannot team up with an intimate partner who is more healthy and more functional, don't have a partner at all.
Give up on relationships for a while, at least, until you mature, until you grow up, until something happens, until you attend therapy for a considerable period of time. Don't just jump from one bed to another. Don't go. Don't transition from one sickness to the next.
I used to work in rehab as a consultant and we used to tell addicts, alcoholics and so on, that come to rehab, we tell them, "Whatever you do, don't have a relationship."
Because you can transition from substance addiction, substance abuse, to an addictive relationship. It's also an addiction.
Don't transition from one addiction to another.
Obsessive love is also a religion. It makes sense of the world. It gives meaning to your life and to your behaviors. It is proscriptive. It informs you what not to do, how not to behave. And it is also prescriptive. It tells you how to act and how to behave.
When you are out of an obsessive love, when you've exited, your life feels meaningless, senseless, sad and ugly and dead.
Work hard on finding new sources of meaning. Volunteer. Join an organization. Go to all kinds of events. Adopt a hobby. Take on a pet. Start gardening or baking or I don't know what. Find meaning, sense, direction and goal orientation.
Because these are the pernicious and poisonous gifts of obsessive love.
It gives you the wrong impression that now your life is structured and it's going somewhere.
Take a list of all the bad memories. Only the bad memories. As long as you can.
And then read aloud this list three times a day, morning, afternoon and before you go to sleep. Three times a day for many months.
Remind yourself how bad and evil and sick and corrupt and pathological and insane and hurtful and painful and horrible and nightmarish the relationship had been. Remind yourself that obsessive love is just a form of dying but slowly and agonizingly write down all the catastrophic, cataclysmic, horrible things that were done to you and that you have done to your partner. And read this list aloud several times a day.
Go no contact. Go no contact. Watch my video on no contact. It describes 27 strategies.
Do not stalk your intimate partner on any social media. Cut him off. Block him everywhere.
And imagine your intimate partner with others. The more you do that, the more de-affected you become, the more you lose your attachment and emotional investment.
If you imagine them with other people, this creates a lot of rage, anger, envy, negative affectivity. Imagining them with other people creates negative emotions that become associated with the intimate partner and then you would never want to go back.
There are many other pieces of advice.
Suggest you go online and look how to cure obsession, how to heal from an obsession, obsession tips, obsession advice, etc.
But obsessive love is the most extreme, all- pervasive, comprehensive form of obsession because it encompasses and incorporates every aspect of you, every dimension, every trait, every memory, your core identity, who you are.
It's about you. It's not about your intimate partner who is merely a tool, a tool for your own self-destruction.
Love yourself. Watch my video on the four pillars of self-love.
Love yourself but don't love yourself through another person. That's always a bad idea.
And definitely don't love yourself through someone whose only loveis self-love, a narcissist, a borderline, a psychopath.
Stay away. You deserve better. You deserve true love and you deserve to not obsess about it.