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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Kristen's Love Addiction to Angry Guy

Kristin's Love Addiction: To An Angry Guy

by Kristin*

An addiction to a man is like an addiction to a drug. I should know. I'm a recovering addict.

Pete* is my replacement "drug." The relationship high started off really great...something that took the focus off of myself and made me feel whole and complete. As with a drug high, I felt wonderful whenever I was with this man. I would do anything for him -- in order for him to give me my emotional fix: love and attention. I needed and wanted him no matter what. I experienced a completely different world with him. A world that I couldn't imagine even in my wildest dreams. It felt great! In my eyes this was the healthiest relationship I had ever had. But, as with the drug high, the relationship high hit a plateau. I found myself working harder and harder to gain his approval and acceptance. But it was never enough. No matter what I did or did not do, it was not enough. As the duration of the highs diminished, my desperation to please him (so I could feel whole again) intensified. Slowly, I let Pete take away my power, my control. As drugs had in the past, Pete dominated me now. Our relationship went something like this:

"...the trouble started: once he "got" me..."

At first we were deliriously happy. I moved in with him and we got engaged. That's when the trouble started: once he "got" me. It was subtle, but something was wrong;  I wasn't feeling supported. I got depressed, I lost my cool over little things, over (what I thought) was no good reason. Still, I tried to pretend that everything was OK, and put unwelcome thoughts away. I told myself, "You're crazy. You're ungrateful if you have complaints about this man. He is so good to you! Look at all the wonderful possessions he bestows upon you: gold, money, diamonds, cars, trips, etc." I really believed that there was something wrong with me for not being able to appreciate all that he gave me! It took many cycles of going in and out of this relationship -- and therapy -- before I began to realize that I was not crazy. I really, truly was not being treated well, and it was not my imagination!

He treated me disrespectfully. He put his friends ahead of me. He accused me of being selfish, immature, crazy, you name it. He did not support me. He started fights just when things were going well. He did not act like a partner. Yet, I wanted him to treat me well so bad!  I wanted him to love me and to treat me the way he used to when he was courting me. When Pete acted in a loving way, I felt high. When he was blaming and disrespectful, I felt low. No matter how hard I tried to make him happy, I could not. Soon the lows overshadowed the highs. This hurt too much!

Feeling confused, I decided to move out of his home. I hoped that a separation would make this relationship turn for the better. After still more get-backs and break-ups, one of us, I'm not really sure which one, broke it up. That brings us up to today.

"My recovery from this relationship began the moment I realized I deserved and wanted respect"

I think about him every living, breathing moment -- wishing and hoping that he would change! As per my past battle with chemical dependency, I have urges to go back to him and get my fix. I think things would work out between us if only...if...only he was willing or able to change ! SO SIMPLE! SO WRONG!

My recovery from this relationship began the moment I realized I deserved and wanted respect, compassion, equality, friendship, and partnership. I understand in my hearts of hearts that this man loves me and gave me all that he was capable of giving. It angers me that I can't change him. But I can change myself.

When I feel desperate and alone, which is often these days, I turn back to that which worked for me during my early recovery from drugs. I ask my Higher Power, God, for help. I ask for strength to go through the process of withdrawal from this man. Recovery is a slow process. I remember my recovery from drugs and alcohol and see the similarities in my current obsession and compulsion, i.e., my addiction to Pete. It took a long, long time. But, it worked.

Click here for Kristin's Update!        Kristin's Advice Here!

*All names have been changed. This is a true story written by a real person. If you want to contact Kristen, write Dr. Irene and indicate in the subject line that you would like your message forwarded to Kristen.