Relationships can be very good emotionally, but they can also become very emotionally dependent. This is normal, because in the end we don’t go out with someone we don’t like, but with someone who seems to understand us, who synchronizes very well with our emotions.
However, not all couples last forever. When the relationship breaks down, that illusion of timing and trust fades as quickly as a candle flame, but the emotional void-like smoke of seeing a loved one go can be very painful and especially long-lasting if the relationship has been heavily dependent.
How emotional addiction affects us after a breakup this will vary from person to person, of course, but it can be argued that the greater the pain, the more painful the ensuing duel and the more intense the feelings of sadness and demons. Let’s dig deeper and find out why.
How does emotional addiction affect us after a relationship?
Being in a relationship can be wonderful. Feeling like you have someone you get along with and sync up with almost perfectly is something that makes you feel good.
It’s not about falling for clichés, but when you find your orange half, or something like them, there comes a time when it’s hard to imagine life without. You start planning your life with this person, you rely on them for just about every big event in your life. Don’t consider the possibility that one day he’s not here anymore.
But couples do separate, and when that happens, both parties can feel really bad. Suddenly all these life projects that we had planned to do with our partner are truncated because the relationship has just ended, there is no longer the flame of love and therefore no longer a partner. It’s normal that after the breakup we feel emotionally overwhelmed, because the idea of who our ex is now leaves a great emotional void.
It is the law of life to suffer after a breakup. This is completely normal and, although painful, it is in most cases a healthy process. We are entering a period of mourning where sadness, desolation, and anger can take over our emotional course, but ultimately these are emotions that need to be experienced and then begin a new stage. After the descents come the climbs, and it is only a matter of time before we recover, stronger and happier, and move on with our lives.
However, not everyone experiences breakup in a healthy and mature way. The more emotional dependency there is in a relationship, the more likely it is that the breakup will reach traumatic levels, experienced far removed from reality. Emotional dependence in a relationship deeply affects our mood and autonomy when the breakup occurs, to the point that we can suffer from depressive symptoms.
Emotional dependence and emotional abstinence syndrome
It often happens that people with lower self-esteem establish a very dependent relationship with the partner. The relationship plays a crucial role in your life, so much so that it fills the void inside due to a low level of self-esteem on the floor.
In these cases, dating someone can become a feature of the person’s identity, that is, having a partner becomes very important in their life story, which is why they establish a relationship. strong emotional dependence.
The problem is that when the relationship ends, the breakup can lead to various symptoms in the form of bad mood, identity crisis and also extreme need to see ex-partner again.
The latter symptom, in fact, shares characteristics with which a physically addicted person suffers, which is why psychologists claim that in a process of breakdown there is an emotional withdrawal syndrome.
It’s important to understand that everyone will experience an emotional withdrawal syndrome after breaking up with their partner, in one way or another. It is normal that after a long relationship with someone, when that person leaves our life he leaves us a painful void that we just want to fill with his presence, with the sincere desire to return to our lives. However, what is healthy is to continue to flow, to let this void gradually fill with other things and to let the wounds heal, which will heal.
However, people who have established a very emotional relationship with someone find it difficult to bridge this gap. Not only is it costing them, but it is costing them to do their part to allow time to heal the wounds and eliminate the need to see the ex-partner go away. Her need to see her again is so great that even obsessive and toxic behaviors can develop, such as following the ex-partner on social media, finding out about her schedules, or planning “occasional” situations in which she meets this person and starts a relationship. conversation.
These behaviors, which can be considered harassment, are not only detrimental to the obsessed person, but also to the obsessed person.. Emotional dependence and withdrawal syndrome prevent a person from taking the initiative, trying to break the circle, or trying to start a new stage in their life by trying new things. She is trapped in a whirlwind of helplessness as she experiences the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not she will return with her ex-partner or not, wholeheartedly wanting her to be, but rationally understands, or should understand, that the relationship is broken.
The highly dependent person may be so dependent on what their ex-partner is doing that they are unable to continue their education or work and neglect their friendships and family relationships, relationships which ironically are more stable than the partner who comes from. Stop. His emotional dependence and the withdrawal syndrome that has appeared since the breakup made him become a shadow of himself, an emotional drug addict mired in an anxiety-depressive circle.
The physical and mental health of the emotionally dependent person going through a breakup is severely impaired in some cases, to the point that the following symptoms can be found:
- Anxiety and anxiety
- Stunning and lack of focus
- Loss of appetite
- Obsessive thoughts
- Feeling of hooking up
- Disinterest in life
- Dizziness, vomiting and nausea
- Chest tightness
What to do to overcome the breakup?
Emotional addiction after a breakup makes it very difficult to overcome. The onset of symptoms of emotional abstinence makes it difficult to accept that this relationship will not last, but not impossible. It should be noted that for these cases, it is always advisable to go to a specialist, a breakup and relationship psychologist who will teach you tools and strategies that can help you move forward.
To help you free yourself from this emotional dependence, which is still alive despite the breakup, it is essential to consider the following keys.
1. Accept pain and assume its fleetingness
As we have mentioned, experiencing certain pains and symptoms of emotional withdrawal syndrome, in both intensity and duration settings, is completely normal. However, you have to understand and assume that this is something transient, a state that we must go through as part of grieving after a breakup that will make us stronger, focused and balanced.
We have to accept the negative emotions that will come after the breakup. They’re inevitable, they appear, but what we can control is how we manage and the degree to which we allow them to limit us. Sadness, desolation, bewilderment… These are all feelings that sooner or later we will have to go through to promote acceptance and overcoming.
2. Apply zero contact
Zero contact is fundamental when we are going through a break. Not knowing anything about people is the best way to forget about ourselves and end emotional addiction. It’s true that it’s tempting to look at that person’s social media profiles, but in doing so the only thing that gets done is to put your finger on the wound..
It is essential not to have our ex-partner in the networks or our contacts, not even with the idea of remaining their friends in one way or another. For now, it’s best to lose contact. This is the first step in disconnecting us from your life, avoiding falling into obsessive and dysfunctional dynamics.
3. Start a new step
Breaking up can be the start of a stage which, depending on how we deal with it, can turn out to be the best of our lives.. It’s crucial that after a breakup, we write down and recount whatever our ex reminds us of and make the effort to make meaningful changes in our lives.
Something as simple as making new friends, starting to study a new language, going to the gym, or any other hobby we’ve never tried before can help us free our minds, break the cycle. obsession.
Whatever we do, an emotional breakdown should never be seen as the end of the world, but the end of one stage and the start of another, a stage in which we can make many good things happen, by building a stronger version of ourselves.
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- López-Cantero, E. (2018). Breakup Control: Exploring Romantic Love Through Relationship Endings. Philosophia (Ramat Gan), 46 (3): p. 689 – 703.
- Martell, C. et al. (2010). Behavioral activation for depression. The Guilford Press.
- Verhallen, AM et. to. (2019). Breaking up romantic relationships: an experimental model to study the effects of stress on symptoms of depression. PLoS One, 14 (5): e0217320.