IS IT LOVE OR IS IT FEAR?
RELATIONSHIPS IN AA, SOBER IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AND LOVE & INTIMACY
How can I tell if I am acting out of fear or if I am really acting out of Love? When it comes to relationships so many times we throw around the words, “I love you” for the wrong reasons. We may say the words to make someone feel needed or Loved which in itself is a kind manipulation. We may say it to make someone feel obligated to us as if being loved has a price tag on it. Or we may say it because we have been hurt by someone and we want them to feel extra guilty…”how could you leave me for another woman I love you!”
Often-times drug addicts have to learn how to manipulate people to ensure that their using needs will be met. To make sure that I would have the drugs I needed I had several enablers on a line. Enablers tend to have their own underlying reasons to enable us but that’s a whole other matter. So in my mind the numerous “sugar daddy’s” that I had on the line had the following reasons to want me around. They wanted to be seen with a young and beautiful woman, “hood ornament” per-say. They wanted sex, of course that’s the most common one. They just wanted affection and to feel loved. They wanted to feel important and needed. They wanted to feel masculine, sensual, strong, and beautiful or maybe they just wanted to feel. And I was there to accommodate and fend off their insecurities.
Armed with this knowledge I would tell them what I thought they wanted to hear and much of that was the “I love you”. So I lied I cheated, I manipulated and said I love you because of fear. I was afraid if I didn’t say and do these things I wouldn’t get what I needed to stay well and wanted to feel good.
But what about regular intimate romantic relationships that aren’t cursed with drug addict motives? Do we still act out of fear and say the “I love you” for the wrong reasons? HELL YES it happens all the time! The primary reason is control and fear of loss. Oftentimes people in relationships tend to act out because they are afraid of losing…especially addicts who no longer have their drink and drug. Now the sober addict has a person that they begin to obsess on and become way too dependent on emotionally and perhaps financially. The “I love you” becomes a staunch obligation to the partner rather than a giving and affectionate tid-bit of verbal yummy. Lol!
So if our partner interacts with other friends do we find ourselves feeling threatened subconsciously and then react by using sex to get then under control? Or maybe we find a reason why the partner shouldn’t be with their friends like…it’s dangerous, I am worried about you. Or when they come home do we throw a fit about how worried we were about them because “WE LOVE THEM”.
We can use this thermometer Love is charitable, it is giving, Love does not attack verbally but fear does. Love does not try to play god, but fear does. Love would never tell another adult how to live.
If we are concerned about a Loved one then we share our concerns in a respectful manner such as sharing our fears for that person by speaking in the “I” context. NO “YOU’S” you this you that tends to be an attack. For instance if my partner is hanging out with his old using friends I could say. “Wow you must be stronger than me if I were hanging out with my old using friends I would relapse for sure.”
One of the oldest control games in the world is limiting freedom for one’s own well-being for one’s own good. All people deserve to have peace and freedom. Once we are adults our mommies don’t control us any longer. The law and our employers are the only authorities that we endure. Each man has the right to make his own mistakes. Each man has the right to have peace in his home. Sponsorship means we suggest and we ask questions we don’t make our sponcee’s decisions for them that is enabling as well.
We should treat our life-partners or significant others like friends giving them the same respect and freedom we would give a good friend.