Positive Energy

By: Sherry Gaba

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, psychotherapist, life and recovery coach, is featured on VH1's Celebrity Rehab. Sherry is the author of "The Law of Sobriety," which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your copy of "Manifest Holistic Health" from Sherry's Enrich Your Life Series. Contact Sherry at for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. 

Three Signs of a Toxic Relationship

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Jun 03, 2012 old saying that love is blind is especially true when that love is negative, destructive and abusive. Unfortunately there are people that are addicted to love, sex and relationships. The people that are involved in these emotionally abusive or love addicted types of relationships are usually those with very low sense of power and low self-esteem. These people typically find themselves paired with narcissistic individuals that are takers. They will take the love, take the support, and take the relationship – but only on their terms.

Women and men that are considered addicted to love simply cannot break away from these emotionally and spiritually devastating relationships. They rationalize and defend the narcissistic or controlling partner to the point of alienating all their friends and family. This, in turn, only provides more leverage for the power hungry person in the relationship as they become the absolute focus of the addicted individual.

This type of dynamic doesn’t occur overnight. It is often very apparent right from the dating relationship. Everyone around knows there is something amiss with the relationship but many people don’t want to speak up. They are afraid of hurting the individual’s sense of joy over the relationship and they may also fear that saying anything will reflect poorly on their own involvement in the life of their friend.

There are three specific signs that should be red flags that your friend or family member may be in a very dangerous type of emotional addiction that will only get worse with time. The three signs to watch for include the following:

  • Avoidance of time spent with friends and family in order to always be with the new partner. Often the excuses to not get together are minimal and vague.
  • When the couple is together there is obviously a dominant person that makes decisions without any regards to the thoughts, opinions and preferences of the other.
  • Constant negative jokes, jibs or comments from one person in the relationship to the other despite wonderful things that the individual is doing.

Image courtesy of Ambro/


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