Male Love Addicts

By susanpeabody 04/04/18
man crying.jpg

I facilitate a message board and about a year go I got this question.

Jake: Are love addicted men any different from love addicted women?

Susan: There are a few differences but not many . . . There are more men than women who get violent when rejected by someone they love. Still there are always exceptions. I had two women clients years ago: one who stabbed her husband to death and the other who tried to push him off a cliff. I met them when they got out of prison.

Male love addicts are also more ashamed of their love addiction and don't seek treatment or want to talk about it with someone who can help them. I call them "closet love addicts."

When a man is rejected by his mother, he is hurt more because she was his primary caretaker. Women are wounded by their fathers, but only when they are older after they have already attached to their mother. When the bond is broken between the primary caretaker and the infant/child, he or she develops an attachment deficit disorder.

I have noticed that men also get more desperate than women and are more likely to commit suicide. All love addicts get depressed, but guys really think that life is not worth living without the woman they love.

Jake: As far as I see 30-40% of all love addicts are men. There are so many narcissistic women out there. The dynamics, in my view, are exactly the same. And yes, men get more easily suicidal. It is like his mother leaving him all over again.

Also, when we ask for help, we get arrested, jailed, subjected to mandatory court assessment, and then slapped with a restraining order. This is nearly a certain process if the police get involved as no matter the circumstance, irregardless of how badly you were used or hurt, the police and the courts will most likely side with the woman. From then on everything you do, no matter how innocent or well intentioned, is viewed with suspicion and you become afraid of the police.

When you search the internet for resources to help men who love too much, or have engaged in persistent and/or obsessive contact, you only find resources for women trying to get away from their stalkers " You are suddenly pigeonholed into a mold that labels you as a degenerate who can't control himself, akin to a pedophile. This is just a small taste of how love addiction is for some men. Is it no wonder that men go way "off the reservation" in response to this betrayal by a "loved one"

Susan: In the movie "Men Don't Tell," which is about women battering men, there is a scene where a man who was just beaten by his wife goes to a phone booth and calls a shelter. They hang up on him. I had a client whose wife used to hit him in the face when he didn't do what she said. Narcissistic women can be brutal I will admit. My son is 6'6" and lived with a woman who was mentally ill. She used to shout and scream and throw things at him. Karl took a video of one of her tirades and called the police. They tried to arrest him until he showed them the video. They did arrest her, but before they left they told him he had to move out or they would arrest him the next time they were called. He explained that it was his apartment. They did not seem to care.

Still . . . we must avoid generalizing about domestic violence and men and women in general. Every situation is different.

Jake: I know God loves you Susan because you see parts of this through graceful eyes. You do not see things as I see them.

Susan: Now that you have told me your story what are you going to do about it? Venting is great, but the real challenge is to change one day at a time. Take care of yourself and keep coming back. Don 't forget that anger is just a smokescreen to cover up your sad inner child. Once and awhile we need to sit down and have a good cry. God be with you.

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