#1 -Typically coming from a dysfunctional home where your emotional needs were not met
- Perceptions or feelings were ignored or denied rather than accepted and validated. as well as needs for affection denied. Leaving in its wake a confused child, hungry for love while not knowing how to trust it or accept it and feeling undeserving of it. This impairs a child’s ability to trust herself and her perceptions, both in childhood and later in adult hood, especially in close relationships. Basically, when we get involved in relationships, we do not know how to validate our feelings due to child like emotions that never had the opportunity to grow
#2 - Filling needs by care giving to needy men
- We become caregivers in most areas of our lives. Identifying with pain of others, seeking to relieve it in order to lessen our own. The men who attract us most strongly are those who appear to be needy. We all respond to different types of needy men, but we respond nonetheless, when we should have red flags going up. We have the conviction that this man needs our help, compassion, and wisdom in order to improve his life. We think we can teach him to love, that we can love him enough.
#3 - Terrified of abandonment
- You will do anything to keep the relationship in tact. Abandonment is a strong word; it implies being left, possibly to die because we may not be able to survive alone. Every woman who loves too much has experienced emotional abandonment. Being left by the man, or threatened to be left, brings up all the terror and emotional turmoil from the people who first abandoned us. We will do anything to avoid feeling that way. We will do about anything to make him stay.
#4 - Change through Love
- Because you were never able to change your parents/guardians/ into the warm loving caretakers you longed for and needed to teach you, you respond deeply to the familiar type of emotionally unavailable man, whom you can again try to change through your love. Whatever was wrong or missing in the past, is what you are trying to make turn out right in the present. Something very self defeating and destructive is going on. It would be ok if we brought our compassion and understanding into a relationship with a healthy individual, where our own needs have a chance of being met. But we are not attracted to healthy men who would give us what we need. They seem boring, and we pass them by without a second glance. We are attracted to men who reciprocate the struggle from the past. We will do anything to prove our love.
#5 - Nothing is too much trouble
- Nothing is too much trouble, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will help the man we are with. The theory is that if it works, he will become everything we want and need, which means we win the struggle for the love and understanding we’ve wanted for so long. We go through any lengths to help him.
- buying him clothes to improve his self image
- finding a therapist for him and begging him to go
- financing expensive hobbies to help him use his time better
- giving him half or all of our property and possessions so he wont feel inferior to us
- allowing him to abuse us emotionally because he was never allowed to express his feelings
- Before or because he was hurt before and we are being understanding.
- finding him a job
These are just some examples. We spend a lot of time trying to think up new things that could improve his life or make him happy.
#6 - Accustomed to lack of love
- We are willing to wait, hope and try harder and harder to please. We believe that as adults, it is up to us to make our relationships work. We find blaming, irresponsible partners who contribute to our sense that it really is all up to us. We carry the burden.
#7 - Taking on more than your fair share
- If a person with different history found herself in our circumstances, she would be able to say, this feels awful, I am not going to continue to do this anymore. We assume that if it isn’t working then we haven’t done enough to make it work. We watch his every move, thinking tomorrow will be different. Waiting for him to change is more comfortable than changing our own self.
#8- Self esteem critically low
- We do not believe that deep inside we deserve to be happy. We believe somehow we must earn the right to enjoy life through sacrifice. We feel we harbor some terrible fault and flaw and we have to do good to make up for it. We live with guilt that we are not enough, and that someone will find out. We work VERY very hard at trying to appear to be good, strong, and whole.
#9 - Desperate need to control relationships
- Having experienced little security in the past, we mask our need and efforts to control people and situations by being helpful. We need to be with people who we can help, (needy friends, and needy men) in order to feel safe and in control. Protecting ourselves from the panic at being at another’s mercy. Basically, because we were not protected when we were vulnerable at a young age, we become the protector, to control the environment.
#10- More in touch with a dream than reality
- We live in a fantasy world, where the man we are so unhappy with is transformed into what we are sure he can become. Will become with our help. Because we know nothing about what it is to be happy, or having our emotional needs met, the dream is as close as we dare to having what we want. If we had a man who was everything we wanted, what would he need us for? And all that compulsion and talent for helping would have no where to operate, (and we make the drama if this is so). So we are attracted to men who would normally send up red flags to any healthy person, and we dream on of what could be after all our hard work. A great man just needs a great woman or something.
11. Addicted to emotional pain
- We use our obsession with the men we love to avoid our pain, emptiness, fear, and anger. We use our relationship as drugs, to avoid experiencing what we would feel if we held our own. The more painful the relationship, the better the distraction. A truly awful circumstance is like a strong drug. Without someone to focus on, we actually go through withdrawal. Nausea sweating, chills, shaking, pacing, obsessive thinking, depression, inability to sleep, panic, and anxiety attacks. In effort to relieve these symptoms we return to our last partner or desperately seek another.