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Confusing Love with Obsession

Confusing Love with Obsession Reaction Paper

John D. Moore, in his Confusing Love with Obsession delves into the pertinent issues concerning love and intimacy, with obsession being critically analyzed. Pertinent questions arise such as, why do so many people (men and women), obsessively attach themselves to relationships which are destructive ones, and which they cannot easily detach themselves from? Why is there an inert need for control over one of the partners in existent relationships,  even through pathological means, and is this necessary? To best answer the above questions, one needs to to critically evaluate the differential aspects of love, intimacy, and the aspect of obsession.

The author provides pertinent information, required for identifying, understanding and eventually becoming aware of destructive traits and behaviors within existent personal relationships aimed at permanently stopping such destructive and vicious relationships. By confusing love with the negative and hence more destructive aspect of obsession, people often attach themselves to others regardless of a lack of compatibility between such couples. Such individuals are unfortunately not able to comprehensively function without being in a relationship, thus this results in tragedy. There is often an attempt at fixing such abusive behavior (in a partner), through different measures, which in the end are unproductive (Moore, 2006).

There is often abandonment of both family and friends because of such obsession with the existent non-functional relationship, with the controlling partners often initiating such control-measures as emotions, food, sex/ intimacy and money. Such measures, if uncontrolled, often lead to stalking of partners, harassment and abuse of the weaker partner.  Through a series of case studies/ presentations and discussions, Moore highlights a problem that is widely unknown and constantly misunderstood. Men and women, who engage in relationships based on this unfortunate aspect of obsession, are able to not only to discover, but also practice health, loving relationships based on understanding in the long run (Moore, 2004).

What is the Predominant Love Style for most of the Characters Presented in the Book Confusing Love with Obsession?

In the book, the various characters entailed, display types of love styles such as control through different means like manipulation by pregnancy, emotional and financial manipulation and acts of revenge against people viewed as being threats to the relationship. Additionally, there is a pre-occupation with the other partner’s whereabouts through monitoring and tracking. A restriction occurs in the sense of those whom such partners wish their other halves to befriend or communicate with. Food is utilized towards making such partners overweight, hence unattractive and undesirable to others. Addiction is another aspect that is utilized. This may be addiction to food, sex, drugs and alcohol, all aimed at preventing abandonment.

Attention seeking is another aspect that is used especially when one partner cannot control the existent relationship with the other often being anxious. Accordingly, the predominant love style for most of the characters in the book is one based on control and aggression, with alcoholism and drugs playing fundamental roles in the eventual cheating and separation phases. Partners have a strong feeling of denial, which is significantly influenced by the impairment of daily functioning. This often results in a total loss of control. According to Moore, this is adequately termed as relational dependency (RD), and its effects are devastating and hence difficult to recover from. Ultimately, it all boils down to obsession and manipulation with love taking a back-step in such case scenarios (Moore, 2004).

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What Character if any did you Identify with most from the Book? This Can be either Yourself or Someone you Know.

The character I identified with the most is Nancy. She, though admitting her controlling behavior in the relationship, is unable to trace it back to her childhood upbringing. By being raised in an alcohol-controlled, and often violent-resultant parental relationship, she often felt lonely, abandoned and very confused. Such feelings often overwhelmed her resulting in her becoming unattached to the rest of society, while plaguing her deeper into depression. In result, when she met David, who was her first love, she became disillusioned due to the fact that though she loved him, he was emotionally unavailable. This ultimately led to her being hospitalized because of staying in the relationship, where she offered her love, the consequential results notwithstanding. It is against this background, that her current existent relationship with Ron proved to be negative in the long-run. This was because she initiated controlling measures knowingly or unknowingly, which contributed to her experience. Her children’s departure, eventually staying with her husband Ron’s parents is the result of her controlling and obsessive nature (Moore, 2006).

Briefly Outline the Characteristics of the Obsessive Love Wheel at each Stage of the Wheel

John Alan Lee, in his work Intimate Relationships, refers to the fact that love can be described in six major styles/ types: Eros, Ludus, Storge, Mania, Pragma and Agape categorized into 2 major arenas – primary and secondary types of love. By assigning each type with specific colors in addition to utilizing both Latin and Greek works, he embarked on a quest towards displaying the difference in these types of love, as pertaining to their intensity and final effect on love experiences. The fact that there exist three primary colors, informs Lee of the fact that there are three primary types of love, and it is from a varying combination of these three that one gets the six styles of love. As mentioned, he categorized the six types into two major categories, representing the types accordingly (Lee, 1977/1988).

In the primary type of love, there exist three sybtypes: Eros (represented by Red), Ludus (represented by Blue), and Storge (represented by Yellow.) Eros love pertains to love that is of sexual or sensual nature, with lovers in this category being both romantic and passionate. They often do seek out other lovers who exhibit such traits, thriving on the alluring nature of both love and sex. They are of the firm belief that there exists only one true love(r) in the whole world, and thus, are mainly monogamous. Sexual relations usually occur in the early periods of the existent relationships, with sex being both exciting and passionate. Ludus pertains to love that is characterized by a carefree, playful and flirtatious attitude, with lovers not caring much about the aspect of commitment. They are driven primarily by aspects of fun and being spontaneous, with variety being their primary goal.

Thus, they are used to spicing up their lives rooted in the ideal that the more variety, the better it becomes. Thus, such lovers rarely share intimacy, as love for such individuals is easy, fun and nonchalant. These often tend to be polygamous in nature in their existent relationships. Storge, on the other hand, is best described as friendship-based love, as it grows with time and experience between such partners. To them, intimacy and friendship take primary place over both sex and passion, with such relationships being based at first on friendship, which gradually grows and evolves into both sex and romance. Such individuals require constant reassurance from their partners, primarily through friendship, before evolving into more intimate and hence sexual relationships (Lee, 1977/1988).

There are three types of love in the secondary categorization including Mania (represented by Violet), Pragma (represented by Green), and Agape (represented by Orange). With mania, Lee equates it as a combination of Ludus and Eros. It is primarily characterized by aspects of control, envy and jealousy, due to the fact that manic love is chaotic, hectic, agitated and frenzied. Thus, the positive (high aspects) are characteristically very vivid, with the converse being also true. Hence, relationships founded on this type of love often equate to emotional roller coaster, with such typically ending on very emotional grounds. Such individuals are unable to comprehend anything else but the lost love when such relationships end.

Pragma pertains to a combination of Storge and Ludus, thus, such relationships are guided by the principles of logic and practicability. Both the benefits and costs to be incurred or existent are carefully weighed out before entry and subsequent commitment to such a relationship. Thus, characteristics of such a relationship are non-emotional, and are rather based on specific wanted criteria like religious beliefs, education levels, socio-economic status, lifestyle and self-identification amongst others. Intimacy is rarely expressed as such partners seek each other out of convenience and social outlook. Agape, on its part, is a combination of Storge and Eros, with such relationships being characterized by selflessness, unconditional and enduring love. Love provides satisfaction that is of an intrinsic nature, with aspects such as permanence, kindness and patience being inherent. It is as a result of the above characteristics, that this last type of love is considered to be the truest and purest form of love (Pacana, 2012).

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Reading the Book, what Knowledge did you Gain about Love Addiction?

From the book, love is best based on the aspects such as loving, as opposed to simple liking, where romantic love is inclusive of aspects of intimacy, attachment and caring. Caring involves the true valuation of the other existent partner in the relationship, with such being accorded value in terms of his/ her needs, wants and wholesome happiness. Intimacy pertains to the open sharing of each other’s desires, feelings and thoughts between partners in a relationship. Attachment, on the other hand, concerns the reciprocal need for not only physical contact (sexual relationship), but also approval and care from both partners in a relationship. There is a big differentiation between loving and liking, with the latter pertaining to a sense of attachment to a partner, while the former encases the aforementioned aspects.

Compassionate love is characterized by mutual trust, affection, respect and attachment to each partner, with such relationships usually developing in result of shared respect for each other and mutual understanding. Passionate love may be espoused through existent intense emotions, affection, anxiety and sexual attraction, which if reciprocated by both existent partners, ensure a relationship that, is basically elated and fulfilled. Unfortunately, when such reciprocation is non-existent, it usually results in feelings of despair and despondence, eventually evolving to love addiction. In such relationships, negative effects such as control, obsession and abuse/ aggression often result in much pain, anguish, despair and un-fulfillment, with such relationships often ending up in divorce (Cheney, 2009).

To conclude, it is best for couples, who are entering, or are currently in a relationship to critically evaluate themselves and make sure that they do share similar ideals, views and values, which are critical to a solid, love-filled and hence, long-lasting relationship. It is fundamentally important for each individual partner to acknowledge the existent differences in the other partner, in not only ways of doing things, but also aims and aspirations expected from such a relationship. It is such a truthful, open and sincere attitude that a lasting relationship is founded on.

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