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The Excessity of Relationships

Relationship excessities aren’t always of a sexual nature. Sometimes, the excessity relationship I see is between parent and child. It is a disturbing distortion of the natural bonding that should occur, where one appears unable to detach and function without the other.

Bonding becomes bondage.

This kind of enmeshment between mother and daughter often manifests itself in an eating disorder — the daughter’s symptom of the mother’s relational stranglehold. I have also seen it in opposition defiant disorder between a father and son, where the son assumes a constant position of hostility in order to avoid the suffocation of his father’s need for control over his life.

Relationships can also become an excessity when it is the fact of the relationship, not the face of the relationship, that matters most.

I’ve seen people jump from relationship to relationship, refusing to grow and learn from each other, in order to perpetuate a deep-seated pattern. For these people, the faces change but the circumstances do not.

He’s forever looking for someone who needs him so much she’ll be afraid to leave. She’s forever looking for someone who is wounded more than she is so her hurt won’t seem so bad. I’ve seen people who needed to be in a relationship so badly — who could not tolerate being alone — they compromised just about everything.

If you keep looking in the mirror when it comes to relationships and say to yourself over and over, “I can’t believe I keep doing this!” it’s time to determine if being in relationships has become an excessity in your life.

SOURCE: Chapter 2, “Examine Your Excess,” in Gotta Have It! by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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