‘Facing Love Addiction’ by Pia Mellody

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‘Facing Love Addiction’ by Pia Mellody

This book unravels unhealthy love relationships. It addresses why there are some people who always fall in love and seem to attract those who do not love them back.

In this book Mellody explores needy and co-dependent personalities, commitment phobic and avoidant styles of relating. She details how love addicts become entangled in a co-dependant relationship with love avoidant types.

She describes a love avoidant or commitment phobic individual as being a product of an enmeshment or trauma rooted in childhood. They most likely became responsible for the well-being of a parent or caregiver. This enmeshment results in an adult who feels they can only gain a sense of self-worth if they’re taking care of a needy partner, or avoid relationships for fear of being suffocated. 

 Mellody clearly shows how childhood experiences of abandonment or engulfment influence our choice of love partners and friends. The book also explores how the love addict’s compulsive behaviour can activate one another’s primary fears and bring out the worst in each other. 

Through a twelve-step programme, exercises and journaling, Facing Love Addiction outlines the recovery in a compassionate and realistically process. It shows us how to identify and let go of toxic love in three clear parts – (1) recovery from love addiction; (2) recovery from co-dependence; (3) learning to apply the new skills to your own relationships. 

Mellody’s fresh perspective and clear methods work to comfort and motivate all those looking to establish and maintain healthy, happy relationships. 

At times she refers to co-dependancy and love addiction as a ‘disease’. That jarred for me; I struggled to resonate with the word, preferring to address and explore the subject as being rooted in our early childhood relationships and not as an illness. Once I got over what the word ‘disease’ triggered for me, I really enjoyed the book and value Pia Mellody’s experience.

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