Trauma bonding & love addiction


In all my previous relationships, I always thought that intensity equaled love. I fell for the same abusive partners over & over again, that were mostly narcissistic & emotionaly unavailable. I had this deep desire within me, to fix and rescue and fight for their love. For many years I thought this was normal! In each relationship, I hoped that they would change and be able to offer me this unconditional love I was so desperately craving. What I didn’t realise at the time however, was that I was only trying to fill the void my parents’ had left after years of neglect and abuse. I was trying to resolve this feeling of not being lovable, through choosing further unsuitable partners that resembled the normality of my childhood abuse.

Each time a relationship ended I felt utterly crushed and devastated. I relived my abandonment over and over again and still had this intense feeling of  bonding with each and every one of my abusive ex’s.

The article in the link below, explains this bonding very well.

The part where it says ”there is a biological craving for intensity than no normal relationship will satisfy” is something that I deeply felt for 20 years and could never shake off..The more excited and addicted I felt to these men, the better..

I was always easily bored and not in any way attracted to healthy & stable men..I felt anxious and uncomfortable around them..This wasn’t my normal..I wasn’t normal..I was traumatised and stuck with what felt comfortable..and unfortunately comfortable for someone who has suffered abuse and trauma, is to crave more abuse and trauma..Sticking with what is familiar is more comfortable than doing something that feels unfamiliar, as us humans are creatures of habit & conditioning.

Growing up in an unsafe home makes later unsafe situations have more holding power. This has a biological basis beyond any cognitive learning. It is trauma in one’s history that makes for trauma bonding. Because trauma (and developmental trauma or early relational trauma is epidemic) cause numbing around many aspects of intimacy, traumatized people often respond positively to a dangerous person or situation because it makes them feel. It is neither rational nor irrational.

..the survivor can come to find that it can be almost impossible to relate to anyone, even family or old friends, except superficially. There is a biological craving for intensity that no normal relationship will satisfy.

When I was first diagnosed as codependent in therapy, in 2008, I started attending a codependents anonymous group in London. I found it helpful inititially when I was recently out of a relationship but as time went on, my therapy was enough. Through the codependent meetings I also learnt about love addiction and being addicted to the need for love..This is something that I remember from the very young age of 13 where I would fantasize about my prince charming taking me away from my family and giving me everything I needed emotionally..As I got older, this intense need transformed into the most important thing in my world..Each boyfriend I subsequently had, became my everything and I felt completely hopeless and depressed without them..

This link below might be useful for some of you to identify whether you might be a love addict..This usually stems from childhood abuse, so don’t be too harsh on yourself! Healing is possible!

In 2012 I was healed enough to be attracted to a healthier partner.With the help of more therapy I persevered through the anxiety of unfamiliarity and eventually got married. Marriage was something I was completely against after my parents got divorced.I never believed I could achieve healthy love let alone a marriage. I am still amazed at how much my life has changed. In 2008 I thought that life would never get better again..Now I sit across my husband and feel incredibly blessed to be loved and cherished for the first time in my life..My friends always felt more like family and I can truly say that I finally have a family in my friends and husband.

Any recovery process requires effort, patience and self-insight. It requires commitment, painful exploration and courage. It is possible to reach a deeper level of contentment, so each step forward is extremely important..

 My experience is vast in regards to relationship dynamics and overcoming narcissistic abuse. I am humbled to offer loads of advice on this blog and through my YouTube videos, as I believe that it is important to assist others on their journey. We all heal together..and we can all help each other..Whether some of you are only just starting your recovery process and whether others are ‘healed’, makes no difference..The connection and knowledge is crucial..The exchange of information is powerful..

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.







Author: Courage Coaching

I provide empowerment, empathy & support. I specialise in dealing with dysfunctional relationships, particularly narcissistic abuse & encouraging self-compassion.

18 thoughts on “Trauma bonding & love addiction”

  1. You’re doing an AMAZING job lovely. I used to have the love addiction to narcissists thing, which was bad as I was married!! eek! But I understand what you mean about craving that intensity and it being intoxicating and normal relationships being a little dull in comparison 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was intoxicating! and can still be ..I can immediately feel the pull towards these people…but luckily I don’t need them anymore and I hope many others can also heal and not need them anymore..<3

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so fab when we can notice that we’re behaving in different ways that go against our experience as that demonstrates mastery over our past 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always struggle with things like this, because I feel pulled towards intensity as well, and feel an addiction to a love that is toxic, but I did not grow up in a house with abuse. Although, my mom was a s8ngle mom until she met the man I call dad, but after that time I never experienced any abuse.


    1. It doesn’t always necessarily have to be abuse..It could also be small traumas that accumulated at a very younge age..Maybe seeing your mum struggling, feeling like you might lose her etc..Subtle changes in 1 parent families can create anxiety in a child..I am sorry you struggle with this but it is good you recognise it as it is something that you can change over time..<3

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been struggling a lot with fears about whether or not I’ll ever reach that point, and this post is very (!) reassuring. I used to have that craving for love until the last year or so, and relate especially to fantasizing about that ideal of perfect love as a teenager. Now, I seem to be fearful/have massive boundaries (!), but your post has helped me to regain optimism that I can heal to a point of healthy relationships. I’m waffling, but I mean that this means a lot (!) to me: Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand the feeling of fear and wanting to set big boundaries, as I had also reached this stage just before I met my husband..I had decided to give up on men and just remain a mum to my male cat 🙂 When my husband first started showing interest, I became anxious and unsure and doubted everything..Therapy throughout the first year of being with him, helped me in moving forward! It is possible and there is hope 🙂 and I really wish that for you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hiya, no pressure to do the tasks at all, it’s a bit of an ask reading back on it :S
        Just wanted to personally nominate the favourite posts. Enjoy the holiday and lovely break x


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