Why Addictive Relationships are the 51st Shade of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey made an impact on society, and although you may not have read the book nor plan on seeing the movie you may know the basic premise… it’s about a young college girl who falls for a billionaire who is into bondage and domination.

Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that there’s more.

The title Fifty Shades of Grey relates to Christian Grey’s many aspects of his personality. He can go from gentleman one minute to S&M manic the next.

But the title is a play on words…

The phrase “shades of gray” refers to an unclear situation. Things are not black, or white. They are in a gray area.

Just like Ana and Christian’s relationship… it exists in a gray area. It’s not defined by our society’s rules. It is not a typical relationship.

It is a good example of the confusion that comes from being in a gray area in relation to sex, relationships, and obsession.

And like addictive relationships, it involves confusion, drama, and feelings of longing.

Addictive relationships

Addictive relationships happen fast and hard because it’s typically based on instant sexual attraction – just like 50 shades.

But the truth is… addictive relationships are not real. They are fantasies. You are in love with what you wish the person was… not what they are.

And just like 50 shades, addictive relationships involve obsession, control and the need to stay in it despite negative consequences.

The core of addictive relationships is to fill a void, to heal past trauma and get unmet needs fulfilled.

Why are some people drawn to begin addictive relationships?

As a child, if you have experienced a lack of nurturing and attention from your parents then you’re more likely to search for healing from an addictive relationship.

Whether it was accidental or intentional, the love you received from your parents shaped the type of adult relationships you would be attracted to.

For example, if the love your parents gave you was inadequate, negligent, abusive or broken through a divorce, addiction, death or illness, then this leads to unmet emotional needs.

So, an adult you search for the transforming fix for anxiety, despair, rage or fear of abandonment within your relationships to get validation that you are loveable and a worthy human.

The motivation is positive… to heal yourself.

But this will fail if you pick someone who is unable to give you the genuine love, caring and emotional support you need.
Unfortunately, you’re wired to be drawn to what’s familiar (someone like your parent), regardless of how good it is for you. This happens because it is what you know and because you are trying to fill the hole of the abandonment wound.

The first step to healing is to heal your wounds yourself. The feelings of self-worth come from within. Not from other people or relationships.

What to do if you’re in an addictive relationship?

If you’re in an addictive relationship it feels isolating and lonely. But, the good news is, you’re not alone. It is more common than people think.

Just because you come from a dysfunctional family doesn’t mean you can’t create secure attachments and healthy relationships. If you are committed to change, then you’re not stuck with this forever.

Instead, be open to change and find the right help to talk about the relationship and the pain that’s inside of you.

Remember you are worthy of happiness and love, and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.

If you are ready to create meaningful connections and overcome addictive relationships, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help. We’re here to help.

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