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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

Women Who Love Too Much, Are You One of Them?

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Jun 30th 2009

This posting is a review of a wonderful book that some of you may already be aware of and others not. It was written by Robin Norwood back in 1985 and was republished in paperback by Pocket Books in April of 2008. It is recommended reading for people who become ensnared in a similar type of unhappy, unfulfilled and torturous relationship pattern. What I found interesting about this book was the fact that it accurately portrayed a certain type of woman who sought psychotherapy with me over the years.

Essentially, "women who love too much" are those who are always seeking love and affection from partners who are unavailable. Their unavailability may stem from such problems as their alcoholism, narcissism, fear and avoidance of intimacy, rage, inability to form lasting attachments and any other of endless numbers of personality problems that make them unsatisfactory partners for anything like a permanent and happy marriage.

Yet, as Norwood points out, there are certain types of women who pursue men who will never make them feel happy. The reason for this unhappiness is that they are forever pursuing love from someone who cannot or will not gratify their needs and wants for love, safety and security.

In fact, some of the men they pursue are abusive, rejecting, cold, distant, sadistic, ungiving and emotionally unresponsive. Some of these men even make themselves physically unavailable for weeks or months under one pretense or another. Yet, the woman continues to pursue. In fact, why do they become obsessed with these men? All the evidence points to the fact that these women repeat the pattern and seemingly learned nothing from their prior unhappy experiences.


Norwood provides many explanations for why and how these unhappy women repeated trap themselves in unfulfilling relationships. Basically, what she points to is the fact that these women are seeking the love that eluded them when they were children. In each case she cites, either one or both parents were unavailable to them. The unavailability may have been due parental personality problems, alcoholism and drug abuse, domestic violence or any number of other problems that interfered with parenting.

In a way, what Norwood is describing is an example of the old saying that, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." And, so, the pattern is set during childhood and they try and try again, forever repeating the same process.

In my experience:

What always impressed me about these cases was the intensity of their obsessional symptoms and their inability to gain any understanding of what was causing their symptoms.

The sessions were filled with ongoing discussions of their current boy friend to the degree that it felt to me as though I was invisible. Actually, they were so preoccupied with these men that is seemed as though they were absent from the room.

Two of the most interesting characteristics of women who saw me for treatment was the fact that they rejected any "nice guys" they had dates with because they were "boring." The boring men were available, interested and capable but did not fit the pattern of their past experiences. The other characteristic was that they reported how terrific the sex was. Yet, they seemed to miss the point that, while sex is important, so are the other areas of relating.

In so many ways, these women seemed blind to themselves and to the men they were with.

Defense mechanisms:

Obsessional thinking is viewed as a defense mechanism that the patient is unwittingly using to hide something else. In other words, "if I think about this all day then I need not think about something deeper and more troubling." So, what was being hidden by the obsessional thoughts?

The answer to that last question varies from one individual woman to the next. The deeper issue can be something like wishing to evade real intimacy out of the fear that she could reveal vile things about herself. In this case, there can be a deep feeling of not being lovable. Another possibility is that the obsessional thinking can hide a fear of being controlled and dominated by an authoritarian man who represents the controlling and rejecting parent of childhood. Other possibilities are that obsessions hide deep seated depression, anxiety, believing that life is meaningless and, the list can go on.

Norwood advises that the way to break this repeated pattern of relating is to enter psychotherapy and gain additional  support from either joining or starting a women's group for people with the same patterns.

Because the issues are deeply rooted in personality problems, it is safe to predict that the therapy will continue for a long time. I would recommend psychodynamic psychotherapy with an emphasis on existential concepts.
What this means is that the primary focus of the therapy is on the relationship between therapist and client. It is in that therapeutic relationship that the unhappy patterns of behavior are repeated and the therapy provides a corrective experience. Insight or understanding is not enough for the client. She needs an experience whereby she can learn a different way of living. It is difficult to remove blinders from one's eyes and see what is really happening.

What are your experiences, opinions and questions about this difficult issue?

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Addicts in Recovery - Anonymous - Nov 19th 2014

Just a few days ago I completed the Narcotics Anonymous 12 Step Program. It was recommended to me to read Women Who Love Too Much. So I googled it. So true are these character defects. I don't want the pain of a broken heart anymore. During treatment I fell in love with my long time friend and sponsor. What a mistake! So now I am letting go of him in more ways than one. At the same time I am letting go of the character defects that makes me choose men that break hearts. I have had enough of the pain. Amen.

Left my addict husband - Michelle Hyson - Sep 24th 2014

I left my addict husband last week. Even though I took leaps and bounds by leaving my heart still hurts. My plan was to cut him off completely; I changed my number deleted him from social media but didn't block him. It's as if I am afraid to compoletely cut allties mainly because I still love him. My family tells me to divorce him and part of me thinks I should. For some reason right now I just want to be separated. Perhaps, the fool in love hopes he will realize he lost me and try fight his addiction and be a better man essentially fight for me and our marriage. It's so hard to let go so abruptly and I hope that as time ocntinues I figure out how to proceed. I feel like i am carrying on an secret affair emailing my husband against the advice of my family. I am torn and discouraged. But having left has lifted the daily stress of living with hi. It's aprocess isn't it? A process I must go through at my own pace. SO why do I feel wrong to still love him and foolish for hoping to have him back one day?

Figuring Things Out - - Jun 5th 2014

I am a 56 year old divorced woman.  I was married for 22 years and have been out of the marriage nearly 5 years.  My ex was a good and honorable man in many ways but very controlling, very negative, and very judgmental.  Since I've reentered the dating world, I have found myself being attracted to troubled men, usually emotionally unavailable or substance abusers.  I am affluent and college educated, yet I have tried to endure some pretty impossible situations. Recently I read Robin Norwood's "Women Who Love Too Much" and realized that the women in that book were an awful lot like me.  I'm now in therapy with someone who has been helping me a great deal and I have been joining women support groups for reinforcement.  i feel a little stronger with each passing day and will no longer settle for less than what I want and need.  Good luck to all of you out there struggling with a similar situation.

Looking Within Myself - - Nov 30th 2013

I’ve been divorced since 1997 and wanted nothing to do with my ex. I thought our problems were his fault (even though I was the one who hung on for over 15 years, waiting for him to change) A friend (who knows my history with my ex) recommended I read WWLTM. I am investigating myself now and my own character. This book helps keep the focus on myself as I become more self-accepting. 


A new life - Dora - Oct 17th 2013

Today for the first time in my adult life, I went to see a therapist, to beg for help for this black hole feeling inside my head and my heart. I didn't want suicide to end up being my only option.

On explaining my many relationships with men who have controlled, beaten, manipulated, and forced themselves physically on me, she recommended this book. I have sat here literally sobbing into my laptop at the comments left by other women, and the men too.

It always starts the same, a seemingly amazing connection with a man, we are crazy about each other, he wastes no time in telling my all the bad things that have happened to him, and desperate to heal this terrible hole in his own heart, I dance to every tune he plays. Slowly you feel your own life and essense slipping out as your pour everything into him.

And then, he turns. Blackmail? Manipulation? Possessive? Abuse? But by then the obsession is in full swing and every waking moment is devoted to him.

F**K that. I, and everybody who has shared on here deserves someone who will actually love them back. Someone who will give as much as you do. Good luck to everyone, as I begin my own journey, I won't give up until I look back and say

'WHAT was I thinking? I must have been quite mad.'

I ache in my soul - Elena - Aug 19th 2013

My therapist asked me to read this book, WWLTM, so I am in th process of ordering it, but I came cross his site.  OMG, now I can understand, somewhat, why I have not been able to be in a long-term loving relationship, which I long for deeply.  I have tears in my eyes reading your blogs because you ar describing me.  I just end a relationship with a narcisstic person that I was jumping up and down for and doing anything to please him. I was feeling sick to my stomach and crying in this relationship, so I went to counseling and asked her \\\\\\\\

now i realise i am who loves too much - Natasha - Nov 21st 2012

The book  by Robyn Noorwood Women who love too much, has gave me the push to look at my life and my relationship and want to move forwar, it has smacked me in the face and given me a big wave up call i needed. Im living in Austalia and really like to attend a suport group for women whom love too much but not sure where thee are avaliable? would appericate any support or advice with this.

Regards Natasha

Saved from myself - Sandy - Oct 4th 2012

In 2007 I attended consciousness raising classes to discover why I was attracted only to emotionally unavailable men. I met several relationship counselors who recommended this book, and I read it in one day in 2 different airports. It changed my life dramatically. I finally saw the pattern, and recognized I was creating it. I could not end 2 of these relationships but the book allowed me to let them be ended by him. The same him it has always been in every relationship. I never found the courage to go to an AA meeting, but have met others like me and have given this book to all of them. I discovered I am not only happier not being in an obsessive relationship with another obsessed individual, I am happier than I have ever been. I am so grateful for these realizations, and the validation received from the therapists, who all said they were women just like me at one time. My life's journey has changed it's destination, which has every opportunity of being more about me than a relationship with any man. An interesting aside. I sent a copy of this book and articles like this one to each man I dated who fit the pattern. Those who bothered to read the information and reply did so consistently, saying all men are like this. This is like my Bible too, and I've read it 25 times so far. And thankfully I don't think I'll need to read it again.

My view of the book - Butterfly - Sep 27th 2012

I read this book about 4 years ago and I have just finished it for the 2nd time. Main difference being that I am now in a place where I believe I am ready to make sense of this. Some areas of the book don't relate but the point I think is still poignant. She gives a variety of examples so people can relate I think.

To be honest, the denial springs out a lot. I personally didn't think I was this person.. a women that "loves too much". However, reading through the book and seeing so many examples of behaviour has made me realise I am. I am not finding it easy to accept and it is dis-heartening to think the recovery could take a while. However, I have a great therapist that practices NLP and I believe he will be able to help me. Along with joining an Al-anon group.

Attending an Al-Anon group in itself seems a little extreme to me, but I am concious of the fact that "women who love too much" never seem to think it is "that bad" or it are in denial. There was a section towards the end of the book that really made sense to me.

I finally felt like I had a diagnosis for all the things I find hard or struggle with. The overwhelming feeling of relief was amazing.

I am going to step outside my comfort zone and attend a few meetings to see how I feel. I was the daughter of an alcoholic, someone I thought I could trust that I basically couldn't. My father is now dead, but his legacy of ingrained behaviour in me lives on.

Not for much longer I hope!

Unavailable Men are Boring Too! - Diane - Sep 17th 2012

I am in a relationship with a man who runs hot and cold. The "hot" times seem hot only because I am telling myself that he is paying attention to me.

Actually, he is only gassing on about himself. When I've started to hear the same stories, yet he forgets things that I have told him, I have to ask myself:

Why do you not consider this man "boring" as well? What is so exciting about this neverending "poor misunderstood but noble me" crapola?

With a guy who was easygoing but quiet, at least I would have the silence to fill in with my own interesting thoughts, instead of having to listen to the same routine every few weeks from "Mr. Excitement".

More like "Mr. Help Me Feel Great Until You Feel Like Dirt"


I have recovered - Mary - Sep 13th 2012

Hi i read women who loved too much and I think I have recovered fully. I had one abusive realtionship after another.... had plenty of nice men around me who were \\

Woman who loves too much - Pat - Sep 7th 2012

I highly recommend this book. It has helped me for the last 30+ yrs, and im finally at the point in my life,where i can recognize when a guy is not good for me, and avoid heartache that usually follows after dating them. I also went through yrs of therapy,to get here. I am a work in process,but at least i recognize it now. I have told many women to read this,and usualy by the end of the first chapter,i feel like im reading about myself.

Desperate for change - Amy - Aug 11th 2012

My parents are dysfunctional; they both suffer from drug addiction and domestic violence issues. I was placed into foster care @ 5 yrs old and never returned home. As a teen and young adult I shyed away from people-- wasn't interested in sex nor relationships. For the past 8 years I have found myself in one abusive relationship after another; I always stick them out. I struggle with letting go of these men/ women that use and abuse me. I have this sick notion that I can love them into loving me. I am so tired of the cycle. I am very attractive and intelligent and yet I go only for people that are damaged, selfish, and ungiving. I haven't recieved anything out of these relationships. I give everything, emotionally, physically, and financially. I don't know how to end this ugly cycle. I was given the title of this book a year ago and finally I am eager to read it. I hope it guides me to aa solution.

Negative - - Jun 12th 2012

"Because the issues are deeply rooted in personality problems, it is safe to predict that the therapy will continue for a long time."

I actually agree with most of this because I myself am a women who loves too much.  But I find it highly offensive when therapists use negative terms like "personality problems" and say its something that will continue for a "long time."  Way to be encouraging! And to label!

Everyone has challenges they face...I truly believe this is a societal issue, because our society is so full of fear, abuse, trauma, etc, it's passed on to many people.  It's a larger issue than just individuals.  So using negative labels such as "personality problems" is offensive to me.  Just because I endured abuse as a child does NOT mean I am defective or have a "disorder."  Or that I will endure this pain and not heal for a "long time."  That goes for anyone who has experienced any kind of trauama.




A women who loves too much or unfortunate incident? - - Apr 12th 2012

This book is familiar to me because it is owned by my Ex of two weeks.

I have read others comments and experiences here and see them reflected in my recently ended relationship. I have never been involved with an  addict before (once at seventeen for a year but i wouldn't say i was emotionally involved). I've had a fifteen year relationship which ended basically because we both grew as people, just not in the same direction. i would not describe my childhood as lacking in love or parental attachment and can honestly say i felt very safe and secure with no need to seek additional naturing from boyfriends. ( that said my mother was clearly not naturally maturnal. My father made up for her...sorry mum)

None-the-less, for the last two years i have found my self with an alcoholic who says he loves me yet leaves regularly only to come back into my life with ease and i find my self running around in circles to please him -despite recognising i am in an unhealthy relationship. I would describing him as emotionally abusive but never physically. Any way i have ended it and (today) am determined not to let him back in..i was miserable and even had to take time off of work. 

So..i i find myself easily relating to the posts and recognising some of the characteristics of women who love too much that you describe in myself yet this is not my usual pattern of behaviour.

Feeling perplexed and concerned. Have a become a women who loves to much? Or barking up the wrong tree? i really do not want to be repeating this experience however good on a good day.


loving too much makes you forget of who you are - joana - Apr 12th 2012

i love this book because it helps me a lot on how i can overcome of being a woman who love too much..

it helps on how to be more strong and positive in which we dont need to give all our love so that we cannot forget ourselves..

Hoping to break the cycle of pain - - Mar 27th 2012

This book women who love to much is like my bible. I feel like it is the only thing that is going to save me, help me break this horrible merry go round I can't seem to get off of. The pattern is so similar to so many people who wrote here. My story starts with my parents divorcing when I was 7. My father was driven away from my mother, who was very abusive physically and mentally to me. When I was 14, I lost my virginity to a 'nice' boy, who truly cared for me. 2 yrs later I moved away and cheated on him with an abusive alcoholic. Stayed in that relationship for 2 yrs. Next boyfriend, another alcoholic for a year. Met another abusive alcoholic, got pregnant, got married, got divorced 4 yrs later. Left him for another alcoholic for 2 yrs. Then went to another abusive boyfriend addicted to coke. After getting my face smashed into a barbell and getting a scar on my forhead, finally left him and dated another guy still in jail for dealing coke. Then met a married man who left his wife of 10 years. I was supposedly careful to avoid anyone who drank and he hid this from me until we were married 2 yrs later. Married to him for 15 years. He eventually cheated on me and left me. So, what do I do?? Find a guy in a bar...and like a magnet...he is attracted to me and me to him. He's a ladies man addicted to women and porn. So here I am, obsessing to try to keep him in my life, to maybe be the one he will fall in love with and be happy with. When we are together it is amazing, sex is great, there is an amazing connection...buit once I'm out of sight, he is texting my friend privately trying to hook up. Yet, somehow I still want to try to make this work, can't bare the thought of saying goodbye. Of being alone again. Looking back at my past relationship patterns, I have never been alone. I hate it, hate dating and wish it could be different. I give and give to everyone in my life and get taken advantage of, used and abused. It's so overwhelmingly painful sometimes I just want to be put out of my misery!! Can't afford therapy but thank god I have good friends and a loving family. I just pray I can break out of this cycle and stop torturing myself. In contant misery. Reading this forum has at least shown me I am not alone.

When the heart says one thing and the head another .. - AnnieG - Nov 26th 2011

Thanks everyone for helping me understand that I am not really crazy:  The object of my desire is fun, intelligent, charming, an absolute sweetheart.  I have had the most honest relationship with him that I have ever had.  He is also an alcoholic, openly sees other women (one in particular who doesn't know about me, so I am, in effect, the 'other women') and opts for an unhealthy lifestyle.

So, I am obssessed and smitten and have been for 18 months.  I think about him from the moment I wake and all through the day. But he is clearly very bad news for me.  So, why do I continue ?  I am deluded, thinking he willl change and he will choose me over his other girlfriends.  I am intelligent and thought my childhood was good, however now I am beginning to question that.  I now think that my mother was 'unavailable' - doing all the right things on the surface but never actually connecting with me emotionally. 

This blog is great and has already helped me a lot.  I'm still not quite sure what to do to stop the obsession (not helped by him living very close to me), but I feel that the understanding this blog has given me is a good first step.

Any advice on how to 'wash that man right out of my hair' would be gratefully received.  It seems that my heart is impervious to reason.

Best regards, Annie

The wall of abusive love addiction and recovering from it - - Nov 11th 2011

I read WWLTM in the late \\\'8os after yet another failed confused, dramatic, abusive relationship and then was lucky enough to join a self-help group set up at the pioneering Women\\\'s Therapy Centre in London (sadly now defunct).

WWLTM was a book which greatly helped me understand myself and my vulnerabilities ( 3 others have been: \\\'Fat is a Feminist Issue\\\', \\\'Emotional Vampires\\\' and \\\'Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions\\\'). I remain in recovery and, by the grace of the powers that be, have had a happy relationship with my current partner for over 20 years.

What WWLTM has taught me so far:

a) Any type of addiction operates with a mental wall - you are either on the side where your thinking is warped because you are actively addicted or you are on the side where you are in recovery and can see more clearly. There is no middle way. Even though you think it will never happen, believe that there will always remain a possibility that you could slip up and end up back on the wrong side of the wall. If you do so, the slide backwards could happen very quickly.

\\\'Loving Too Much\\\' really is a powerful addiction, with a thick wall. You need support to overcome it and you must always remain vigilant against it.

I nearly slipped up once about 4 years back when I felt powerfully attracted to the wrong kind of man and he reciprocated the attraction. (Luckily, I came to my senses before any damage was done - it got no further than a peck on the cheek.)

b) To really break a negative pattern, you need to become aware and educated, think long-term and then persevere. Read books, join a self-help group, get therapy, do NLP - whatever it takes for you.

For years, I thought that to break a negative pattern it was sufficient to just do the opposite of what had happened before. So, where I thought my mother was weak, I was going to be strong. Where my father was abusive, I would be the opposite. WWLTM helped me understand that I was really only doing the same thing in a different way.

c) Remain open to continual learning

I think that, for survivors of trauma or abuse, there can never be complete closure. Different cycles of your life reveal new aspects of the situation to you, which need to be understood, forgiven and come to terms with. Occasionally, a relative says something or an incident triggers a memory or a reaction which sets me off again. I am now at a stage where I can see that, although my mother was weak in many ways, she also found the strength to finally leave my father (and the country) when the violence escalated.

d) Always pay very careful attention to how you feel when you meet a new person to whom you are attracted. Review your encounters after the event and don\\\'t brush off any nagging or \\\'gut\\\' feelings, such as a vague feeling of uneasiness. Just think about them for a bit.

Eg Is it a \\\'real\\\' attraction (perhaps you feel relaxed, happy and in control of your emotions when you are with that person) or a potential obsession? (Perhaps  your strong attraction based on superficial factors because you don\\\'t know the person, you think compulsively about them or you feel otherwise out of control?)

One of the most important things I\\\'ve learnt from WWLTM is that any type of potential abuser sends out \\\'grooming\\\' hints to people pretty much from the outset (eg they want you to feel sorry for them for something that happened in their past, they only ever want to meet you in a place that serves alcohol and/or they jokingly tell you that \\

what if symptoms are there but background is not? - - Oct 21st 2011

Dear Dr. Schwartz and all too-much-lovers,

thanks for this opportunity for sharing and learning.

When I read Robin's book I found that I have all symptoms of love addiction or co-dependency and I was shocked but also kind of released by the fact that somehow I am not getting into these types of relationships because I am stupid but I actually have a problem and many other women, or better -people, have the same problem, and it is solvable.

However, i do not recognize myself at all in the background description of the type of women that have this problem, basically teh reason why i strated leanrign and using this type of behaviour patter. In fact, it is mostly said that those are women who lacked love in childohhod, had violent homes, emotional needs not fullfilled when children, abusinve parents, abstent parents etc, but I have a wonderful family with 2 carign parents who also now at the age of 60 love eachothera nd support ume so much. So where did my pathology started? do other peopel have the same feeling? the fact is that if you don't know the reasons of the problem then it is difficult to look for solutions.. Am I makign sense? 

thanks so much  

support groups - smile - Aug 13th 2011

please can anyone tell me if there are any support groups i am in the process of reading this book and it would be great to get some support, so far the book is great, scary as it's got my name all on it



book that brought me back to life- works for men too - menmyself - Aug 9th 2011

yep. thats true. i didnt works. for men too.

this book trully brought me back from the dead.

i could not feel anything when i got this book way back in 1998. God really had mercy. i was just depressed and spaced out in a small estate hotel where there was this girl waiter i wanted to hook up with.


i didnt hook up with her :( but dear lord she had this book that she lent me- women who love too much.

it was talking about me and my absolutely mad family and my saviour complex to save people that are doing nutty, chaotic trully mad things.

and it really has taken soooo many years and so much fighting and so much recreation of non existent boundaries..... dear god. i just say thank you to robin norwood.

in the struggle and fight. her words were my central pillar in my decisions and journey from hell. i remeber some words offhead.... and you  can decide whether the person you are relating with is having anything else to offer you besides an opportunity to help them.

today i met one of those dramatic women i would have been dying to rescue despite her bad manners.

but i just politely waved at her from a distance. knowing clearly se has nothing to offer to sane men.

and i remebered robin norwood. and what immense service she had done for me.

thank you robin norwood x a million


anyone who healed? - elf - Aug 7th 2011

Hi to all of you!

Is there anyone out there from you, who healed? Is there a way out of this unhealthy conditionned relationship-pattern?

I read the book after I have split up with my boyfriend (cocaine addict), also it still doesn´t feel like, that we really have split up.

I grew up in a family where my mother already was a "woman who loves too much", beeing together with my dad, who basically was not able to communicate or show love to her.

My mother then was often in depression, addicted to medication and simply not available to give love, support to her childreen. Turns out aswell, that my brother (4 years older than me) is a sociopath (no access to real feelings like empathy), who manipulated, abused emotionally and occasionally phisically me all my childhood through and no one was there to help me.

Still as a young adult, I form a business with this sick person "brother" and let manipulate him and me believing, that he really loves me and that he will change.. I was codependent already then, basically as a child with 10 already.

I stepped away from the abuse of my brother and found a substitue in my then boyfriend. Now leaving my boyfriend, it is the first time in my life, that I am concious of my own sickness and no other familymember who would of loved to substitue my boyfriend now anymore.

I feel like on cold turkey and empty and although I know I need to be abstinent of "my drug" Boyfriend, i still feel little hope, that it could turn out all good in the end... how sick...

I am living in a place, where there is no alnoon meetings or similar, I am in a therapy, but my psychologist doesn´t think, that i have this codependency problem (?? strange lady, huh?)) what else is there to do? And once again... anyone who healed???

Love !!!

I want change but I'm afraid of it - shey - Aug 6th 2011

For the past 20 minutes I've read many of the comments, at first I cried and then I just thought, do I want to wait until I'm 57 to get out? I started a relationship 11 years ago, we only lasted a few months together, I was pregnant and he was abusive, I thought if I was caring and loving enough I could change him. I was wrong, we split after a few months, he has never been responsible with our child and has been completely out of our lives. He married and every now and then we would have an affair, he'd use me and discard me. Five years ago I decided to put an end to it, mostly because I had hit rock bottom and couldn't handle any more pain. For 5 years I managed to stay away from him, every now and then he would send messages or emails and I'd ignore them but then one day I didn't, and things started up again, he was kind, loving, giving me all the attention no one had given me in a long time. I haven't been in a relationship in many years so I was feeleing very lonely and then he showed up and lifted me off my feet again. It's only been a month, at first it was all attention and sugar, now he's settling down and he seems cold, unnaffective, annoyed by me, yet all I want to do is please him, make him feel loved so that maybe he'll do the same with me. Maybe I'll make him love me, that's what goes on in my crazy brain but the reality is that this relationship aside from the sex just makes me miserable. He's never made me feel good enough for him, even though I've tried to please him and be kind and patient, he often seems annoyed and distant and if I mention something related to my son or the past he snaps and tells me how I keep bringing on the past...but yet he hasn't made any changes, I'm still raising our son by myself. I need to get out of this relationship but I don't want to, or else I'd leave. I feel like no one is going to love me and so it will be him or no one. =/

Today I woke up crying, this relationship makes me more miserable then it makes me happy, but I feel like it's all I have.

There is Help out there! - - Aug 1st 2011

I recently picked up this book at a thrift store, it caught my attention because I remember it from years ago when I read it. At the time I was married to an Alcoholic and I briefly paged through it and was not very moved by it( this was my denial).  I am reading this book and I admit this is me...all the way!! I was married to an alcoholic for  25 years and lost myself, managed to divorce after infidelity, abuse and complete exhaustion. Well the student is ready and the "teacher appeared". I hooked up with another alcoholic and once again hit a rock bottom. I attended Alanon years back to get me through my divorce and stopped going because I thought I was all better....Wrong!!! I am now back in Alanon and I am learning I can't change anyone but me. I am the one that picked these characters and although they may display bad behavior....I'm the one who chose them and put up with it I must be just as sick!!! It is time to get well and say no to unhealthy relationships and yes to myself at the age of 50. If not now.....WHEN????? Like the old saying goes , do you know why kids become school yard bullies....because they can!!!! Give alanon a try or another 12 step program...really does work. God Bless.....P.m.

Thanks for this book - Iva - Jul 5th 2011

This is probably the most significant book of my life. I hope it will change my life to feel happy.

Thanks to Robin Norwood very much !

Love addict - Love addict - Jun 13th 2011

When I read the book "Women Who Love Too Much" I understood people can be addicted to love. It was a relief to understand I was not alone.

I broke up with my boyfriend. I haven´t called him for three days and I am looking for help to make this break up definitely. We have been together for 9 years and I am tired and sick of his lack of commitment. There is always an excuse not to marry me. I realized I was pathetic trying to make him to marry me. He ignores me, I was really sick and he never called me. He doesn´t call me on my birthday, nor Xmas, nor New Year. He is a good man in general but there have been times when he was really aggressive. One night he threaten me with a knife and other occasion he put his hands on my throat. I don´t want to die. I admit I have been blind, I need help and I want to feel better.

Do you know any group therapy? I need a support group. I feel anxiety and I would like to call him but NO. I need to be strong. I want to break up definitely. I want to find a good relationship eventually.

Falling Apart - TN36 - Apr 9th 2011

I read this book everytime I go through a breakup. I know that my relationships are very unhealthy, but I just can't seem to break the cycle.

My story is very similiar to many of you. My mother and step-father were both functioning alcoholics with NO time for their five kids. What I most remember about my childhood is my mother's bedroom door being shut to keep us out while she and my stepfather drank all day. I sometimes lay in the bed and shut out my children too when I am depressed.

My biological father wants nothing to do with me although I tried to start a relationship with him when I was a teenager. He will not answer my e-mails and has only seen me once when I was five. I have come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with me (too ugly, dark, fat or dumb) because I cannot get my parents to love me.My mom died of alcoholism last year without ever telling me she loved me.

I know I am always seeking love from unavailable men...the last three have been narcissist with the current one being married. His wife left him and I was dumb enough to assume we would finally be together, but he spends day and night begging his wife to come home, yet I am still with him. This cycle has tortured me for so long that I doubt if I have the ability to love a man or for a man to love me. I feel like I am addicted to the pain of being hurt in a's not if he will cheat, it is when. I cope by drinking sometimes at night and on the weekends because I cannot deal with the pain.

I have gone to therapy many times and been on several different depression medications, but my life still feels so empty. The only thing that keeps me going are my two children and my friends. However, they are horrified that I continue to date these abusive men yet I still manage to be successful in my professional life and have two seemingly happy teenagers, but I feel like I am falling apart inside.

I am hoping to restart therapy to finally break the cycle.


Prayer Answered - notalone - Mar 27th 2011

I was severely abused by my mother, both physically and emotionally, from the age of three until I left home at age eighteen.  My first marriage to an abusive man lasted only two years, but I am still married to an alcoholic after 20 years.  Our relationship has been a mixture of physical abuse, emotional abuse, and several attempts by me to leave--once, buying a house and almost breaking up with him.  I always felt sorry for him, and returned, only to find that nothing had changed.  We basically led separate lives within the same house--him sitting in bars, and me spending alot of time at the barn where I board my horse.  To make a long story short, I recently said a prayer to God, asking (pleading) that he guide me onto a path where I could find peace and healing.  The very next day, after praying, I was compelled to search for an apartment, and the first add on the page was for a studio apartment with a two-horse barn--I rented it. The problem with me leaving before, had always been the inability to pay rent and also board for my horse, and this apartment is very affordable for me.  I am convinced that God answered my prayer, and yesterday, I told my husband that I am moving out to find out how to live in a healthier way.  I did not do as I had done in the past--blame, and demand that he be sorry.  I simply told him that I had made the choice to make a necessary change. He asked that I give him another chance...I replied that I am finally going to give myself a chance.  I am fifty-five years old, and have been a Christian for only about a year.  I am going to try to improve my spiritual life, as I think that that is the only true way to complete healing.  I have never had enough property to enjoy being able to have my horse nearby, so this will be a new experience for me in many ways.  I just hope that my horse is easier to live with than my husband was...(smile)

Just a thought - - Mar 26th 2011

I am married and looking for answers. I havent felt myself in about 8 years. Im lost and not sure of what is causing these feelings. I can't wait to read this book. I am a person who loves to much and is disappointed that I don't feel the love in return. I see so much good in my husband but I see and feel bad from him aswell. It concerns me because I feel I have changed since I've been with him and its hasnt been for the good. I have done things that I said I would never do since Ive been with him. I have made sacrifices of myself since Ive been with him and I am not very happy right now. I am up one minute and very down the next. I feel tired all the time, more than usual. Sometimes I think about how hard I worked to be with him and how much I wanted him and it desturbs me because I should be happy and I am not. I dont want to hurt his feelings but I am not able to be honest with him because he has this way of turning everything I say internally and then Im left with total guilt. I want peace with a lot of happiness. So I hope reading this book will help me find the answers I seek.

takes time - veryip - Mar 3rd 2011

wonmen who love too much.

wahat a great book. was my first controntation with a very sick me.

that was 17 years ago and has taken me very long to heal but then i was probably the sickest of them well.


books works very well for both men and woman.

i know. coz i am a man.




Backsliding to be expected - Jen - Feb 28th 2011

I have been in a relationship with an alcoholic for almost 8 years. Coming from an abusive childhood where my father was a violent alcoholic, my mother having died when I was 5, and at 9 having to adjust to a step-mother only 9 years older than me left me with a deep mistrust of men. I studied Psychology as a way of self-healing...yet, ALL my relationships, and 2 marraiges have been with seriously disfunctional men. About a year ago I managed to disentangle myself from my alcoholic boyfriend who subsequently pulled out all the stops to try and get me back...I'm back and KICKING myself!!!Do we ever learn?I'm VERY unhappy and wonder if I'll ever heal and experience a normal relationship. :-(

I agree! - Jules - Feb 27th 2011

Couldn't agree with you more! I've been through exactly the same pattern as you (still am). I never even knew I was a woman 'Who loves too much' until my friend mentioned it to me last week. Perhaps now is a good time to change our lives and our perceptions of self/others , before we can even hope for a healthy relationshipx

Did the nice guy too - L Hawk - Feb 13th 2011

I've read the book just recently and boy did it make sense. After years of therapy and more years of self help books and classes, self evaluation and journaling, I finally found answers.  I do have to say that I've never said a guy was boring.  I haven't avoided "nice" guys as a matter of fact, I've been with several. Though it wasn't much different than the alcoholic violent one, only just more covert and more innuendos that turned out to be passive/ agressive behaviors and my now partner with Asperger's who was a gentle and "nice guy" who turned into a "self absorbed, and only cares about his needs and desires guy" the second day we moved in together.  I have just about given up on even trying to find a Man that is giving and respectful, sharing, willing to grow and who has the ability to have real intimancy.  See even though the books says that us "Women that Love too much "look for men that are distant and who we want to change, for me I've looked for the opposite, but end up with it anyways. I've always looked for the opposite of my father.  I'd like to think that after this one is over, I will finally have gotten it, but seem to still attrack men that can't love me.  I don't know if there is a cure... really I don't. I've done my work on myself for decades, I'm constantly looking at myself and am honest with myself.  Learning to love myself, accept myself, care for myself... It is sad very sad that I cannot teach my daughters how to be in a healthy relationship and show myself too that I deserve it... I don't think you can love too much, I do think that you can love for the wrong reasons.. and women in this book, aren't really loving are they ?, they are wanting something in return for their overly loving, overly forgiving, overly patient behaviors (they are wanting acceptance and approval)  and we know that isn't really loving... it is selfish in its own way... Loving unconditionally doesn't mean being a door mat, which is what these women are ( in the book) it means accepting that that is how the person is and not trying to change them and if you can live with that and be honest and happy with it - as soon as you try and change someone - you stop loving them.. I'm an expert on that one... Unconditionally loving yourself is the best form of therapy you can give yourself.  Flaws and all... I'm still working on this one.... Thanks for the post - I've written it down and am really looking at it...

Oh Boy ! - Mr Worried - Feb 11th 2011

My wife's therapist has just recomended this book for her to read (Women Who Love Too Much). I haven't had a chance to see a copy myself yet but judging from the comments, I guess I should ready myself for my life-box to be turned upside down and emptied.

I wouldn't consider myself to be an unloving male, although I must admit to have the general autistic tendnacies of the male in general. I also admit to being no saint and was guilty of having an affair, I too was being a rescuer then, I just shouldn't have been!

I have done everything I can to make ammends, sold my house so we only have the one in joint names and the one in her's now, taken a new job, which will take up all my time,(In retail - It's a job I hate - done it before), let her take complete control of our finances, not that she didn't have access to everything before. I'm going to dance classes with her every week and make sure we go out at least twice a week, for a drink,meal or dance. I'm as attentive as I know how to be, I make sure she has great sex, I always put her first in bed and do my best to let her know I love her, although I have to admit I don't find it easy to say it, like  I said - autistic lol.

From the reviews I've read, it does seem as if this book is a "helping to leave your husband book".

Is my wife's therapist guiding her down this path already after just one session? I know there's nothing I can do, if my wife decides she wants a divorce then that's it. It just feel like her therapist is kicking me in the teeth, we're just trying to get over one car wreck and now it feels as if someone else is taking control and steering us over a cliff.

All I can do is wait and see!

Just wondering if anyone has read this book and NOT left their partner? Just how hard should I brace myself, not that there's anything I can do now to cushion the impact, nothing quite like staring fate in the eye though. eh. 



I love one too much - Felicity - Feb 3rd 2011

I was reading about this co-dependency and loving too much, and I realize I am in this situation with my current love interest.  It has not been like this with previous people, and so I am wondering if sometimes just the mix of a certain type of guy with me would result in this.  The co-dependency is especially prevalent with him.  He does a few bad things that are very upsetting to me, and I have to realize this is his life, and I can not spend mine crying because he is doing things that upset me.  He is not my husband, and will never be, so why do I care, and why is it devastating me?

I thought I had healed - Maryellen - Feb 1st 2011

I have just been re-reading Women who love too much because i realise I am still sick when it comes to relationships with men.  I have recently met someone who has already been sleeping with another woman, wants me to have a threesome and has never asked me anything about myself.  Yet I am plagued with anxiety, it is effecting every area of my life.  I know its wrong to keep in contact with this person, but my anxitey is overwhelming.  If anyone can help  I would love some assistance.  I live in Australia and relationship addiction is not very acknowledged as a disease.

Parents Who Love Too Much and other posts - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jan 26th 2011

Lolly and other posters,

I doubt that your daughter was just "putting on a good act" all of these years. She may have pent up angers that she never discussed or she may be depressed or she may have other problems that she is directing to you. In other words, you need to not take her literally even if she is angry right now. There is more there than meets the eye and all of you need to give this time. Perhaps family therapy, eventually?

Dr. Schwartz

my story - marevna - Jan 26th 2011

I am one of those women who love too much. I never felt accepted by my father and I even thought my father was someone else untill I was 5. Finaly I was left with two fathers, none of them acting as if I was their daughter. I grew up thinking I'm not worthy of love and affection. I fel inadequate and inferior. In my teen-age years I avoided all possible flirts with boys because I felt ugly and inadequate. In my 20's I had few relationships with men who really seemed to care about me but I ended them feeling I can find better- I was searching inconstiently for the cold, unappreciative man that would resemble my father(s). And I found him, them to be more exact, as I had 2 relationships with abusive, narcissistic men that my clinginess and desire for a deep profound love made them even worse than they actually were. Now I am left alone, sorrowed and thinking that maybe I am expecting too much from a relationship, apart from my obvious mistake of looking for the worst kind of man.

Finally Understanding - Cathryn - Jan 26th 2011

I am half way through reading the book and am finally beginning to understand things that are happening in my life. 

I was raised in an emotionally distant household and find that I am in a relationship with a man who is equally emotionally distant. I have tried very hard over the years to make him open up and love me on a more deeper level and no matter how much I want this man to interact with me this way, it is just not going to happen as I don't think he is able to.

We are a blended family and I have spent the last five years trying very hard to hold it all together.  Lots of tension and issues with him and his ex, lack of communication, two people in the family with chronic health issues and trying to run a business at the same time has been very tiring physically and emotionally.  Trying to be everything to everyone has not worked for me and I have had to take a big step back and reasess things. 

I am definately going to go to counseling and concentrate on getting to know myself and creating a life that honours me.  Hopefully in time, this kind of relationship will not be a feature of my life any more.

Stay strong all you fellow sufferers out there, knowledge is power and each day we can learn more about ourselves and how to overcome this and have better more fulfilling lives.


Parents who love too much? - Lolly - Jan 26th 2011

I have a 41 year old daughter, my husband and i have been recently told that we mean nothing to her. Out of the blue.  We have been there for her, her three kids love us heaps. We love her and our son in law.  We have paid for holidays  home appliances, even a car etc.  Given heaps of our time, which I thought was all lovely family time, but she now says all has been decades of dislike and contempt on her part.  She says she has been a good actress!! My life of richness and colour now seems to have been painted black, i do not know how to proceed.  You can chuck a terrible man, but a mean spirited spiteful daughter (or not, she may be unwell) still I do not know how to proceed. Any help welcomed.

me? - franny - Jan 16th 2011

oh my god. am i really this person? it seems i am and i have to change.


Learning to Love ME - FollowingmyGot - Jan 12th 2011

Hi Brenda and all of us who love too much,

I am grateful that I come back every few days to see if there's more of us sharing our truth and honesty. My boyfriend stood me up Christmas night (for our breakup on mutual terms conversation we agreed on) admitting later on that he didn't want to go home alone and brokenhearted. I am learning that this relationship is part and parcel of my disease as an addict. I am an overeater and have put on much weight in the past year because of my addiction to this unhealthy relationship. I keep learning new things about my disease; like how sick I truly am.When I am strong and think I can handle situations, like seeing my (now x )boyfriend, it is clearly not within my abilities as an addict. My thoughts are " I am ok, I expect nothing, I am going to flow love, to have a good time, and if something happens, I can walk away. " But when the neglectful actions or remarks come, I rationalize them in my mind and snuggle in closer for some more oblivion. And when I walk away and feel this excruciating vacancy in my soul, I know once again that I AM POWERLESS over my disease. Be it food, alcohol, men or sex, as an addict I have NO CONTROL.  I fall in to the abyss and once more lose myself to someone else. So, the relationship is now officially over. I am allowing grief and sadness, and I keep referring back to the book to remind myself that I CANNOT change him, even though he's admitted his insensitivities to me and explained them due to his childhood. I want NOMORE of that. I will heal at my pace. Mourning a dream and a fantasy is ok, I want to be real. So I keep buying ME beautiful PASSION RED ROSES- one at a time to remind myself I AM SPECIAL, I MATTER, I AM SWEET, BEAUTIFUL AND SENSUAL just as this beautiful rose.

I also bought my x boyfriend a copy of the book although his comment was that he could write it. Haha, so much humor in the arrogance.

Hang in women,

Much love and warmth,


I have also read the book "Women Who Love Too Much" - Brenda - Jan 11th 2011

I haven't been feeling very good about myself the past several days, and I googled women who love too much and stumbled upon your page.  I've read all of the inquiries of people who believe they love too much.  I grew up in an alcholic home myself, my father being the alcholic.  It's very alarming to me that I can't remember my childhood, I can remember bits and pieces maybe back to the age of 8.  I've thought about it throughout the year's as to why can't I remember.  I also believe that I am a women who loves too much.  I had a father that was never around and a mother who was what I remember always in bed sick.  I don't remember fun times as a family, I remember only the bad.  I also wish I had a father who was nuturing and kind, like what you see on TV or read in books, that was not my life.  I had 3 sister's, I am second to the youngest, I am know in my late 40's.  My youngest sister who I have not seen in 21 1/2 years, was outcasted by my mother because she is a drug addict and also an alcholic.  My sister had a baby when she was 17, and did not attend to her daughter, she was eventually taken away and me and my ex-husband took the baby in and eventually adopted.  I've always been the caregiver and always a person who wanted to be liked by everyone, and always a yes person.  I've had numerous failed marriages, one who was a herion addict who I thought I could fix, I would always run to his needs, cover for him, feed him, give him money, hoping all the while he would love me.  I guess he loved me in his own special way this is what I tell myself, I still think today of him, hoping that he could of been the person I wanted him to be.  I ended up in yet another relationship with someone I met in an al-anon meeting, oh boy, he was everything I was looking for, he had the words to soothe me and tell me everything I wanted to hear.  Well 3 years later, I had to pull out a restraining order out on him, he was controlling, manipulating and everything else.  I guess I look at it know as I was enabling him and enabling the heroin addict.  I am know in yet another relationship, this man is kind and caring, but he yet also has a drinking problem.  I always knew it but ignored it.  I find myself looking into his computer and looking into other places for reasons of anything I can argue with him about.  The pornography or the hidden beer bottles.  I know all of this why women love to much, and I too always give good advice, but why can't I fix myself.  I just want to say thank you, for me finding this page, I guess this is what I needed for today.


Totally Relate to Loving Way Too Much - I am enough - Dec 25th 2010

Hi y'all fellow lovers,

I found this book tilte on line last weekend as I was researching addictive relationships, and I zoomed to the library and took it out. I have read some every day on the train to work, home and before bed. It makes me feel safe, warm, deserving and understood.

Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories from your depths of despair, hope and loving too much. I am deeply moved and grateful.

I am a single mother of five and have had abusive relationships that started with my parents, my dad being the abuser and my mom the silent bystander. Yet, by reading Robin Norwood's book, I begin to understand the dynamics in relationships, and that there is not always a direct corrolation in whom we pick as partners, but so many facets that are played out in different ways. Wow; I am humbled by the newly acquired knowledge and excited because I have clarity to trust my gut.

Last friday I started the book and had anxiety all the while my boyfriend was driving over to see me, while my other addiction of overeating kicked in. While we spent the 24 hours together I was in the addicts mode of denial and in service to him mostly. The signs are clear and I know now that it is true: the signs of danger are there from the getgo; it is lovers too much who think we are gonna "FIX" the problem with our care and love. I acknowledge now that I am enough and I don't need to be needed by a man. I dont need to shine my light and flow my love and infuse my energy in to ANYONE. I dont need to listen to people who are in messy relationships and HELP them get out of them, whilst being the hero and fantasy of these men all at the same time. I might be loving, sweet and caring but I keep that stricltly to my professional sphere. But I used to do all of that and more. Now I realize that my boyfriend and I are both addicts and no good for each other. He is the love addict and I seemed to be the intimacy/sex addict because I was always hungry for some sign of love. It didnt help- the fact that he admitted to fantasy relatiionships he had via the phone and the internet. How pathetic of me to have allowed myself this outright neglect and abuse.

I am lucky that he has admitted and acknowledged that we have a problem, quoting the article in the Huffington Post about Brad abd Angelina:

Specifically this quote:
On the role of sex and love addiction in divorce:
Love addicts and sex addicts tend to go together. Love addicts are often people who were severely abandoned. And they tend to idealize people. It's sort of romantic love gone pathological. The kind of person [they'll] idealize will necessarily be the kind of person who will abandon them. If that person suddenly comes around and forms a closeness, the love addict will sabotage the relationship.

I haven't left him but he keeps sabotaging and testing my love as he was abondoned and adopted, suffering still today for true love by acting out. His issues, not mine! I am recovering and taking care of the little girl and the grown woman in me.

On the topic of men and secret fantasies, I now know that men are as we are in a similar way- We crave something but when we get it, it is no more what we really want. I think it is men who fantasize more than we do and act out on it more, as opposed to us women who wish for good men, and then if we don't learn new dance steps, we run away because we are bored etc.
Last week I spoken to a counsellor who works in a Long term Rehab about addicts and relationships,who said to me "The little girl in you wants to be recognized and cared for; the woman in you wants respect. Men are all prone to fantasy. Sad but true." Great confirmation.

So all you sweet lovers of too much love and hurting souls, let's hold hands as we recover together one day at a time. Incredible it is to have the awareness that we are not people who are bad, guilty and responsible for others behaviors, and to have the tools to help ourselves and move on slowly. How great to have an online community to share with. I would love to know of any groups in the Long Island area or I would be interested in starting one with some guidance.

Feel free to respond or converse. I also am putting it out there for your love and blessings as I head out ot meet my boyfriend tonight to come to a final closure and mutual understanding as to why we each need time out. I want respect, love, care and abundance, while he will have time to decide how he wants to show up for himself and other relationships. I am done being the nurturer, lover, energizer and breather for two! Nomore downtalking, guilty-ing, saying things sharply 'to make a point,' kvetching etc. No. I am a beautiful woman and I am ENOUGH!

Thank you Dr. Schwartz for your wise words and for the opportunity you present for so many of us to hsare our broken, in repair hearts and our joyful dreams for our better futures. For even as we are in pain as we heal, we are nevertheless JOYFUL AND FREE!

Happy Holidays to you all.

FollowingmyGut once again!

first timer - baggy - Dec 22nd 2010

I'm just about to go trough a breakup, I think, my first one. I think I am a woman who loves too much. Got the book at home but havent read it yet, wish I had it with me now whilst at my parents. My partner is at home thinking all this over, does he want to continue with me or not. I tell you he's the one who's been cheating on me, I have been really horrible to him with words never action. We've been horrible to eachother for years. But I am the one looking after him, I pay for everything, he doesnt get one penny. What the hell am I doing?!?

This is me to the T - lovedrugsick - Dec 6th 2010

i sank further and further into my chair reading this and i was originally looking for something on my boyfriend he has an anger issue he would neverhurt me or thee kids but he goes from 0 to 100 in 2 seconds like that lol low and behold i am the peoblem in the one.. and knew it but didn't thinnk it was that deep i dont have therapists wher i am at. any suggestions.

Thank you Dr Schwartz... - Otl99 - Dec 5th 2010

Dear Dr Schwartz,

Thank you for responding to my last post. You were right, there is something inside of me that is broken. I've been reading quite a lot lately (also writing and examining my life) and I finally realized the connection between the abuse I suffered as a child and how I coped with it, to what I now do in relationships. I utilize the very same unhealthy behaviors that I did when I was being sexually and physically abused as a child! I wish I had realized all of this much sooner. I plan on staying out of relationships for whatever time it takes to learn how to begin to value myself. I understand that even though I  know why I have behaved the way I have, it does not mean that I am now "cured". You were right, the man I was involved with did not "need" my help. He is an adult, capable of functioning on his own. I can't fix ANYONE! Thank you again for answering my post. I appreciate it very much. 

Breakng up with a drug addict - going out of my mind - - Nov 28th 2010

Hi Everyone

I am 24 yrs old and am going through a break up with a drug addict. Am finding it hard to understand all his lies and his behaviour patterns. Would like to talk to other women in the same boat if anyone knows of any forums or anything?

It's not only women! - David - Nov 22nd 2010

I am a gay man.

I read "Women who love too much" several times in 1991, following a most painful relationship breakup. This book astounded me - I couldn't understand how Robyn Norwood could've written a book about me, when we had never met. After reading it, I realised that this was the second such relationship I had had, with emotionally unavailable men. I decided to go into psychotherapy and so I went off to see my Doctor, who was a gay woman. I asked her if she knew of this book and her reaction was to burst into laughter and tell me that she possessed five copies of it, all of which she had lent to gay male patients! I asked her if she could recommend a psychotherapist and she put me in touch with a quite remarkable woman therapist. I was in once a week therapy with her for some years. At our first session, she asked me what I wanted from life and my reply was: "A partner, a house and a dog." Within three years, I had acquired all three; my partner and I have been happily together now for seventeen years. That book genuinely changed my life and I have lost count of the number of times I have recommended it to people.

He lies, cheats, and leaves...but I still can not get him out of my head!! - Emma - Nov 17th 2010


My names Emma, I'm 22 years old and living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. I have been seeing a man I work with since this past February, and the relationship has been nothing but heart ache and torture. When we began dating things seemed to be going alright, but every few weeks or so he would just up and leave, telling me he wasn't ready for a relationship. Every time he came back I would let him back into my life, as though he had never even left. I soon found out after leaving numerous times that he was leaving to see, and cheat on me with a girl we both work with!! It seemed everyone knew at work, except me. Once I found out he was seeing her on the side, I confronted him and he spat out lies, like "I only love you" and "I will never do anything like that again". I truly did not believe him; yet still let him come back in my life! We were going steady for about four months, and those four months were so horrible!! All we would do is fight, and I'm talking about verbally and physically fight. We both would drink and all I could think about was him being unfaithful to me numerous times, I just couldn't get it out of my mind!! I became pregnant and ended up terminating, and to top it off we got into a roll-over car accident due to excessive drinking. Everything has been such a mess in my life due to this relationship. I can not stand the place I work because I have to face him and her, but thankfully I got a new job and will be starting it shortly. We have been broken up for a week now, and I can not get him off my mind. I am totally obsessed with this hurtful, abusive, horrible man, and I am letting him still control my life, even after we broke up! I have been reading "Women Who Love Too Much" and I can relate too much of the book.

If anyone out there reads this and is from the North Shore or Boston area that knows a support group for women who love too much please let me know about it! I need support and I need it now.... My email address is

I really hope I hear from someone soon. I need to get well and stable so I can love myself and live the rest of my life happy!!

Thank you all for reading, and I wish you the best!


Thanks - Ann - Nov 11th 2010

That's good stuff.....Too bad most doctors werent this competent...or, maybe I'd be better.  Anyway, yea, makes sense and I will think about the part of existential relations...and taking off the blinders to b.s. relations.

Discouraged - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Nov 11th 2010

Hi Otl99 and all readers,

In my opinion, psychotherapy could be good for you. The reason is that you have a long history of repeating the same behavior. This habitual pattern lands you with the wrong men. I suspect this habitual behavior is part of some personality disorder that you are unaware of. Psychotherapy is the way to go. My hope is that you will give up feeling discouraged and start doing something positive for yourself. In my mind, there is no question that you can learn to make healthier choices in men than you have already made. That includes learning how to recognize the warning signals that a man is not right for you.

Just one more point, also my opinion, that you stop "feeling sorry for this man." He is not helpless and can fend for himself. He needs to learn to function in healthier ways, if he wants to. That is up to him, not you and feeling sorry for him does you no good and only helps him perpetuate his addictive behaviors. I suspect he manipulates you into feeling sorry for him. Protect yourself.

Dr. Schwartz

I'm discouraged... - otl99 - Nov 10th 2010

I'm 57 years old and have finally decided to get out of a 7 plus year relationship that has been crazy and heartbreaking. Both my mother and father were alcoholic (as were my grandparents), there was physical abuse from both parents and sexual abuse from my father. The majority of my relationships have been dysfunctional and this last one has been the worst one of all. I read "Women Who Love Too Much" approximately 25 years ago and it gave me the strength to leave an abusive relationship then; the discouraging thing is that so many years later, I found myself in another crazy relationship. This last relationship has been the hardest because there were times that were genuinely good. That's what drives me insane, the fact that there were good times and good things about this man. That is what has made it so difficult to leave him. I met John (not his real name) when he was in a treatment facility for alcohol and drug addiction. He said that he was a teacher. I felt so sorry for this man after he told me his story, and instead of running the other way, we entered into a relationship. I always thought that he would get better. I've never lived with anyone before (I don't believe in "playing house") but allowed this man to move in with me "for a few days" after he graduated from treatment and while he was getting his living arrangements in order. Well a few days turned into a week, a week turned into a month, and to make a long story short, 5 months later he was still living with me. I decided that I had had enough. He had "relapsed" during his stay (alcohol and marijuana) and while he was upstairs drinking, listening to music and glaring at me, I was doing all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, chauffeuring, and whatever else needed to be done. In those 5 months he never once looked for work. I told him that he had better find a place to live because I'd found another apartment and that he couldn't move in with me; and so I moved. Throughout the 7 years, he continued to relapse. He went through an inheritance of over $82,000.00 and has nothing to show for it. He did odd gardening jobs but has never looked for a real job. He can be verbally abusive, has cheated on me twice, and we have never celebrated Christmas, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, or my birthday. The sex was awful, no foreplay, no tenderness, just him grabbing, forcing himself on me and when he was done, sex was over. After we were together for awhile, he confessed to me that when he was young (in his mid 20's) he had allowed men to perform oral sex on him. He said that he never performed oral sex on these men. I asked him how many times this had happened and he responded "about 60 times". I told him that he was gay or at least bi-sexual and he absolutely said no, that he had allowed this to happen because he was so lonely and "couldn't get a girlfriend". I can't believe I didn't end the relationship right then and there, but I didn't. I felt so sorry for him, I felt that he had never really been loved before, and that through my love and devotion he would change. Of course that never happened. He also told me that when he was in his early teens (anywhere from 13 years old to perhaps 17 years old, he can't remember how old he was) he molested his little sister for about a year (fondling) and molested a little boy once. I was horrified, I HATE and revile child abusers, but I wouldn't let myself think about what he had done, and made excuses for him (that he may have been sexually abused as a child, and that he was just a young teenager when he did these awful things). When I read all that I have written about this man, I wonder what I ever could have found attractive? I am so ashamed for ever having loved him. I am a great caretaker, have always been, and in fact that was my profession (I was an RN). When I think about ending things, which I have just done, I remember some of the really good times that we did have together, and that is where the confusion comes in. It's the same as when I think of my parents, they could be very loving, but oh God they were often so horrible. I really need assistance with this, or at least a few words letting me know that I am on the right track. I hate myself for having cared for this man, I feel guilty for "abandoning" him, and I'm so confused.

thank goodness! - - Nov 7th 2010

I typed in women who love too much in google and thankfully found this site that seems quite recent. Do people still check this? if so - anyone know of any forums where people can chat to other women on a daily-ish basis and help each other? Any help would be greatefully recieved.

To the lady who's currently with a drug addict - don't go there hun. He's not worth it. The fact he's taking drugs whilst being with you, well, he's still taking them isn't he? I've been with a heroin addict for over seven years now. Went from one crap relationship into another, This guy has just fu^^ed with my head so much it's unreal. Aftyer everything that I've done for him, I'm still the one who's phoning him up and putting up with comments from other people answering his phone that he doesn't want me, he's not there, he's shagging someone else... Got so much going on in my head right now it feels like it's about to explode. I think seven years is enough time to have been humilitaed and lied to, cheated on (though he will deny this) and coming second to absolutely every single person that crosses his path. I also have three young children so have to be extremely strong now for their sake. Sorry this is so rambling and whatnot, just been trying to call him and had people tell me he's not there. Me, calling him almost five times a minute. Can you believe that?

But, I know that when i walk away and stay walking away he will realise what he has lost. An I also know that at that time, perhaps even now or when i wake up in the morning, that that will be it. The days that I'm away from him will turn into weeks, and then into months and then I'll be free and ready to start, hopefully a much more healthy and happy relationship.

Love to you all xx

When will I learn? - - Oct 10th 2010

I just finished reading the book and everything I read was exactly like me. I couldn't believe how many other women out there who are struggling with the same issues I struggle with. It made me feel less alone that I wasn't the only one making the same mistakes over and over again.

My obsession with unhealthy men stems back to my childhood. My father was paranoid schizophrenic and my mother was emotionally unavailable and a care taker for my father. My father was also addicted to meth. My father took his own life when I was 10. My mother stayed single for a few years. She never went to therapy and never sought therapy for my brother and I. She began dating again and she met most of the men in bars. She started seeing someone seriously and he was the worst person possible for us. He was an alcoholic, compulsive liar and emotionally and physically abusive. She put up with this for 4 years. She chose him over us kids all the time. I was relieved when they finally broke up. My mom would make us kids feel guilty if we went and played outside with our friends instead of staying inside comforting her because she was lonely. Needless to say, I learned a lot of my behaviors from her. Even though I always told myself I would never end up like her.

I started dating someone when I was about 17. He was 8 years older than me and used me for about a year and a half. He used me for money, sex and whatever else I was willing to give him. I always thought the sex was so amazing and we never really talked. I never told him how I felt or what I wanted in life. He dumped me after a year and a half. I'm now 25 and he still contacts me from time to time. I tell him to stop calling, but he still will do it every once in awhile. Later after we were broke up I found out he was doing meth the whole time we were together.

When I was 19, I started dating another man who was terribly wrong for me. I saw all the red flags but kept ignoring them. I knew he was playing all different women, but he told me he really only wanted to be with me. We moved in together after about 6 months. I already knew he had a drinking problem. He drank 6 nights a week and was very violent when he was intoxicated. He called me names constantly and tried to tell me how to do my hair and what to wear. He criticized everything I did and nothing I did was ever good enough. He verbally and physically abused me. He would kick me out and then I would come crawling back because I knew he needed me. I eventually called the cops on him and he went to jail for domestic abuse. I talked to him even when there was a no contact order. We began seeing each other again after the no contact order was lifted. It was the same crap going on. Nothing had changed. It finally ended when I was about 22.

I have now been single for 3 1/2 years. I've had my ups and downs, but it has still been much better than being with an abusive man. I've had temptations of starting a relationship with men who were the same type I've always gone for, but something told me not to. I've been stuggling for the past 6 months or so. There is a man who I am very attracted to and feel very close to. He is a drug addict and is emotionally unavailable. He has his sweet moments, but most of the time he is dysfunctional. I know that he isn't good for me, but I can't seem to stay away from him. I feel like I'm obsessed with him. He's already told me he doesn't want a relationship. The sex is amazing between us and that's the part that is hard for me to give up. I know from past relationships though that having good sex with someone isn't everything. There is a lot more to it than that. I'm currently in therapy and working on my issues revolving this. I'm trying to be strong and move on. I'm ready to be with a nice, healthy man.

When will I learn? - Alice - Sep 28th 2010

I'm half way through "Women who love too much" and wow, I am the poster child!

Getting pregnant at 18 and staying with him for the next 3 years as he continued to be abusive, lying and cheating.  The day I could barely open my swollen eyes was the day I finally had the courage to leave...

Then I met who I thought was my Knight in shining armor...3 kids later and numerous affairs (on his part) I again found the courage to end it.

And what do I do? I meet someone who I fell so hard for...but the clincher? He's married, with 3 children and one on the way.  How horrible is that?  I can barely stand myself for even thinking about a man who is clearly unavailable, no matter what he thinks of me, because he certainly tries to convince me how he just can't stand to live without me and I'm the best thing that has happened to him in years.

I'm sure I'll have the courage to end this as well, because its absolutely ridiculous to think we'd actually be together and it would end in happiness.  Hopefully I'll wake up soon and this book is helping believe it or not! 

Knowing what causes someone to make such stupid decisions really does help and makes it much easier to stop the cycle.  Good luck to the rest of you women who chose to make the right decisions!  Be strong!!

When will I see? - - Sep 26th 2010

     For the last four years, I have struggled to overcome my "addiction" to a toxic person.  My one and only serious relationship, I continue to fight to overcome the damage that has been done. 

     Though it is painfully obvious that I am fighting a losing battle, putting up with his impulsiveness, anger, and silent treatment, I nevertheless wake up each morning with a pit in my stomach.  My day will have been incomplete if I make no attempt to remind him that our relationship is worth working on.  (What an absurd concept..)

     I am angry that I allow myself to be treated this way.  In the next moment, though I am ashamed to admit it, I find myself wondering if that pit will ever really go away. 

warning signs - Barney Quammie - Sep 23rd 2010

if you walk past any building site or any building where safety is an issue you will see warning signs saying where a safety hat report too the site manager don,t walk in this area as it is not safe,all this to protect you.

So why is it when people display danger signs that say you should keep away from this person he or she is hiding something or there general manner is a concern,why do people go forward into danger when they should stop and walk away.

feeling lost looking for love hate to be alone many reasons to push the warning signs too one side and put yourself in a situation that can lead to misery,stress,pain,tearful nights where you blame yourself for the failure of your relationship.

Stop think,wonder,debate past experiences should make you see this could be a nightmare that could take you to a dark place,so don,t jump into it jump over it.




just ordered the book - JoJo - Sep 19th 2010

I have just ordered the book after splitting up with my boyfriend of 7 months yesterday.

The premise of our split was that our relationship wasn't progressing but I know why it wasn't and it was for reasons outlined in the document above.

Since we started i've 'chased' after him .... phonecalls , texts, telling him off when he didn't respond straight away.

He liked me very much to start with ...... he kept telling me I was out of his league ..... but i destroyed everything....... and i'll give him his due ... he really tried!!!

I do this a lot with men. I'm a clever girl ... I know a pattern has formed and I know why ....... I don't want to do this anymore and i'm determined that this split would be the last time i do this.

I chase to avoid feelings ... to avoid falling in love ...... I used to be ok with falling in love ...... but 2 abusive relationships (both physically and mentally including both men being compulsive cheaters) have put paid to me being 'normal' ........although surprisingly I thought i'd escaped unharmed ... (hmmmm) I'm scared to be myself with men because I don't think i'm good enough for anyone to love (because of whats happened in the past).

I'm not surprised the fella couldn't love me ........ I have ruined things ....... And I could let myself love him either .......... I was avoiding everything ...but i'm going to get myself better ........ he couldn't understand why I blamed myself when we split ......... but it was for these reasons.

It was amazing reading the document and understanding why I do what I do .........


Do people get over it? - NR - Sep 15th 2010

I have just discovered this website and so much applies to me having had a lifetime of loving unsuitable men too much.  I am 69 now and have just come out of perhaps the most dysfunctional relationship of all.  I  have had therapy at various times but although I have reached greater understanding of myself I have not really changed.  are there any people out there who have changed? Who have settled down and had a good loving relationship in the end?

We never learn - ST - Sep 12th 2010

I grew up in a family that was emotionally unavailable: father was authortative, dictorical and was so involved in community and charity organizations there was no time for his family.  My mother's burden was a career put on hold until the kids left home and resenting it the entire time, not to mention her issues of growing up with an alcholoic parent.

I fell head over heels at first sight for a man whose 3rd wife was leaving him.  The only other person I felt so strongly about was my married boss whom I had a 4 year affair with after college.  The relationship with this man was on again off again - everytime he was in a relationship that wasn't working, or in between women, he would reappear, and stupidly I let him.  We both moved in different directions. 

We hadn't seen each other in over 10 years and last year he looked me up on Facebook.  The first couple of conversations was the most open either of us had been with the other and I thought we were heading down a new path.  Guess what - tigers stripes don't change.  He reverted back to his old behavior, and once again I'm dealing with a broken heart - more over the fact that I was so stupid to believe things would change.  They didn't - even though he had told me he had been in therapy.  It's been over a year since he looked me up.  We live in different states - but there is always an excuse not to see each other again, the main one being work.

I haven't dated in over 12 years because I keep attracting men who aren't available emotionally to me - I always seem to be the transition woman.  So I decided to just stop. 

After 12 years of thinking I had "gotten it together" and deciding that the guy from the past wasn't going to step up to the plate, I ran into a guy where the attraction was magnetic, and after 2 dates........  it's the same old story.  I can see the signs.

The nice guys never ask me out again.  The bad guys hang around until a better offer comes along.  Its damn lonely, but there are worse things than being alone.

Interesting tidbit is that my siblings married their spouses within months of meeting, they have all been married 25-40 years - and one of them is twin.  So what happened to me?  I don't know, but years of therapy hasn't worked in trying to figure things out.  One would think we would all have the same issues with the same parental interaction: undoubtedly not.

ditto - ben - Sep 8th 2010

I had this book reccomended to me by a close friend, and have only started reading it.

I am having relationship troubles because I don't feel like I love my partner like she loves me.

I have been in a relationship with a lovely woman for over a year now, We have plenty in common, and are very attracted to each other. She is so different than any of my previous partners, and in many good ways.
Most of the time I am very happy, but feel somthing is missing.  Emotional Connection.
She comes from a Chinese family that don't talk about emotions or share feelings, where I grew up with a very vocal family who are very open and great communicators.
I feel because of the communication difference, I can't connect on that wavlenth, and feel our relationship is capped by this.
How can I plan a future with someone who can't talk?
I want the feeling of connection, 
but don't feel it is fair or reasonable to ask her to change, I should love her the way she is right?

my previous relationships were always passionate and deep really fast, But never lasted.
This one is a slow burn love, not madly in love kind of thing, which feels so different, but without the connection I don't feel it can develop further.

I hope this book will open me to different understanding of love, and maybe help me identify and resolve my own issues with loving myself.

Life love and the loss of that one THE ONE and how life goes on - Dee - Sep 5th 2010

Hi guys, well there is a gold mine to be made on therapy for this huh! i read the book a while back and recognised myself as a little miss fix it...bad relationship choices,

A brief low down, first real boyfriend=moody issues from childhood and cheated on me with my best friend

time passed I forgot him and met a few other unavailable guys then I met one who I knew was a bad ass but he seemed slightly functional with it so at 17 we moved in together, unfortunately he has/had a drinking prob...surprise surprise. I ended up having 2 children to him very young and you guessed it we split within a year of our youngest. 

then I found out that he had slept with my best friend and that they were together....I fumed and stormed then realised I couldn't change that but didn't like when my kids were there...I worried about their safety. Well I was right turns out they both became drug addicts and he had to leave the country to fix himself he said, she followed and got pregnant and now my kids have a  half sister with someone I was best friends with...he came back they broke up rarara he is at best a distant dad and now left the country again, the heartbreaking thing is I have had to explain to my kids about the paradigms of love and how some people love differently from others and express it differently but that its a reflection on that person not them.


Anyway time went on I got sick of spouting off to all that could hear me about what a victim I was I got sick of sounding like I belonged on a jerry springer show, I Knew I had to be careful with who I chose next time as I had 2 small children and did nto want them to have any more adverse emotional dysfunction exposed to them.

But then I met the worst of them he came running into my life proposing marriage declaring undying love soulmates but wow when I believed him and returned the feelings he ran a mile (of course he did)7 years later he still has a  hold on me...this man has bipolar is abusive emotionally/mentally, blames me for his suicidal ideations, never there for me, always expected me to be there for him etc etc etc the cheating the lies etc etc the other women whose names I am so glad I have now forgotten,,,we are so destructive together and have finished more times than is conceivable.One or the other would run back to try and convince the other one to come back and have another go. The power shifts and power games were psychological warfare. He would sabotage the relationship and then when made aware that his behaviour was bad would make me feel guilty for addressing his bad behaviour, would not ever really be there unless he felt he had lost me and would come running saying anything he could...yo yo

So after 4 years I thought omg this guy who I thought was the one who I had the most amazing sex with etc etc and who I couldn't live with or without was actually really toxic for me, I stopped believing his spin and realised that again I was playing the victim of him, but when I looked deep inside me I saw I was the victim of me by choosing to still see him.

Wow that was an insight but then I saw I couldn't move on bc he said/says I love you and always will. How could I let that go???? I had to try and realign what I thought of as love and why I had unhealthy love attachments. In doing that I managed to see what he had for me was not healthy love and that made it easier to step away, it was hard work I stayed single for a couple of years and if anything had gone to being hyper cautious of any bad guys and would run for the hills...I had/have developed a commitment issue that I need to work on.

So 2 years passes and ta da yes you guessed it out of the blue who do I hear from? Him.

He gets in touch to say he misses me loves me and was thinking of me...sure. Oh and that he's engaged and things were going wrong and could I give him some advice. Stupidly I did. They broke  up. he spent  a year trying  to run back to me and got someone pregnant in the process (think he must have tripped up on her right?) That fell through and he came to me, I stupidly let him back into my life and went against my better judgement, his unconvincing convictions of I've changed only went so far as I knew from his behaviour he hadn't, so I kept him at arms length.

He threw himself in telling everyone he knew we were back together but would still be MIA unavailable and highly highly narcissistic...If you are around this man for long enough you nearly start to believe that the world might just revolve around him.

So as predicted we fell apart in a firey heap with bruised egos and feelings of what have I done! And of course he wants me on the side until...well when suits him.

I have been so disappointed in myself for letting myself be treated this way and again by him. I am still in the process of mentally/emotionally realigning my paradigms on love again so I can let him go in my head/heart and be free again.

I knew awhile ago I had fix it issues so decided to channel it in a healthy  manner and am part way through a psychology degree, I am now going to therapy to adjust my thought processes on love,,,, again

He is so hardened now from the battle of what he sees as life, and I thought to myself gosh I don't want to end up like that, or be holding on to him in my head or heart anymore at all. The way for me to be free of him is to not care about him and challenge what I think of his behaviours showing me was it love? no, do I deserve love? yes. Also accepting it for what it was,the role I played and that I wasnt the victim of him I was the victim of me bc I was accepting his behaviour...

I believe in myself and that change is possible its just facing the change and taking the steps in the right direction with a therapist until I have a balanced view on love.


Be free and set yourselves free, he/she hasn't trapped you, you have trapped yourself, give to yourself instead Xoxo

Always sad and lost - Mataya - Aug 29th 2010

Hi, I grew up in a big family with a father who beat my monther all the time and my 2 older brothers and sister at times. When I was in 5th grade he left and I was abused by my mother as time went on I tried to find people to love me and I did at about 19 I fell in LOVE with a guy, we as I thought were in love my mother loved him and that made me so happy but as we were a poor family his parents did not want him to be with me, as time went on we came closer together he knew everything about me and one day he stoped by, it began with kissing then before I knew it we were in my bed but I said "no" he told me that he loved me and that everything would be ok and that we were going to get married, their was no stopping him. A few days later he came over and said he did not want to be with me anymore and as I cryed and held on to him not to go he hit me in the face I told him to leave I was so mad but so very heart broken, the next few weeks we would see each other as if nothing happened but again when we would go to the beach he would say he did not want to be with me anymore he wanted something else so I tried to jump off a cliff I did not care anymore of my life he did not love me no one really did, but he held me back, he called a few days to say that he never really loved me and it would be the last time I would speak to him, I ran to my closet and sat thier and cried as if someone dear to me had died, it ended just like that. I could not think of anything but him I could not eat or sleep. He was everything I knew and that was all I had in life was him. He was the one whom I grew to love and I never felt anything like that love he had for me. When I was about 20 I left home moved to a new place to start a new life but I never felt right I always longed for him I would think at times he would find me and say he was sorry for everything and would be with me. After a long time I made myself think I was crazy I messed everything up I was never any good for him from the start but I still loved him. When I turned 23 I married what I thought was a great guy and he loved me as I did him up untill our wedding night He turned to be someone I never saw, I wanted to take things slow but as for him he said "but you had sex with that one guy why not me", at that moment I was hurt I just wanted to take things slow, well he slept on the couch I was so hurt but in the morning he got what he wanted, after that I knew things would be not well for us, in those 2 yrs we were together he beat me and raped me but I held up my end at times, I would cut my wrist for attention but I would get yelled at so I hide it then I moved on to vomiting I knew I was never wanted by anyone I never was pretty I was fat I was ugly I was dumb and stupid everything he could think of he would say and at times it made me remember my mother, about a month before I left I met someone but he only wanted one thing and he got it and I did not care, a few weeks after that I met a guy he was nice he cared for me we got along great he made me laugh and the sex was like nothing I ever had felt he treated me great... well I was a queen in his eyes and I felt happy and sad at the same time, he stayed with me when it came my big "D". He stayed with me even when I had to cut off all my hair to go in hidding and the calls of I am going to kiddnap you and kill you and do all sorts of things to you by my wonderful ex, time went on I thought it was all over until my ex found out where I was living he came with a dear friend of his with a camera and wanted to talk, thank god i had just moved in with my boyfriend and my old room mate told him she took off and did not know when I would come back I called the cops whom did nothing for me. After a long time he left me alone.

 I stayed with boyfriend and we went places and got married and now have a child we live in Germany and he has been serving as a military member for almost 7 to 8 yrs now and he loves me and our son, I love him too but its a different kind of love I cant understand it and I feel for him he is really great we are coming on our 5th yr together and he will be working and I will spend my time with our little one whom is 4 and is a very smart and good looking kid.But as time has passed I still think of my ex boyfriend and how I wished we could have set things right and why and why and wonder. Deep down I still care for this guy so much, weird, even though I am married and have more than I have ever had in my life I still am sad and find it very hard to love and feel lost in this world and lost as a wife to someone who should have something so much better. I have come to see that after my ex boyfriend left me I was never right I found that Love is there but I have never gotten it right. I have talk to someone about what I feel and what I have gone though but I am a lost cause, if only they could have got to me sooner is what I was told. I take meds but they dont help, so I keep going day after day, Love my little one as I never was, giving him everything I can, making sure that his life is happy, protecting him up to a certain point  and keep going and try to be better but I always go back with a song with a person that looks the same as the ones in my past life, with dreams that will never end and leave me be, with looking over my back all the time.I think as long as my son is happy and smile everything will be ok, as long as I know that my hubby is happy he will be ok. I only wish that I would have made better choices in life and wished that I could have been loved the right way.

Love is like the ocean its so beautiful from the outside but will hurt you if you get in to deep...      


So why just women... - Rich - Aug 28th 2010

I fell for a woman...heart opened...flood of is what she wanted.


The she closed up...the more she closed...the more I pushed...  the more I wrote deep meaningful letters...for her eventually tell me it was too much.

She then rings me drunk, tells me I am too this..too that... ... and what do  I do?  Suck up more to her.  

My body says dump her, she is controlling you... loads on women out there want serious love.. but my heart says no.  She is cold, rarely gives anything back and I can spend an hour writing a which I get a 1 liner back.  Yeah...dump her ...I so want to.  Her latest advise is for me to get more in control, as her heart is hidden away and she generally wants to avoid me...and what do i do - agree...!

But i think of her all the time.. So it is not just women...

I want help but seem to be lost in finding it. - Sara - Aug 24th 2010

I read the book Women Who Love Too Much about a month ago.  I read half of it I should say. The half that diagnoses the problem.  I was at my cousin's house in Canada.  I had to go there for a month because I could no longer function as a mother or a person.  I dated my neighbor, who I found quite boring until he decided that he couldn't commit to me and no longer wanted to be with me.  So for the past nine months I have stuck by his side, agreeing to be only friends.  Tending to his every resquest, sharing what I had that he needed, giving him rides everywhere.  Spending time in our gardens with him, hiking with him, watching movies with him.  When I wasn't with him I was so depressed and crying.  My kids started taking care of themselves.  I could only talk about him "Davis this, Davis that"  every sentence had to do with him.  After nine months I could no longer go on like this, so I made arrangements to visit my sister for two weeks.  When I left I actually car pooled with Davis, my obsession, and dropped him off at the airport.  On the way down he kept telling me that he only liked me as a friend and we would never get back together.  I had also made arrangements to carpool back with him.  He liked to do anything that would save him money.  

After two weeks with my sister, I felt wonderful, like I could finally move on.  Davis met me at my sister's and when we started driving home he asked if we could go camping up in the mountains for the weekend.  I said ok and we hadn't been driving two hours when he reached over and started kissing me.  We spent five days in the mountains hiking and making love.  He even told me that he loved me, which he had never said before.  I felt like he finally saw the light.  He finally wanted to be with me.  I was so happy.  As we drove out of the park he took his hand from mine and went back to just being "friends"  We got home and he didn't call me except for once when he needed a ride into town.  This whole situation plunged me into an even deeper depression.  He hadn't called me in a five days and I was laying around the house crying unable to get up and do anything.  My sisters had to come in and take care of my house and kids.  I finally decided to buy a ticket to Canada, I purchased the ticket and the day before I left I talked to Davis.  He said he had nothing to say about what had happened that camping trip and he understood I had to leave.  He offered to give me a ride to the airport.  I accepted the offer and told him that as a goodbye because it would be our last time seeing each other, that I wanted to have sex with him, I wanted to be the one to say when we were going to have sex not him.  So he gave me a ride, we made love, and he dropped me off.  I got to my cousins and she gave me the book to read.  We refer to the book as our Bible.  I was happy, because I had controlled my goodbye with him.  I had closure and could now move on.  He wrote me once inferring that he wanted to have sex with me again, but I did not respond because I had said goodbye.  I was still very obsessed with him though.  Apparently when I left my ex husband and Davis got together and Davis told him all about the camping trip, and told him how wrong he was for doing that to me.  My ex told Davis that he was messing me up and that I was not a fit mother.  Davis went straight home and wrote me a very cold letter saying he never wanted to talk to me again.  In the moment I read it the obsession with making him love me came back four fold.  I wrote him nasty letters telling him what a jerk he was, demanding an apology.  I was so mad because he had taken control back, he had taken away my closure of our relationship. Anyway, I still cry everyday, and obsess over him.  I have met a new guy, a nice one that actually is interested in me but I can't focus on him because Davis still consumes my consciousness.  Are there any support groups for Women Who Love too Much???I so need help with this! 

Needing something I never would have had. - Misty Land - Aug 16th 2010

Hi! I just forund "Women that Love Too Much" yesturday and read the entire book. I cried and was utterly shocked to find that there are so many women out there that have the same behaviors as I. I was with my husband for 10 years. Through those 10 years, I suffered from emotional abuse, verbal abuse, manipulation, control, jealousy, occasional physical abuse, and 2 affairs. After the last affair, I kicked him out, and that was 5 months ago. He had a troubled childhood and I was attracted to that. I really wanted to feel that he loved me and that I was end all to his problems and through my actions he would feel my love. Sadly, he never gave the same back to me. Occasionally he would do or say nice things, but for the most part, he was rude, overbearing and contrillong. I lost all my friends and became more and more distant from family in an effort to either always be catering to him or readily availible to him. Ready at his beck and call. I didn't want to let him out of my sight for fear he would cheat on me or "forget" me and all my "wonderful" acts of desperate love. I am now on my way to recovery, I am in the process of seeking cousling, journaling and rediscovering who I am. What I fear is that I will slip back into this pattern when I am ready to find a new relationship. I am trying to find a new church and heal with my 4 children. He is still involved in the children's lives, but I fear that when he realizes I am treuly gone that he will stop seeing them as well. But I guess time will tell of that. I feel like I have stepped out of a fog and can not believe that I lived like that for so long. I hope to one day discover true love, but for now I am very happy learning how to love myself and find me again.

Women who love too much - - Aug 7th 2010

I read your comments and agree there is definately not enough love and caring in the world. In fact man's inhumanity to man is in urgent need of attention. What can be done about children who are not emotionally fullfiled by a parent as a child and seek it in adulthood? What happens to their children who may encounter the same issues and subconciously seek out the wrong partners? I feel this happened to me because of my dad and also may have happened to my son because of his dad. I dont find myself happy at all, always trying to rectify what I cant. I feel empty and quite lost away from my country with no support system.

Hopeless Romantic that has Loved Too Much - Beverly - Jul 26th 2010

I read Robin Norwood's book in a day.  I cried through the whole book.  She was talking directly to and about me.  I am a product of a single mom head of household.  My father abandoned my siblings and I when i was 4 years old.  I was a daddies girl, and couldn't understand why he never came back to see me and never called.  I would ask my mom daily "where is daddy?"  It must have been hard on her to hear me ask that all the time.  My mother did the best she could to raise 4 girls on her own.  I always longed to have that father daughter relationship and experience it to the fullest.  Sad to say that every man that I've come in contact with has hurt me.  I've had drug addicts for boyfriends, compulsive gamblers and etc.  I have been married for 19 years now--I am 45 years old.  Although I reside under the same roof with my spouse, I fell out of love with him 10 years ago.  I remained with him because of the children and I was afraid to start over again.  He has been so unfaithful to me with cheating and lying.  I should have left him a long time ago--but I keep hoping he will change.  We both provided for our children and the household, but it was dysfunctional relationship between him and I.  He never knew how to love me or be sensitive to my needs.  During the death of my mom, he didn't know how to comfort me.  He left the house for two days because he said I needed to get a grip and get myself together.  When I would get sick with the cold or flu, he would look me dead in the eye and say "you'll be okay".  I expected him to bring me the orange juice, ginger ale and hot soup just as I did him.  I wanted to be showered with his love and gifts on special occasions.  After all these years, he doesn't know how to buy me birthday, anniversary or holiday gifts.  We haven't shared the same bed in about 8 years.  I don't love him but I care about him because we share  four children and we have a history together.

loner - Jennifer - Jul 12th 2010

Well....I have always been a loner.  Never understood why we as women have to compete so much with people who say the word friend.   I don't care to gossip or undermind people.  Always been to taught to care about tolerance but guess most women don't give any kind of meaning to friendship or girlpower.   As far as men goes I have always liked being around them until they feel the need to take up for their other half on abusing innocent women just to continue to be catty.   So no, I don't love too much, however just pray for them.   

Forget loving too much, I loved out the box!!! - Hallene K. Brooks - Jun 10th 2010

This is primarily for Irene(may 10, 2010)...After a steady stream of teribble relationships, I basically decided to throw all hope to the wind in dealing with any potential commitment...I am 51 years old, and lost my father when I was 14...My mother did her best to raise not only a wild me, but also a younger sister with an aneurysm, and a younger brother with schizophrenia; As a single parent, I'd freqently felt that she was dealt a filthy hand, and left to play it by herself, which i thind(in retrospect), she did a terrific job of.  I'd always figured that my need for a male companion was that I;d lost my father at a young age, which I felt accounted for my attraction for older men; Nothing wrong with that, not the only thing I needed to deal with, was the QUALITY of the older men I dealt with...coming from a family with disabiliitiies, I posessed the rare quality of accepting anyone based on their personaliity, & how they made me feel as a person; Also, as a slightly overweight female, I also was delighted at the supposed acceptance of the men, which whom I'd chosen to spend my life with, of my heavy stature; Unfortunately, I chose NOT to realize the real aspects of my failed relationships, the fact that these men were not into me, but what I could do for them, in terms of money, meals, occasional sex, and assuming the unknowing role of stepping stone, until they found something/somebody more to their liking and living standards...My last "relationship" was with a crack addict, who I now realize only needed a supplier of his drug money, but he was a far better actor than any academy award winner I've ever seen...He was always functional(truck driver), & always had that engaging personaliity that many con artists & pimps use, of course! Anything you can make money off of, you're going to enhance...I had gone deeply into overdraft, ignoring my bills, clothes, needs, everything, thinking, as usual, that he ws going to see, and eventually appreciate all of the sacrifices I'd made for him, & do a complete about-face...Yeah, right, the only reward I ever received from him, was that he hung up on me, never called back, & came to my home three days later, to giive me back the pawn shop tickets that I'd received, when he pawned my jewelry...I was somewhat comforted though, he could've given my precious jewerly to a street dealer, & I simply would'nt have ever seen my items again...In any event, I managed, with much depression & bitterness, to get over this and continue on with my life...I "re-met" him 6 years later, in this past July, through my son-in-law, who is a childhood friend of his, and was also divorced from this man's sister (now deceased)...We talked, & he stated that during the years apart, he'd had some near-death experiences, organ replacements(liver,pancreas,kidneys), and was totally clean, & on Social Security disability...Stupid me, I actually saw a second chance, maybe, I figure he's in an appreciative mode now, & we can get back together, all is forgiven, & we'll live happily ever after...Nice thought, the need for drug money turned into the need for clothes, food, help paying bills, etc, his fixed income did not allow for anything past the basic neccesities;  Of course, I was only TOO happy to assist, why not? He has a clear mind now, I told myself, & he knows I'm still iin his corner...I realized after a while, that this man had no sexual attraction to me whatsoever, & would always come up with an excuse not to get together with me...He came over to my home one night, and promptly left with his ride after gulping down a few cocktails...I soon started getting weary of his behavior, argued with him one night, and finally got him angry enough to blurt out a few hurtful names in regards to my weight...Although his cruel words went through me like a rusty crossbow, I'm glad he said it, took a lot of work from me to get him to tell the truth, he never would've said it on his own, that would have risked his meal ticket, which it did...Needless to say, it's ended, along with everything else, but that has'nt stopped him from still calling, begging for money, food etc.  No, I refuse to take the bait anymore, I'm trying to focus on myself now, that's what I should've done from the start, but I was raised to share my blessings, not keep them to myself, & I'd always thought that this what was I was doing, among numerous other excuses...Women are terrible jaywalkers, we see all the red lights pop up, & we still insist on getting to the other side, no matter what the risks, maybe it's our maternal instinct, who knows? If a dude don't dig you, he's gonna dog you, & we maintain two things:  denial & hope...Just live day-by-day, Irene, you're going to feel like crap for a while, but you'll eventually get over it, don't think about these fools!!!  What goes around come around, I've seen it happen too many times for me to doubt it, & as long as you go about your normal life, you'll be surprised one day, when you finally say to yourself, "What the hell was I thinking?" You appear to be a good person, and worth far too much to compromise yourself to some self-serving idiot, who would'nt know a positive person, if they fell out on him from a tree...let him fight his own battles, & suffer his own situations, you were there for him, and he felt as though it was'nt good enough, his loss, not yours... Word to the Wise:  Stay the hell away from the prison, those guys have all day to think up schemes, we all have enough of our own demons to deal with, & don't need to take on any more...Good Luck, Sis Irene, just keep on keepiin up!!!  This is the first time I wrote to this site, but when I read your story, I started thinkin back, boy, your story reminded me of my issues back then...Take care.....

the only thing - - Jun 5th 2010

my going ture the same proble but the only thing is that am living with a man and have a other one

trying to get over a really bad break up - Irene - May 18th 2010

I read about "why women love too much?" and it relates a lot to my issues right now.  I was my ex boyfriend for 13 years and stayed with him while he was in prison as well and all the years that I was with him he lied to me about everything he felt about me and our goals together.  He cheated on me for eight years with a woman who met him while he was in prison and I was so blinded by the love I had for him, that i ignored all the signs.  His family knew of this other girl and it breaks my heart to know that they all decieved me after they saw what I had went through.  My ex would make me miserable most of the time and put me down, and blaming everything on me.  I am hurting deep down inside, but I need to have the strength to let go and move on with my life.  He took and took from me until there was nothing left, I loved this man and thought he would have changed once he came home but no he got worse.  I wish someone could help me out with my issue and maybe point me to the right direction, I would really appreciate it so much.  My prayers go out to all the other women faced with a similar problem, hope to hear from you soon. 

advice for battered confused wife - zuza - May 12th 2010

i would just like to say to the confused wife from 17th april - please don't go back to him. i can't believe your family are telling you to. he will not change unless he goes to AA and sorts his problems out by himself. don't belive him if he says he will, take a year out and see if he actually does it. don't waste your life. someone said to me the other day "a lesson is repeated until it is learnt". don't waste your life away. be strong. of course you miss him, i miss my ex too, but that will pass.

Who is the codependent? - - May 11th 2010

For the last four years I have lived with a man who appears to have his life in order. I met him in a 12 step recovery group one year after the end of my relationship of 16 years to a drug addicted gang member whom footsteps I followed into a self induced hell hole. This new partner had many years of 'recovery' and I was smitten.

I have moved leaps and bounds in the last 5 years and am mostly happy and feel good about where I am at in most areas of my life.

But although my now partner has a good career... a counsellor... and is generally caring and loving and fun to be with... he has a dark side-JEALOUSY, INSECURITY and DEBT. After general expenses he mostly keeps his money to himself but is more than happy to see me part with mine. There is an unspoken agreement between us that I pay for any extras for entertainment etc or we just wouldn't go anywhere cause 'he can't afford it'. It can be a battle to do something myself as I have been accused of being selfish and have been given the third degree. Money discussions can turn into arguments/tantrums (deflection tactics?)

This person now is involved in everything I do ( usually at my expense). Apart from the money side I would probably be o.k with doing lots of things together. BUT I  feel under constant watch. I monitor what I say and do as to not offend or slight him and I feel nervous to talk with other people particularly men. He hates it if I am late. I am trying to be non reactive but ridiculous allegations based on his insecurities can really trigger me. I use to go into defense mode to the point of raging. I have done this again recently. I got really emotionally battered in the process. I'm beginning to feel worn down. I'm so sick of this pattern! 

His jealousy has escalated recently because we now live in a healing/ learning community. There are always lots of opportunities for interaction with other people with similar interests.

I try to act 'normal' around others. But  now  question myself often. Do I have another motive if I say hello to someone. Were there hidden messages in the conversation I just had about the compost? Why did I choose to sit next to 'Joe' when I could have sat by 'Josephine'? He says I am too friendly and too helpful and told me I'm a codependent.  He has agreed to get some therapy for his jealousy after the most recent incident but has promised to do so before.

My new job gives me freedom and a flexible schedule which I also think he is jealous of.

On reflection, we have been both capable of real positive change in our own lives but years of pain was the cost. 

Am I denying myself a happy now?

Who really is the codependent in this relationship?

Falling in every time - Tharine - May 6th 2010

Here I am- successful editor, rich, pretty enough with stunning blue eyes that makes men weak. And lonely.

I have a strong personality, mostly because I must stand my man in my career. I have contact wiht a lot of men. I have a wide interest in subjects and general knowledge and men love my company. I do not want to fool around.

I want stability- a man that knows who he is, what he does and what he gets. Eventhough I am pretty sure who I am, what I do and what I get, I do not want to control any man in his life. I want to share my life with somebody special. I don not want him to support me financially- I pay my own bills. I want emotional en spiritual support and I am willing to provide more back than he could ever imagine.

I hate too lose. I am not the strong women you see- I am not the rock you see. I need a man by my side whom I can cuddle and love till the end of days and I want the same from him, but I tend to suffucate them with my love.


Passive Agressive - Needy - Gorda - Apr 28th 2010

A co-dependent relationship needs (it takes two to tango) two people, in this case two unhealthy people.  No wonder they are drawn to each other. I am first a co-dependent, then an addict. Was the egg or the hen first?

There are men who love to much too - Don Quixote - Apr 25th 2010

I read the book years ago also.  I was always attracted to women who were un-available.  I didn't look for them but it seems that most of the women in my life had been in abusive relationships, abused as a child, or otherwise unable to have a healthy relationship.  As much as I tried to avoid it, I was always the white knight comming to the rescue, only to be rejected when I proved not to be abusive myself.  After years of theaphy  I married at the age of 42.  I thought I had found a lady I didn't need to fix.  Wrong, she just hid it better.  So it's time to re-read the book.  There are life lessons equally applicable to men in it.  So men, don't be put off by the title. 

i understant - Jade - Apr 15th 2010

I was so glad to have found this document. I read the book years ago& i also have the daily inspiration one. My friends& family have given me an ulimatum..As i have given money&gifts & the best of me to men who can not love me yet expect & demand of me time& time again...All these women on this page& their stories resonate with me. We have the gift of being optimistic& seeing the good in these man who are like vampires. Living of our energy& resenting us at the same time. I recently removed myself from 3 exboyfriends..( i was only romanticly involved with one) as each one would compete with the other for my attention only to expect money from me. I got to the point i found myself doing their house work! These man gave me nothing in return but their toxic energy. Shallow,empty&needy man will rob women of their vitality& life force. I wish all my soul sisters out there the best. Being a loving& giving person is a gift. But not everyone deserves it. We have to protect ourselves& be selective. I still find myself wanting to help these man as i feel sorry for them. But i stop myself& glad they don't know where i am. Love& Light Jade x

Its all about me - pat - Apr 13th 2010

I have not read the book as yet, but I hope to do so.  My therapist referred me to it and as I was googling I was taken to this article and page.  From what I can read from the article, the book is clearly written all about me.  I nearly fell off my chair on the part of defense mechanisms - obsessing.  My goodness, I am the queen of obsession.  I will obsess over past lovers just to escape from my current problems and I live in a virtual world and have split personalities! At home, I am the loving yet often very angry mother and away from home, I am flirtatious, engaging and fun. 

My childhood was certainly not the best.  My father was a philanderer who managed to father 3 'known' children whilst married to my mother, who died of cancer still married to him!  He was hardly at home and did not have a steady job so we had financial troubles in the home.  I lived in constant fear of being evicted or being thrown out of school.  I went to a private school, because my mother insisted and wanted the best for me but I was never into it, I felt like I didnt belong there and besides I felt so hopeless, even if I did well, my parents couldnt afford to send me to varsity anyway.  So, I was a rebellious lost and angsty teenager. 

I lost my virginity at 14 and have been desperate to love and be loved!  At the ripe old age of 17, I dumped a boy who was so sweet, kind and affectionate because he was BORING and instead fell head over heels in love with a dark brooding stranger who came from a broken home and has major issues of his own.  From the time we were dating I knew this would only end in heartache.  The relationship was controlling and filled with dishonesty and his mother did not like me but for some reason I stuck in it.  So many boys that were sweet and ideal came but I stuck in this relationship till I ended up getting pregnant at 18 and running off to him to get married.  I still had the loud voice in my head telling me that this is going to be a disaster and sure enough, 11 years and 3 kids later, I find myself trapped in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage. 

He is distant, a liar, lazy, he has never worked a day in his life, while I have been working since the time we got married! He does some ad hoc jobs here and there and when he brings in money, its very little, I never know how much it is until it is finished and he expects me to get on my knees and thank him for the peanuts.  I tend to feel guilty for not doing so so I make him out to being a hero when he does bring in the little he does.  I on the other hand am expected to work and be the bread winner while at the same time, cook and clean and be the best mother in the world who does not yell and a domestic goddess! Lord knows, I try but sometimes I just can't and I just want to run away from my life.  I am not allowed to go out with friends or for work functions.  Even if I ask him for permission he gets very upset if I stay out of the house for longer than 30 minutes! He never wanted me to drink until recently when he also started drinking. All I should be to him, is the woman taking care of his children (I am a bad mother to him because I do not bath them myself they are 10 and 8 and because I get frustrated while helping them with their homework while he sits and reads the paper), cooking perfect meals (I am an awful cook according to him), keeping a clean house (I am lazy and dirty according to him) and catering to his every need! He used to go out with his friends and travel leaving me alone to do my own thing, which I used to enjoy.  At least then I would get to go with my friends, make new friends, be told I am beautiful and meet men who appreciated me or at least pretended to do so.  Now he is always at home, broke as a skunk and staring me in the face.  I feel like a trapped bird.  I cannot question him, I cannot open up to him.  He has the emotional intelligence of a baby and he has also cheated on me many times hence my lack of remorse for cheating on him too.  I would never confess this to him of course because he is physically abusive.  Having beaten me up so many times including a time that I ended up in hospital getting stitches on my forehead, a scar that I will bear forever!

Right now, I am at a point whereby I am tired of always complaining and crying to friends and relatives, yet at the same time, I wish the solution or my saviour could be someone or something rather from something within me.  I am afraid of being alone and afraid of what people will say if we break up.  I am afraid of what he will do should I tell him that its over!  I am afraid of dying alone and unloved! But I know deep in my heart that this is not the man for me and the more time I spend with him since he is no longer travelling and partying, the more irritated I get with him.  The more I cannot stand him! I just wish there was a foolproof and easy way for me to just leave him and take my kids and he can visit them without actually hurting me.  Being with me has broken me down.  Broken me to a billion pieces.  I look at myself and I see a beautiful woman and yet he treats me like dirt.  I am intelligent and yet in this I am so stupid and dumb.  I am capable and yet I feel incompetent in everything I do.  I was never entirely confident as a child and being in this abusive relationship is no help either.  I can see the fire and yet I walk in and out of it and sit in it! 

Sometimes, I think its all in my head!  That it can't be that bad.  That I am over reacting.

I have read the other posts and I can relate to all of them. 

Sometimes I just want to be like a bird and fly away... far far away! or if I could rewind and start over again!

Hapless Romantic or Love Addict - Wendy - Apr 12th 2010

For nearly 2 years I have been in a relationship with a man that I deem emotionally unavailable.  I am 24, intelligent, attractive, funny and creative.  Yet I feel none of those things anymore.  The more he hurts me (he has split up with me more times than I can count) the more I love him.  I seem to look to him to fix the pain he has caused me.  He has a history of hurt and broken childhood and was under the ridiculous belief that my love would change him, yet it seems to push him away even further.  He goes from being loving, affectionate and kind to cold and hurtful.  I stay at his house even when I know he has shut me off and doesnt want me there.  I feel so empty inside and completely broken, this relationship is the only thing I seem to care about and dont know how to break the cycle.  No matter how much he hurts me I go back every time and seem to stick around for the odd I love you.  I know that deep down I am not happy but for some reason I cannot bear the thought of being without him.  I fear being alone so much.  I hate being like this.  He says that I am weak, immature and pathetic.  Why if I have so much going for me like everyone says do I stick around waiting for someone who does nothing but cause me emotional pain?



I am a typical example of a battered and abused housewife. I've been married for almost 13 years and my husband has been verbally, physically and emotionally abusing me continuously. He beat me up until I bled a month ago and needed stitches. He apologised. But started the verbal and emotional abuse two weeks ago because he was so frustrated that I couldn't be my normal self with him 'cos I was still in so much pain, shock, anger at what he did to me. I left home over a week ago because I felt I didn't deserve this treatment which would not stop. But I am depressed 'cos I miss him('cos he is quite a nice person when he doesn't drink and lose his temper), miss my home, my privacy, my pets. His family have been telling me that I should talk to him before it is too late. I am now very confused and don't know what to do because I am scared of losing him 'cos I still do love him. Any advice?

Almost Identical - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Apr 6th 2010

Hi Almost Identical,

You report that you had an ideal childhood. That always raises my ears to an alert status when I work with patients in my office. The reason for that reaction is that life is simply never, ever perfect. Problems are always present for the simple reason that its the way life is. So, while you may not have been abused as a child I am also sure that you had your share of anxieties and worries. Also, even the best of parents are not perfect.

You say you do not know where to turn. I urge you to go to psychotherapy. After all, you made the unfortunate choice of man that you did and to avoid repeating that you really do need to learn more about yourself. I wish you a lot of luck and hope you never get involved with such a destructive person again.

Dr. Schwartz

almost identical situation last summer - - Apr 6th 2010

I've just read Rose's comment (March 17th) and was in an almost identical situation last summer. . . . even down to the fact that this guy had a cutting and sharp tongue. He didn't drive and yet expected me to fetch and carry him to and from his work (even though I work full time and his work was very much on an ad hoc part-time basis). He expected me to cook him dinner every night - yes, he praised me that i was a "fantastic cook", but I never had a night off: he didn't want to go out to eat, because basically he couldn't cope with restaurants. He gradually eased me away from my sister and my family (to whom i'm very close); he more or less moved into my house; he drained me dry both financially and physically. I bought him clothes and shoes and gifts because he seemed to appreciate it. Of course, at the time I did all this willingly, because I wanted him to love me and need me. And I thought that he did love me.

He left me once - stranded in a pizza restaurant, after I'd finally persuaded him to go out - he just got up and left me there. He then came back a week later and I welcomed him with open arms, thinking "well, he must really want me, cos he wouldn't come back otherwise" wrong I was. It lasted a grand total of 10 days, basically because I became more confident because I believe, wrongly of course, that he truly wanted to be with me.

I very nearly lost my job, and then my house and everything i've worked for over the past years. I sought therapy, but have since become embroiled in what I think is probably another similar relationship pattern. A very different person, and a very "nice" man, but another unavailable one forsure.

The last year has resulted in self-harm, attempted suicide and numerous trips to A&E hospitals & psychiatrists. Whether or not I can sort it out for myself, I don't know. I've bought the books, i've talked the talk, and boy, i can sure advise other people, and am the sort of person that people actually come to for advice, which seems laughable! And i've been told i give very good and very intelligent advice! Its as if the psychotherapy i've spent a fortune on bypasses me, and i regurgitate it succinctly for others! Just can't seem to absorb it myself though.

Oh, and, finally, everything I seem to read about co-dependency seems to suggest that the seeds are sown in childhood, with either abuse or some form of unavailable parent. For the record, I had an idyllic childhood: two loving parents, a stay-at-home mother and a sister who i've always got along with very well: no sibling rivalry, etc.

Don't really know which way to turn now, but shall keep turning!


Any link to Aspergers? - Rose - Mar 17th 2010

Here I am - intelligent, attractive, and outsiders would think I have everything going for me in my life. Last year I looked across the room and fell in love. From then on I had a whale by the tail but it wasnt a good ride. He had an autistic child but didnt tell me he was also on the autistic spectrum. I gradually worked it out - was very literal, didnt understand double negatives, had a low emotional quotient (and hence could be cutting). I kept explaining his behaviour as aspergers. He was controlling (wanted dates and times locked down) and got upset if I didnt comply. He made plans without discussion and told me "boys have to do what boys have to do" to explain why he was golfing rather than seeing me (and given we lived in different cities I would have thought I rated some priority). He told me I was competitive - even me saying the weather was nice in the city I lived in was interpreted as me being competitive . It was hell.  I traded everything away over time. I bought him things, he bought me nothing, I travelled another city and ended cleaning his house for the weekend, I told him he was good in bed when he was absolutely the worst lover I have ever experienced. I couldnt work out why I did this - why did I obsess about this individual. He wasnt even good looking! My therapist has recommended this book, and I have ordered a copy. I am just so relieved to now focus on me. I have spent so much time trying to help this guy and it is me that needs help.  I was even worried that if I left he wouldnt have another relationship as he would infer that he wasnt good enough - I worried more about him than I did myself. I wanted to help him through our breakup even though he broke up with me. I now think he is both aspergers and a misogynist. Me - I sound like I am a codependent.  I am so relieved to start discovering reasons. I feel like I am seeing for the very first time.

Lots of company - - Mar 8th 2010

Hi Sarah. You've got lots of company here. I've known those same feelings and thoughts. Often. But it's only been this one guy. This is new for me. Welcome. My name is Marilyn and as you can see I'm now obsessed with something else...finding answers. Nice to meet you.

Loves too much - Sarah - Mar 8th 2010

I came on here searching for "women who apply too much pressure", and stumbled upon this thread. This sounds a lot like me. I feel like nobody could love like I love. I love way too much, to where it's almost sickening. I need to love myself as much as I love him. When he is mean to me during a conflict or disagreement or even rolls over to go to sleep before I feel "satisfied" with the love I recieved for the day I feel CRUSHED. Because I love him so much, a small argument or him raising his voice at me, can feel so very horrible. I am afraid to love him after times of fights and then I am afraid not to. I feel whole and complete when we are being affectionate. If he is sitting on another couch from I in the living room, I feel bad, like, why isn't he sitting next to me? I must be driving him nuts, smothering, etc. I don't have many friends, and the ones I do, we rarely see eachother. My world is him and my child. That's it. I care for nothing else inside. But am I handicapping myself by doing this? Only setting myself up for failure?

I want to be different. I just don't know how.

label? - marilyn - Mar 7th 2010

BTW, Doctor. Is there a medical term for the person who loves too much?

Dr. Dombeck's Note: The way that this construct exists in popular culture does not correspond to any defined disorder, no.  However, it's similar in tone to diagnoses like Dependent Personality Disorder. It's also similar in tone to another unofficial construct "co-dependence". All of these are descriptions of problematic interpersonal functioning, in which the primary actor stays invested in a relationship which becomes unbalanced, not equitable and less than optimally healthy for them. 

passive agressive and the women who love too much - marilyn - Mar 7th 2010

I am quicking drawing what is perhaps a simple conclusion to others but comes as a revelation to me. I could use as much imput as possible. I see now that I have drawn the attentions of passive agressive men who's behavior has stemmed from  an almost total lack of nurturing as a child which in turn caused them to seek out women like me who love too much in order to compensate (actually overcompensate) for the nurturing they never received as children. My guess is that a PA will have even several females of this catagory lined up so that he always has someone to go to in his time of need, perhaps even a male friend who is open to a bisexual relationship if they have a common need. The PA that I am currently involved with has even shared that he has a "need for affection". You don't hear that information shared by a male too often, do you? A need for affection could run so deep that he will gratefully accept it from anyone who will provide it? That's what I'm thinking. In evaluating my own life, I'm beginning to see that the "loving too much" behavior started out slowing put has picked up dramatically to where anxiety and depression will set in if I am without a man in my life to love. My brother has shared that he has observed how a woman will always make sure she has another man to go to before she leaves the one she's with. I think that's a bit of an overgenalization but it applies to me. If there is no man in my life I become very anxious now. I am only ok when I have a man to care for. I very definitely will be buying this book but I would value words from others who know these behaviors. I am fast concluding that the two behaviors draw each other like magnets. But then what?

passive agressive - marilyn - Mar 7th 2010

I'm not finding any references to passive agressive behavior on this site other then my own posts. It's not listed on the forum list at all as far as I can tell. Am I not searching correctly or is this behavior not recognized here?

Dr. Dombeck's Note: You may wish to read material we've provided concerning assertiveness, which has a lot to do with passive, aggressive and passive-aggressive behavior. 


To Theo - marilyn - Mar 6th 2010

Have you done any research on passive agressive behavior? I'm starting to put one and one together and coming up with this passive aggressive gravitates towards one human who loves too much equals a lot of heartbreak. I am the one who loves too much and I have spent two years of my life unraveling the puzzle that is PA behavior.

Why? - Marilyn - Mar 6th 2010

Over time I have given the "why's" of this behavior considerable thought It's not that I've just discovered this about myself or never questioned it before. All the reasons others have mentioned here would certainly serve to qualify but one that hasn't been mentioned is one that I know has definitely played a part for me and that is the inpact that our culture plays, specifically music, the silver screen, romance novels, soap operas and any vehicle that has served to help us believe that love conquers all. The older I get the more I'm drawn to the romance that feeds my fantasy of having the perfect love and the perfect lover. This very moment I'm tuned in to a cable music channel dedicated to the music of the 70's ...the song of the moment is Rescue Me....Devil or Angel up next....almost all are love songs...and they reach my soul and psyche still...just like they did when I was 20, 30, 40....These things also helped form who we are. They have become part of us for better or worse. It is no wonder we  seek such fulfillment. Disconnecting from this influence will be like moving a mountain or cutting off our blood supply.Can anyone else relate to what I'm saying?

The Passive Aggressive and The Woman Who loves Too Much - Marilyn - Mar 5th 2010

This is most definitely me. I am in love with a PA and have been for almost two years. His emotional unavailability and distancing is fear-based and connected, without doubt, to a lack of nurturing all through childhood. I love too much and although he desparately needs what I want to give him, his fear often trumps his need and I am put at arms length. I must telegraph a signal.Upon reflection, I see now that every man I've ever loved has told me the same thing...they cannot be what I need and my love is too intense...they can't handle it.

This can apply to MEN too.... - Theo - Mar 5th 2010

Although I am a man, I found that this article fit me perfectly. Through therapy I realized that I had a father who although provided for his large family by working many hours, was emotionally unavailable. Being the last of seven children, my mother was burned out by the time she had me, so she let me be raised by an older sister who had her own mental issues. My older sister was also very cold-hearted, judgmental- and narcissistic in some ways. As a result, I never got the love that I needed. Predictably, I ended up with emotionally unavailable women, who were cold-hearted judgmental, narcissistic and also users (yes, there are women out there like that). Right now I am in the process of taking off the blinders about my past, my life choices, and my reality. I am in a lot of pain now, but hopefully I will over come my issues, and feelings worthlessness and unworthiness and be able to find a loving, caring partner that appreciates me for me and I for her. I plan on purchasing the book.

Me too - Jana - Feb 26th 2010

I just started to read this book few days ago while I found it accidently lying at my residence. I am totally in it. Probably because I see myself there. However, I am not from dysfunctional family or home. This is my question. What does it mean a dysfunctional family? Is it a place where emotions were not shown fully? Because then 90% of women come from dysfunctional families, I guess. It is not so common to have everything working at home in most cases. I has different boyfriends, really different, but each of them was unavailable for me in other way. One needed psychiatristic treatment because of his childhood, other was obsessed, the other one was cold. So am I.

I really hope that I am on the right way just by realizing my problem, what came with this book. I thought that it was just a normal woman-in-love behaviour.

Thank you!


Its totally me ! - Richa G Singh - Feb 24th 2010

I come from a dysfunctional home,my father was an alchoholic stayed separately from my mother,but supported us on and off financially.I had two boyfriends broke off from the first one who used to manipulate me emotionally and married the second one who wasnt that bad ,but never considers my needs (emotional needs,general support)he competes with me in everything ,degrades everything i make/do.I left my job for him and still i am the one who owes him.He is crazy about his parents and family and relative,stays very defensive about them ,there is no limit.He shows me some love so that i become happy and i am that kind of idiot that becomes happy with some affection shown towards me.I love him.but want to change the structure of this relation and /or get out of it with least pain.

When Will I Learn? - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Feb 16th 2010

It is really important that you treat yourself with more gentleness. All of us repeat unhealthy patterns of behavior and it takes time to learn, sometimes, a very long time. The main thing is to not beat yourself up.

Perhaps entering psychotherapy would help you speed the process of changing so that you find happier relationships?

Dr. Schwartz

When will I learn? - - Feb 16th 2010

I am greatful that I kept Women Who Love Too Much.  This will be my second time reading it....I am highlighting every word!  I am so tired of repeat behavior.  I feel as though I will never learn!  I am a classic case of a Woman who Loves too much, I wish I could move pass this.  I am so very tired of making mistakes and being so hard on myself. At times I feel hopeless but know that I have to have faith and believe in myself.

A Good Read - Bc - Feb 15th 2010

I am a woman who loves way too much.  I broke up with my boyfriend a few months ago.  The most self centered person I have ever known. He manipulated me into not only becoming his little personal assistant, but was slowly manipulating me to wait on his pregnant teenage daughter hand and foot also.  It was wonderful at first.  Then he became totally emotional and sexually unavailable. And STILL wanted to move into together this coming March.  I really do miss him and wanted to get back together but after this read I am thankful that I did not let it come to cohabitation.  Now THAT would of been devastating.  Not only to me but to my son, who really loves this man.

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