In the town where I lived, I could never find my true love, my princess, my mermaid-my soul mate. There were no women who even remotely resembled the perfection of Snow White, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty.
When I saw the film Sleepless In Seattle, I saw two soul mates (Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks) find their way to each other and fall madly in love-even though they lived 3000 miles apart. That was when a light bulb went on inside my head.
I would make a worldwide search for MY long-lost true love-and we would live happily ever after. I met Michelle through a nationwide dating service. I lived in California; she lived in Oregon. She seemed perfect-and why not? I had one hell of an imagination.
We knew very little about each other but we were romance addicts so our imaginations filled in the gaps. Besides, the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill, right? She did not live in my town; she did not live in my state-she had to be better.
I was one sick puppy.
As it turned out, Michelle was human after all and so was I, but being romance addicts, we could not accept each other’s flaws. On a subconscious level, we both were trying our best to Escape From Intimacy.
Acclaimed author, lecturer, Anne Wilson Shaef, Ph.D., reveals how people become sex addicts, romance addicts, and/or relationship addicts. She then describes what intimacy really is and how to recover from the various addictions.
When I read this book, it was like taking a good hard look in the mirror. I did not like what I saw, and it even made me sick to my stomach to read about myself. The author, of course, did not write about me, but wrote about other people (gave examples) who had similar problems, and I could see myself in them.
She describes in vivid detail the nature of the sex addict. A sex addict is basically a person who has no interest in love or intimacy. He/she is just interested in making a conquest.
The relationship addict is probably the most common type of addict. This is a person who must be in a relationship no matter how destructive that relationship might be. Again, he/she is not in it for love or intimacy or even happiness. Being miserable is OK as long as a relationship exists.
I personally have always been a romance addict. This book did not cure my problem, but did make me aware of my problem, and I can now catch myself when I start to go off the deep end romantically.
Basically, the final two sections of the book, Intimacy and Healthy Relationships and Recovery have provided me with a blueprint and roadmap to recovery rather than a quick cure.
Recovery for me and anyone who reads this book will most likely be a life-long process. As Dr. John Bradshaw poignantly illustrated, a one-legged man can learn to function as well as most two-legged men, but he will always be a one-legged man.
After reading this book, I have learned to accept that I will always be a romantic fool-a romance addict. I have learned there is nothing wrong with romance in and of itself. The real problem is not accepting my flaws and the flaws of my partner.
At my present stage of recovery, my partner need not be perfect. I can fully embrace her flaws when her good points outweigh the bad.
If the bad outweighs the good, I can respect her right to be who she is rather than try to change her (trying to change someone has always been futile). I would set her free so she can be loved by someone who will accept her and love her as much as she accepts and loves herself.
Finally, this book has taught me that there are weeds on the other side of the hill, and to always keep that in mind when contemplating a long-distance romance.
1. Sexual Addiction
2. Romance Addiction
3. Relationship Addiction
4. Escape from Intimacy
5. Addictive Relationships
6. Intimacy and Healthy Relationships
Hardcover or Paperback: 117 pages
Dimensions: 8.1 X 5.3 X .4 inches
Readability: Easy to read