Robin Norwood’s Women Who Love Too Much – When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He’ll Change is an invaluable tool in understanding what causes us to be attracted to unavailable, addicted, abusive, distant, and cruel men. In understanding the reasons we do the things we do, we can learn how to change those behaviors, and in changing the behaviors, we can also change the types of relationships we have.
Painful relationships are a major cause of depression in women. Many of us find ourselves leaving an abusive alcoholic, only to be inexplicably drawn to the first unavailable workaholic or drug addict that comes along. We see these men as being in need of our “help,” thinking that with our love and guidance, we can "fix" them, making them into the perfect men for us. We think we can heal them with love. That’s when we begin to “love too much.”
Robin Norwood uses interesting case histories to illustrate the ways in which we are drawn to the same man over and over again. He might look different, he might have a different job (if he has one at all), and he might have a different addiction or different background. However, the turmoil, pain, fear and stress produced by the relationships with these men are the same each time.
All the horrible feelings we have that are caused by our own addictions to these relationships produce severe highs and lows. Without those highs and lows, which seem completely normal to us because of the dysfunction in our childhoods, we do not know how to cope. With emotionally healthy men who might actually care for us and treat us with love and respect, we become uncomfortable and bored because we do not know how to relate to someone who isn’t “broken,” and doesn’t need our “help.”
Women Who Love Too Much explains how the dysfunctional family dynamics of our childhoods set us up for these issues in our relationships. We are drawn to men who recreate the same painful dynamics in our dysfunctional childhood homes, in a subconscious effort to change the things that hurt us and affected us so deeply.
Robin Norwood tells us, “Depression, alcoholism and eating disorders are closely related and seem to be genetically linked.” She goes on to say that many of her women clients who suffer from depression have at least one alcoholic parent, caused in part by a history with the alcoholic, and in part by the genetic predisposition. She also explains that it isn’t just alcoholism or drug addiction that causes these issues—-other types of dysfunction in the home are equally as damaging.
Women Who Love Too Much gives a great deal of insight into the things we’ve done all our lives and the overwhelming pain, fear, and need to be loved that we experience. It also gives specific steps to take in order to heal from “loving too much” or “love addiction.” She gives resource information which has been recently updated to include websites and current contact information.
If you are a woman who finds herself involved with the same type of cruel, addicted, unavailable, abusive, controlling man over and over, you are a woman who loves too much. It might sound noble, but it isn’t—-it’s a sickness. But there is a cure. It isn’t easy, it doesn’t work overnight, and without staying in touch with a support group that keeps you focused on your healing and your changed ways of thinking and behaving, you can relapse. But if you follow the steps and stick to them, and you keep that support, you will heal, and you can find happiness.
It is my opinion that any woman who reads this book and follows the steps Robin Norwood has given us can and will change her thoughts, feelings and behaviors. This, in turn, will change the ways she relates to men, and how she assesses them with regard to what they have to offer in a relationship. Being able to make those objective judgments is critical in avoiding “broken” men who need to be “fixed,” and who are guaranteed to cause us pain.
I believe this is one of the best books ever written for women. If you are a woman who loves too much, I strongly urge you to buy or borrow a copy of Women Who Love Too Much, work the steps, and move toward a happy future. It will take a lot of work, but you’re worth it!