Signs and causes of women who love too much

women who love too much
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Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood took the world by storm in 1985. It told countless stories of women who stood by men whose love fell far out of reach.

In an interview, Gary Thomas who wrote When to Walk Away, said there are plenty of women who love too much but he’s never heard of a man who loved too much.

Women who love too much share the trait of self-abandonment. Instead of asking for what they want, they twist themselves to fit into what someone else wants or needs.

Women who love too much share the trait of self-abandonment. Click To Tweet

Here are 5 signs you are a woman who loves too much. But there are more, including using sex to get or keep his attention.

1. Women who love too much are drawn to unavailable men.

These men are either physically or emotionally unavailable for a meaningful relationship. They could be married or have an addiction they prioritize over you.

They might be narcissistic, afraid of intimacy, or uninterested in a deeper relationship with you. And they may have unresolved issues from childhood that make them unable to form attachments.

2. Nice men are boring to you.

You find it impossible to be attracted to men who are nice and treat you well. You find a way to sabotage any chance of relationship with these men because they are not creating the chaos you crave.

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Although painful, you need the internal turmoil provoked by an unavailable man. You mistake the insecurity and poor treatment for passion. Love to you has always been hard and hurtful, and a kind man will not feel like “home”.

3. Women who love too much compromise values.

women who love too much

In an effort to win the man’s love, you keep moving your boundaries, if you had any to begin with. You make excuses for poor behavior and take up with an addict, for instance, even though you said you never would.

4. You think if you try hard enough, you’ll win them over.

To you red flags are not a sign of danger but something to overcome. You think with enough love and understanding you’ll coax this man into a relationship. Even when he has a pattern of evading commitment in the past.

You cling to a fantasy that you’re the one who will get through to him. If you need less and give more, he’ll become your knight in shining armor and fulfill the empty space inside.

5. You’re obsessed with thoughts of the person.

When you’re with friends, he’s all you ever talk about. You’re constantly checking your phone to see if he’s texted or called. You suffer the constant pain of insecurity due to the power imbalance of him not caring as much as you do.

What creates women who love too much?

Women who love too much seek the love they never received as children. Your father or mother’s affection felt out of reach. So, you reenact that childhood drama by yearning for, and never receiving, love from a man.

Women who love too much seek the love they never received as children. Click To Tweet

Instead of learning from experience and leaving one-sided relationships, you double down. Either with the same man or another unavailable partner, you keep pursuing people who will never return your love.

As in childhood, you assume the problem lies with you. If only you were more understanding, prettier, more perfect, you’d win his love. It’s a trick now as it was then, and keeps you from ever having your needs met.

Although your mind tells you otherwise, you do not want a real relationship. You pursue these hopeless cases because they protect you from your deep fear of intimacy.

If your parents never gave you the love you needed, you will feel unworthy of love. Even if subconscious, this self-belief plays out in these artificial relationships.

It’s a fear of being seen and known because you might be unclear of who you really are. Or harbor a deep-seated fear that there is something wrong with you. If anyone really knew you, they wouldn’t like you.

So, you get involved with men who have no interest in knowing you and that keeps you safe. At the same time, you tell yourself that making this person fall in love with you will solve all your problems.

Not only will this never happen, another person is not the answer to anyone’s emptiness inside. We need to get to the root of our self-loathing and self-sabotage. This means resolving our past and understanding who we are and what we really need.

Why forgiveness is hard and how to forgive authentically

forgiveness
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If you’ve been wronged, you know how hard forgiveness can be. Even, or especially, when the wrongdoing came from a close friend or family member.

We come up with all kinds of reasons why we can’t forgive, even when we know it’s the right thing to do. Knowing in our heads we need to forgive, doesn’t make it easier for our hearts to do so.

People find forgiveness difficult for many different and personal reasons. Here are 4 common ones:

1. Conflict avoidance

If you’re someone who tends to avoid conflict, you’ll sidestep difficult situations. Rather than acknowledge another person’s transgression, you’ll carry on as if it never happened.

Or, you may cut the person out of your life so you don’t have to deal with them at all. But out of sight does not mean out of mind. Without forgiveness, that person and what they did will continue to eat away at you.

Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Without forgiveness, that person and what they did will continue to eat away at you. Click To Tweet

2. Self preservation

You refuse forgiveness because you believe it gives the offender license to hurt you again. Unless the person is toxic or a narcissist, however, forgiveness is not the same as permission to re-offend.

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3. Desire to even the score

Lack of forgiveness breeds resentment and a desire for revenge. You feel you’d be letting this person off the hook if you forgave them.

Our egos have a hard time with such one-sided acts. It’s humbling to feel as though we’re giving much more than we’re getting in return.

4. Lack of remorse

The person has never offered you an apology. Or, they’ve apologized and expect that should be the end of the discussion.

But a truly remorseful person will seek to make amends. They will demonstrate their willingness to change before they expect to regain your trust.

Forgiveness is necessary even in the face of such audacity. Forgiveness and trust are not at all the same thing. Neither are forgiveness and relationship. You can stay away from someone and still forgive them.

How to extend forgiveness when it’s hard

forgiveness

Remember we forgive for ourselves not the other person. We’re letting ourselves off the hook when we forgive. The other person may not know (or care) that they’ve been forgiven.

Knowing forgiveness lowers anxiety, stress, and blood pressure, helps you see its importance. It boosts your immune system and increases self esteem while improving relationships, both present and future.

Forgiveness lowers anxiety, stress, and blood pressure. It boosts your immune system and increases self esteem. Click To Tweet

Remember times you required forgiveness or had to forgive yourself for wrongdoing. Give that same grace to your perpetrator.

Consider what’s happened to the person to make them behave the way they do. As an example, my emotionally abusive mother grew up with abuse and neglect herself.

Forgiveness does not erase what the person did to you or the consequences of their actions on your life. But you still need to process your emotions, especially anger, and grieve over what happened to you.

Grieving does not need to be complete for you to forgive. But it is necessary so you can move forward authentically, without stuffing down unprocessed emotions.

How to know if you were raised by a narcissist

raised by a narcissist
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Narcissists lack the most important components of parenting: empathy and compassion. If you were raised by a narcissist (or two) you’ll suffer the consequences of their deficiencies.

Those consequences such as shame and low self-worth can wreak havoc on our adult relationships, careers, and other aspects of our lives.

So, how do you know if you were raised by a narcissist? See if any of the following sound familiar.

You feel you’re not good enough

As children, we never see our parents as deficient, but blame ourselves for their shortcomings. We think if we were better they would love us.

We see our friends receiving love from their parents and wonder what’s wrong with us that our parents withhold theirs?

You have a harsh inner critic

Our internal narrative reflects the way our parents or caregivers spoke to us. The harsh inner critic is a direct echo of our parents’ voices. When those voices condemned us, we internalized that and spoke to ourselves the same way.

You question your intrinsic worth and value

Your parents taught you early on that your needs don’t matter. You encountered a role reversal in which you had to meet your parents needs instead of them meeting yours.

As a result, you may play small or invisible, and believe you don’t have the right to get your needs met. Since your parents failed to acknowledge your value, you feel worthless, unseen and unknown.

Struggling with self-sabotage? Download Chapter 1 of It’s Not Your Fault free.

You have stormy relationships with people who treat you badly

You might feel like a magnet for toxic people. That’s because if you were raised by a narcissist, your chances of getting into relationship with one are higher.

You might feel like a magnet for toxic people. That's because if you were raised by a narcissist, your chances of getting into relationship with one are higher. Click To Tweet

You’re so used to being dismissed and controlled by your parents that you attract partners and friends who treat you the same way.

You believe love and acceptance have to be earned

If you were raised by a narcissist you experienced “love” as conditional on you performing certain tasks or behaving a certain way. You may have stayed out of your parents way, kept silent, or achieved, to try and win their love.

You believe you have a fatal flaw that makes you unlovable. And you have trouble believing people would love you if they really knew you, or accept you for who you are.

You believe you have a fatal flaw that makes you unlovable. And you have trouble believing people would love you if they really knew you. Click To Tweet

That makes you wear a mask in relationships and avoid intimacy. This deprives you of the close connected relationships we all crave.

You tend to give more in relationships

This belief that love has to be earned carries over into adult relationships. You concern yourself with your partner’s or friends’ needs and ignore your own.

You attract people who monopolize conversation and rarely ask how you’re doing. And you feel as though you have no choice but to put up with neglect or abuse because you have no template for standing up for yourself.

You seek external affirmation to prove your value

Do you find it hard to switch off and relax? Do you feel like you have to constantly prove your worth through achievement and goal fulfillment? Are these goals based on other people’s approval?

As a child you believed if you could only do better, your parents would love you. As an adult, that pattern continues as you seek to earn your place in the world through external affirmation. You may not even know what you want and rely on what others expect instead.

What to do if you were raised by a narcissist

If you were raised by a narcissist, what can you do to heal from the damage your parents did to you? You may feel desperate for them to understand and acknowledge your pain, but that would be a mistake.

Talking to your narcissistic parent about their abuse will make matters worse. They have a complete lack of self awareness or empathy. As a result, they will not be able to enter your world or feel remorse for the pain they caused you.

Worse yet, they will likely turn the tables and accuse you of the very things they are guilty of. You will leave feeling confused and condemned and will get nowhere in helping your parents see their shortcomings.

Give up the lie that you can reason with a true narcissist. They will twist things to prevent taking ownership of their mistakes. Vulnerability and humility are foreign to the narcissist. They are not capable of connection and bonding and must always come out on top.

You don’t need to understand or figure out a narcissist. I read a book comparing it to wrestling with an alligator, rather than getting the heck away from them. Or at least putting up barriers to keep them at a safe distance.

Instead, spend that energy healing from the effects of the toxic parent. Learn how to set healthy boundaries (which may include no contact), and reparent yourself to receive the love, care, and attention you deserved as a child.

How to navigate sibling rivalry and toxic sibling relationships

sibling rivalry
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If you experience sibling rivalry, you may wonder how someone raised in the same household could have such a different perspective on your family dynamics.

It’s not that they’re lying about what happened (though that could be the case). Rather they have a contrasting memory of events, or the past affected them differently.

If you’re a more sensitive type for example, slights that roll off your sibling’s back would hurt your deeply. Or perhaps one of you were targeted for abuse the other neither experienced nor witnessed.

What causes sibling rivalry and why does that rivalry sometimes turn toxic? Here are 4 examples.

1. Birth order

Even when they have the same parents, children are born into different families. A first-born child, for example, may enter into a family with happy and contented parents. She receives lots of attention because no one else competes for it.

Even when they have the same parents, children are born into different families. Click To Tweet

Three years later, the second child enters into a conflict-ridden household with parents who fight for various reasons. She receives less attention because it’s shared with the older sibling.

Or the oldest child is born to poor, struggling parents whose stress is passed on to her. By the time the second comes around, the parents are well off financially and the second-born enjoys an environment of relative wealth and security.

And so it goes. There’s evidence the eldest sibling remembers the most and is often challenged by younger siblings who say those things never happened. That’s because the oldest protects the younger ones from witnessing trauma.

As a result of this protection, sibling rivalry manifests as invalidation of the eldest’s experience. She realizes she has sacrificed herself to protect her siblings and now feels isolated and alone.

It’s important to remember the fault for this parentification lies with the parents, not the siblings. Still, the parent’s abdication leads to sibling resentment.

2. Temperament

If one child is more sensitive than the others she will internalize the effects of conflict in the family. She is more likely to be scapegoated and bear the brunt of any bullying in the household.

Taken to its extreme, temperament can include personality disorders like narcissism. A narcissistic sibling will wreak havoc on a relationship with a more sensitive, empathic sibling.

3. Attachment

If one sibling has developed an avoidant attachment style, she will denigrate a sibling who wants to connect on an emotional level.

She may use nonverbal cues such as rolled eyes, contemptuous looks, and sarcastic sighs to put a halt to any emotional connection.

Or she may appear “nice as pie” which confuses and guilts the connection-seeking sibling.

4. Resentment

If one adult sibling takes care of an elderly parent while the others live far away, resentment can build.

The caretaker sibling feels overburdened and accuses the long distance siblings of abdicating their responsibility.

Or one sibling receives more support from parents in the form of enabling or coddling. The less supported siblings feel resentful over having to make it on their own.

What to do about sibling rivalry or toxic sibling relationships

sibling rivalry

Don’t ambush your sibling with a huge conversation, especially before you’ve asked their permission to discuss things.

Start small, with an email that says you’ve noticed conflict between you and want to know if she’d be willing to work on it.

If, however, your relationship feels more abusive than rivalrous, then you need to protect yourself. If they tear you down at every turn, that’s the sign of a toxic sibling rather than sibling rivalry.

When a sibling gossips about you, lies about you, and turns family members against you, it’s time to guard your heart rather than try to repair the relationship. Do not sacrifice yourself to keep peace with your siblings!

Don’t accept non-emotional relating if that leaves you feeling empty. It’s common to put up with a family member’s unwillingness to share feelings to “get through” the interaction. However, you sacrifice your own needs in the process.

It's common to put up with a family member's unwillingness to share feelings to "get through" the interaction. However, you sacrifice your own needs in the process. Click To Tweet

Focus on changing your behavior toward them, rather then hoping they will change. Set firm boundaries that teach them how to treat you and what will happen if they violate those boundaries.

If this means you must detach from your sibling, know that’s not your fault. Sibling estrangement is a hallmark of chaotic family systems that don’t support positive sibling interactions.

Never rely on a sibling or anyone else to validate your feelings. It’s wrong for anyone to minimize your emotions. They are doing so to protect their image of what happened, and sacrificing you in the process.

Romance scammers more common than you think: How to protect yourself

romance scammers
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Women make up 82% of victims of romance scammers. In spite of this fact, the media is saturated with stories about female grifters who dupe both men and women.

This is a curious bias and hugely misleading reporting. It gives women the false sense that men are no worse than women in this area.

This puts women at risk of being victimized. Another popular false belief is that only gullible women fall for these traps.

Instead, these women tend to be intelligent, highly educated, and successful in their fields of work.

Victims of romance scammers tend to be intelligent, educated, and successful in their fields of work. Click To Tweet

Women who fall for romance scammers are not stupid or naïve. They are trustworthy and community oriented. In other words, good people who expect the same in others.

How do romance scammers operate?

It starts with “love bombing”, a common tactic among narcissists. That intense attention and affection that moves things too fast and prompts you to let down your guard.

They also pretend to like and dislike the same things you do. To build a false sense in you of having found the perfect partner.

Anyone can Google your name or read your Facebook profile to find out all kinds of things about you. This is material they use to give you the false sense of feeling “known”.

Scammers will isolate you and seek out victims who are already lacking support. If you have suffered a recent trauma like divorce you are far more likely to fall for one.

How to avoid romance scammers

Here are 4 ways to protect yourself from falling for a romantic grifter:

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1. Don’t commit too fast.

Spend time with someone before becoming over involved with them or giving your heart away.

In the Dirty John podcast, his victim let him move in after only five weeks and married him shortly after.

2. Listen to what others say about him.

And not only the positive comments. Romance scammers are experts at conning people.

But listen to the one who points out his cracks. Or says she can’t put her finger on why she doesn’t trust him.

Women’s intuition is real and the woman who trusts hers is a gifted advisor. Pay attention to what she says.

Women's intuition is real and the woman who trusts hers is a gifted advisor. Click To Tweet

3. Trust your own intuition.

Most women have spent their lives downplaying their God-given intuition. This is because we live in a world that downgrades feminine attributes and elevates cold logic instead.

Listen to that voice inside you and heed those red flags. They will always be there to mark the way to safety.

Avoid online romance scams this Valentine's Day | Buzz

4. If he seems too good to be true, he is.

He claims to have a high-flying job but needs to borrow money. That’s a huge red flag and a common theme among romance scammers.

He has all the same interests as you and supports all the causes you do. Anyone could find those details on your Facebook profile.

Romance scammers use clichés women love to hear but most normal men never say! Click To Tweet

He uses clichés that women love to hear but most normal men never say! Like, “I can’t take my eyes off you,” or “you’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.”

Be suspicious when he says these things very early on, like a first date. Pretending to fall for you immediately is the biggest romance scam of all.