two get a third free or six pounds 99 each” screamed a yellow sunshine
sticker on a paperback on the book titled “WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH” by
Robin Norwood. Now who would want to buy this in bulk, I wondered, turning
it over. I read: “If being in love means being in pain, this book was
written for you.”
women find themselves repeatedly drawn into unhappy and destructive
relationships with men. They then struggle to make these doomed
relationships work. This best-selling book takes a hard look at how
powerfully addictive these unhealthy relationships are – but also gives
a very specific programme for recovery from the disease of loving too
me and most of my woman friends, and possibly most women in the world, I
thought, taking three.
may be still single, happily or unhappily married, divorced, on their
second marriages, separated, career women or housewives, but they all
thrive on the pain of loving too much which really means placing a low
value on themselves and allowing a man to treat them like dirt.
must have had countless conversations consoling women who weep into their
pillows because a man hasn’t called when he said he would, broken a date
off without reason, abruptly ended the relationship, is cold, or distant,
is indifferent, goes off with another woman without warning, blows hot and
cold is irritated with attention, and at the lack of it.
turning them off, terrible treatment stokes the fires of love and passion
talking about men in an effort to understand them is as futile as trying
to empty the ocean with a bucket but we do it anyway and bore one another
endlessly in the process, but put up with it because we realize it is
essential to our collective sanity.
therapist Robin Norwood’s theory is that “loving too much” (in other
words being addicted to relationships that make women feel terrible about
themselves) is a disease.
demonstrates through compelling case studies that women who love too much
repeat unhappy patterns of our childhoods in our relationships.
instance, women who had been forced to take up a great deal of the homes
responsibility as children because their parents were either absent or
fighting will choose men who are irresponsible and inept so that they will
be able to control them.
who are emotionally or sexually abused as children will go for impotent or
whose fathers withheld approval and love will choose a cold man who is
incapable of love and live a life of pain of loving too much by longing
for the impossible.
mind-boggling revelation was that contrary to popular opinion, many women
are terrified of intimacy and run when faced with it. This is because they
grew up in homes where raw emotion such as anger, pain, love, hate, were
shoved under the carpet so the family appeared ‘perfect’.
women, says Norwood set themselves up with men who are as emotionally
undeveloped as themselves and as a result end up in loveless
relationships. When they do meet someone who is capable of intimacy, they
run. Norwood tells us of ‘Helen’ who gave every appearance of being a
woman who loved too much while carrying on a relationship with a married
man. “She genuinely
suffered, pined, wept, and wailed for the man she loved but could not
truly have.” That is, until he left his wife and married her instead
when she lost interest and discarded him. Why? Norwood tells us: “Helen
needed the excitement, tension and emotional pain of loving an unavailable
man in order to relate at all. She had no capacity for intimacy.”
author/therapist Robin Norwood is saying that women can get addicted to
pain, like alcoholics are to alcohol, and continue destructive cycles that
bring them pain all their lives.
claims that women who spend a lifetime weeping over some man or another
are avoiding living their own lives, wasting their own talent, blaming
other people for their unhappiness.
best part of this book is her ten point plan for recovery for women
addicted to the pain of loving too much.
to friends you trust and are supportive.
managing and controlling others, and take charge of your own life.
not to get hooked into destructive games with men.
face your own problems and shortcomings.
your talents, and develop your potential to its maximum.
‘Selfish”. (This includes SHOPPING ladies, and taking care of
yourselves, your bodies, working out, having that manicure or facial,
taking a night off from cooking, doing that degree, leaving the
children with the husband so you can try out a killer cocktail with
your friends, believing that you’re worth it and deserve it)
doesn’t guarantee an absence of pain. Who can?
But she does show how women, instead of playing the bit part of
some mans life, can take center stage in the theatre of their own lives.
My own theory is, if you treat yourself like a princess, everyone else,
including men, will too.