When a woman loves too much

Below are excerpts from the book Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood.  What are your thoughts?

“When being in love means being in pain we are loving too much. When most of our conversations with intimate friends are about him, his problems, his thoughts, his feelings — and nearly all our sentences begin with “he….”, we are loving too much.

When we excuse his moodiness, bad temper, indifference, or put-downs as problems due to an unhappy childhood and we try to become his therapist, we are loving too much.

When we read a self-help book and underline all the passages we think would help him, we are loving too much.

When we don’t like many of his basic characteristics, values, and behaviors, but we put up with them thinking that if we are only attractive and loving enough he’ll want to change for us, we are loving too much.

When our relationship jeopardizes our emotional well-being and perhaps even our physical health and safety, we are definitely loving too much.”

“If you have ever found yourself obsessed with a man, you may have suspected that the root of that obsession was not love but fear. We who love obsessively are full of fear — fear of being alone, fear of being unloveable and unworthy, fear of being ignored or abandoned or destroyed. We give our love in the desperate hope that the man with whom we’re obsessed will take care of our fears. Instead, the fears — and our obsessions — deepened until giving love in order to get it back becomes a driving force in our lives. And because our strategy doesn’t work we try, we love even harder. We love too much.”

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10 Responses to When a woman loves too much

  1. newshoes123 says:

    OMG… I needed to read that today. Very badly.

    I’ve been reminded by my pah that I don’t love him…. now I know it’s not true. I have loved too much and I have loved harder and I have excused all of his rotten behaviours…

    This is so painful to read….


  2. lonelywife07 says:

    In her book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, Leslie Vernick talks about this….http://www.leslievernick.com/2013/06/10/putting-your-marriage-in-its-proper-place/#comments

    I am learning so much from her book and her blog…I think ALL women, whether you’re in an emotionally destructive marriage or not, should read her book!
    For too long church leaders have pushed women to “submit” to their husbands, even if the husband doesn’t love the wife as Christ loved the church!!
    They’ve made all kinds of excuses for the men of the church, “Men aren’t wired that way” or “Men have a lot of stress on them, you need to he more patient” And other such CRAP!! Yep, I said it…CRAP!! Why is it that us wives have to do all the work in a marriage…all the heavy lifting, and our husbands get a free pass??
    Well, not for this chick!! I read Leslie’s blog everyday, and it empowers me….I am learning who I am as a daughter of God…and just how much God HATES what my marriGe has become today!!


    • Thanks for the Leslie Vernick link, lonelywife. It’s terrific.


      • lonelywife07 says:

        Seeingthelight….I read Leslie’s blog EVERYDAY…so that I can be assured that I’m doing the right thing, in the right way, as I set my line in the sand, and make my boundaries within my marriage!
        I recommend her book 100%!! It has given me such strength and peace to do what needs to be done in my marriage! No more Mrs. Peacefaker here!!!


  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, my immediate thoughts are that ” loving too much” is a bit misleading because I don’t believe that my over-nurturing, giving and caring behavior was love in the true sense of the word as it should apply to marriage or intimate relationships. I can relate to every single one of those ‘ loving too much’ examples but I don’t believe that’s love. I did all of the above for the wrong reasons and I chose the wrong person to ‘ love’ because I had a very distorted understanding of what love is because I lacked self love, self respect and self worth. True love doesn’t require anyone to control and manage it and that’s what I’ve always had to do in my relationships because that is what I learned to do. That’s not love. Love starts with ourselves and then when we recognize that same self love in someone else that we are attracted to, then we want to share and exchange and nurture each other’s self love. I’ve never really had that kind of experience. My first husband was a very whole and well adjusted man who loved me as a unique individual but I wasn’t able to accept his love because I didn’t love myself. I didn’t know how to ‘manage’ that kind of love. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to and I felt very out of sorts and was always trying to find some flaw in our relationship or in him that I could fix.

    Years ago I read something about love addiction and how so many young girls from broken homes end up in unhealthy relationships with men as a way to restore their identity relative to their father. I do believe that a large part of any woman’s identity is developed and greatly shaped by the relationship she had with her father. If the father is not emotionally available or not present in her life, her sense of self suffers and she may turn to similar men to ‘ complete’ her identity as she knows it.

    I don’t believe that my ‘love’ for any man was ever truly unselfish love I believe that I was seeking some sort of return whether it was affection or security or just a sense of self worth. In a healthy relationship, both people already come to the alter with those things. I didn’t have any of those things. I relied too heavily on my relationships to create those things for me. I usually chose men that would put me on a pedestal ( initially) because they were insecure and likewise, I felt the need to control and fix them which would give me a sense of security and self worth. That of course backfired because it’s not love.

    I watched the ‘ Who do you think you are’ the other night and realized that I was becoming full of rage towards men. Did any of you see it? The woman in the story was being so heinously abused ( that they couldn’t even print the details of her abuse) by a husband that used religion to abuse her. He made her pray for forgiveness one night because he was going to kill her that night. She had children to protect so she instead killed him while he was sleeping and she was imprisoned. After being imprisoned, she was raped ( being the only woman in prison) and got pregnant and had to give birth in prison without any help and no heat for her and her baby. Anyway, I had one of those moments when I was just so angry at the way men have treated women since the beginning of time. I looked at Norman and wanted to take out all my anger toward this man on him! I don’t think I’ve ever felt rage toward men in my life until the other night. I’m sure that what I’m going through at the moment with Norman contributed greatly to my emotions but that episode really affected me.


  4. JR says:

    I don’t know exactly where to post things. I’ve felt so… Alone and crazy and disgusting and lonely… Nonexistent… Like I’m nobody.

    Is this just the Pam I live with? He never says my name. It dawned on me a few months ago. In 5 years, he doesn’t address ME. After I brought it up to him, he’s said it a few times with a sneer as he’s trying to pick a fight.


    • JR, you said: “Alone and crazy and disgusting and lonely… Nonexistent… Like I’m nobody.” I don’t know your whole story, but a resounding YES! to your question. These adjectives are absolutely consistent with how you end up feeling living with a PA man. I felt all these things for years before I even knew what he was covertly doing to me. Mine has almost never used my name either – for nearly two decades. When he did it was during an argument or difficult conversation in a condescending or patronizing manner, like he was talking to a naughty child. Not using someone’s name is part of the objectification. You aren’t considered a full person with your own rights and needs; you are an object with a role to fill. You don’t need a name. Using my name the few times he did felt like he was taking it in vain. An extra insult. I’m sorry you are in this like so many of us on this blog. Just so you know, it is possible to feel crazy, disgusting, nonexistent, and like nobody when in reality you are a wonderful person. Don’t let him determine your worth.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      ((( JR ))) It seems that anyone who is partnered to a passive aggressive ends up feeling similar to what you expressed. I wrote about how it made me feel in the section called The Impact above. Maybe I should change that to The Damage. It’s horribly diminishing to be treated that way.


    • Exodus says:

      JR, Seeingthelight is spot on about how PA people objectify others in their life. Norman ( my husband) refers to me as ‘ The Wife’ ( not ‘ my wife’) or when he uses my name, even in front of customers, he mumbles it. My mother who has narcissistic personality disorder does the same thing and she creates her own labels to refer to people. She refers to me and my brother by the towns we live in and never calls us by name. They truly don’t see us as living, feeling humans. We are just objects to serve them.


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