By | December 21, 2015 4 Comments

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Loving a Cheater

10 signs your addicted to a cheater


Editor’s note: This article by Donna Andersen was originally published on All of the following still applies if your partner is a woman.

You know he’s seeing another woman. Or perhaps you ARE the other woman. Why can’t you let him go?

You discover your man is cheating. You know he’s bad for you. Your friends tell you to dump him, but the truth is, you still want him.

If the pull is unbearably strong, maybe it’s not love that you feel—but addiction. Do you do any of the following? (Be honest!)

1. You confront him about the calls in his phone from other women. He comes up excuses, you know they’re lame—but you accept them anyway.

2. He says that it’s your fault that he cheated on you, and you agree with him.

3. You keep telling yourself that if you could just be more loving, patient, sexy—(fill in the blank)—he will make you his one-and-only.

4. You apologize to him for things you didn’t do or say.

5. You tell him it’s over and storm out, only to call or text him, begging to get back together. This happens time and time again.

6. You keep trying to prove that you’re better than the other woman (or women).

7. You go overboard trying to help him, even though he treats you badly.

8. When your friends and family question his behavior, you make excuses for him.

9. You stalk him—in real life and online.

10. He promises that this time will be different and he really will end it with her. You make yourself believe him. Again.

How does this happen?

First of all, understand this: All romantic love is addictive.

Anyone who falls madly in love behaves just like an addict, says Dr. Helen E. Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University.

In her scientific articles, she explains the similarities between lovers and addicts:

  • You are both intensely focused on your reward—either your lover or the drug.
  • You both feel mood swings, craving, obsession and compulsion.
  • You both experience distortion of reality, emotional dependence, personality changes, risk-taking and loss of self-control.

Romantic love can be a constructive addiction when your love is returned, Dr. Fisher says. But if your love isn’t returned, if you are rejected, the addiction can be highly destructive.

Dr. Fisher explains your first reaction to rejected love is “protest”—you obsessively try to win back your partner. You may even feel more passionately in love than when you were together.

Why? Because you have bonded to your lover.

All love is about bonding—the psychological and emotional attachment that you feel towards him.

The psychological bond forms in the beginning of the relationship, when you feel the giddy pleasure of a new romance.

But what happens when you discover your man is cheating on you? You may be angry. But you may also feel fear and anxiety about possibly losing your relationship.

Surprisingly, this doesn’t drive you away from your lover. According to Dr. Liane Leedom, associate professor of counseling and psychology at the University of Bridgeport, fear and anxiety actually strengthen the psychological bond that you feel for him.

When the guy is a cheater, this becomes a vicious cycle:

  • In the beginning, before you knew of his deception, the pleasure of your new romance created the psychological bond.
  • He cheats and you feel fear and anxiety, which strengthens the bond.
  • You kiss and make up, which strengthens the bond again.
  • He takes you on a rollercoaster of cheating and reuniting. With each go-round, the psychological bond you feel gets stronger and stronger.

The vicious cycle of cheating and reuniting could lead to a “trauma bond.”

Some cheaters aren’t just guys who can’t make up their minds. Some cheaters are exploiters.

“Exploitative relationships create betrayal bonds,” says Dr. Patrick J. Carnes in his book called The Betrayal Bond. Also described as a trauma bond, this occurs when you bond with someone who is destructive to you.

Trauma bonds, Dr. Carnes explains, are addictive. You feel a compulsion to continue the relationship, despite the adverse consequences. You are obsessed with the relationship.

If you recognize yourself in this description, you are probably already aware that your involvement with this man is not healthy.

So what do you do? You treat it like an addiction. You “go on the wagon” by breaking off the relationship and having no contact with this man.

This may seem daunting—how can you possibly cut him out of your life? The answer is to take it one day at a time, just like in a 12-step program. And if you need support, seek competent help.

For more information, get the FREE Lovefraud Checklist, Is Your Partner a Sociopath?


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The article is so true, I thought I was in love with him, that is not true love (or so some say, I guess I have never truly been in love, I was addicted to every facet of him!!! He’s gone for good now, he overdosed on drugs. KARMA

This is so true. I thought after I finally had the Courage to cut it off with my ex-husband that what I really had was Stockholm syndrome. I was in love with a man ( or should I say addicted to ) who kept me down, made me feel oppressed and trapped. I believed his lies and his excuses even when they seemed shady. I knew that things didn’t sound right and yes they were lame sometimes but I felt like a good wife would just let it go and don’t make waves. I did not enjoy the arguing and fighting and often times it would just wear me down. He seem to have an almost infinite capacity to argue and fight and had to be right. #3 applies to my life big time. I totally kept telling myself if I could just be more perfect, if I would just lose weight, if I just put a better meal on the table, if the house was only cleaner, if everybody was perfectly happy, if I just seem perfect then he would love me more. I so often felt like I could never be good enough in his eyes. And #7, was kind of the same idea that if I could just help him, do everything for him, whatever he needed, meet his needs, understand his needs, live life how it always felt good to him, then we could “make it” work. We never talked about my needs or my wants. And when I did- even briefly it was quickly shut down. When one of my brother suggested that he might be cheating on me, my response was” He would never do something like that to me . When I finally got the Courage to file for divorce, I drove over to his apartment so many times to see if the girlfriend was still there. Even while I was driving to that location, I knew I was sick to keep checking up on him. But recognizing all of that was the first step in breaking the addiction. Then I would constantly stalk him online. I finally got myself to stop doing all of this being in divorce recovery groups. So glad I’m over my addiction and have had no contact with him now for over 4 1/2 years. The problem now is that I don’t trust Anyone, especially myself, especially when it comes to deciding if someone is a good person or not.


I wish I had read this at the beginning of my relationship with the psychopath. He cheated early on, but I took him back. He said, “It” meant nothing and that he needed to explore because he was a highly sexual man. Telling me that his sex with others meant nothing always bothered me because I knew the sex meant a lot to the other women. These women always had the hope of “winning” him.
After every reconciliation, we’d get closer ( in my mind), then I’d catch him cheating again. He’d have an excuse, or blatantly lie and then tell me that I was confused because we had different understandings of how far along in the relationship we were. To get me to stay, he’d promise monogamy, we’d reconcile and the cycle would repeat again and again. All of my friends thought I was insane for not ending “it” ( won’t even dignify by calling “it” a relationship) with him. I was so entangled, I couldn’t leave. It wasn’t until I discovered that he was living a secret life that I had the power to extricate myself from his control. Now, I know that any relationship that makes you crazy like that isn’t a relationship, it’s exploitation. This man wanted to see how far I would bend to his will. I was fueling his ego and providing entertainment. He had secret relationships with many people, some were as desperately hooked as I was. Karma hasn’t caught up with him yet. He’s off with a new woman, whom he is exploiting for money. He is so extremely deviant, I imagine he’ll end up like Charlie Sheen, with HIV, or full blown AIDS. Then, he’ll die in pain and alone and that will be his KARMA.


The article is true. But he stalked me online after we broke up for the final time. When I confronted him, he told me that he married another woman and that he was really happy. How’s that for karma?

I told him that he was crazy and good riddance. I never heard back from him since then. I wonder if he is doing to her what he did to me.

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