Sex and love addiction is one of those which can often slip under the radar, in the face of other more pressing addictions, like alcohol or drug dependency. But dig deep enough and it’s not uncommon to find addiction to sex and/or so-called ‘love’ at the root of manifest relational difficulties.
A new book, Coming Off Love by Bridgit Newman, makes an unusual contribution to the literature on the subject, by giving a fascinating first person account of the withdrawal experience. In it, she describes, with skill and clarity, the boulder of denial which must be penetrated in order to break through to freedom from this powerful addiction.
Right up front, Coming Off Love provides a wonderfully simple and accurate definition of what addiction actually is (you can read the description in the prologue using the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon here), and goes on to give a heart-rending account of Newman’s journey from emotional slave to her toxic relationship to grateful member of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
What’s impressive is her ordinariness – she is neither a coke-snorting A-lister nor a smack-shooting junkie – and yet she powerfully succumbs to (what she observes is, arguably) the most socially lauded of all the addictions.
For the lay person (i.e. anyone coming cold to the subject), this is a compelling and illuminating read, especially for women (and perhaps even men) who find themselves in the perplexing position of arriving at ‘a certain age’ and finding it impossible to enter into secure and stable relationship.
For therapists who work in the field of addiction, this would make an excellent recovery resource for patients with relational difficulties (especially those in treatment for sex and love addiction), for whom identification with the author may provide insight, comfort, hope and relief.
Written by Jacqui Hogan