Summer of Love Addiction, Part 11, Investigation: Questions to Ask Yourself

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Lacy Alajna Bentley

Sex and Relationship Healing is pleased to partner with Lacy Bentley, host of our Tuesday Women’s Sex/Love Addiction drop-in discussion group and our Thursday Women’s Porn Addiction drop-in discussion group, for our Summer of Love (Addiction). This wonderful series examining women, love addiction, fantasy, pornography, and healing is drawn from Lacy’s book, Addicted to Love.

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In my previous two posts, we discussed areas of intimacy for self-investigation. If you read those posts, I’m sure you realize how much there is for you to look at. The good news is there is no need to overwhelm yourself. Take your investigation, your “compassionate curiosity,” one topic at a time. As you do this, consider the following list of questions.

  • What behaviors do I engage in that attempt to elicit feelings or a reaction from another person in some way? (emotional, sexual, romantic, or otherwise).
  • What do I do that makes others feel uncomfortable?
  • Who and what do I blame for how I behave?
  • What thoughts and beliefs drive my actions?
  • Am I honest in all that I do and say?
  • Do I think it is okay to keep back part of the truth?
  • Do I spend money I don’t have on things I don’t need?
  • Do I meet all financial obligations every month?
  • Do I make excuses for poor or irresponsible behavior?
  • Do I try to cover up my mistakes or let others take the fall for them?
  • Do I expect others to make me feel better?
  • Do I use my emotions to hold others hostage?
  • Do I pretend to be more hurt or angry than I am?
  • Do I pretend I’m fine when I’m actually hurt or angry?
  • Do I seek attention in situations where it is inappropriate?
  • Do I break the law, even in small ways, then justify it?
  • Are there things about me I fear others would judge or reject me for?
  • How do I respond when things don’t go how I think they should?
  • Am I flexible, or do I become upset when plans change?
  • Do I feel victimized by others or powerless to create the life I want?
  • What are the excuses I make for not having the life I say I want?
  • How did I end up where I am? What was my part?
  • How have I used my losses, abuses, or traumas to justify my behaviors?
  • Do I feel others owe me?
  • Do I often feel better than or less than others? If so, when and how? (You can feel both, even in the same )
  • Do I need external validation to feel valued, loved, or worthy?
  • Do I overeat or not eat enough?
  • Do I oversleep or not sleep enough?
  • Do I over-exercise or not exercise enough?
  • Do I overspend, or refuse to spend money to take care of myself?
  • Do I make commitments I have no intention of keeping?
  • Do I make commitments, then not follow through?
  • Do I compare my life, my marriage, my home, or my family to other people?
  • When I compare, do I come up lacking or superior?
  • Do I neglect to take care of myself, then become upset at others for their expectations of me?
  • How do I respond when others do not meet my expectations?
  • Do I communicate my expectations clearly and respectfully?
  • Do I feel entitled to give other adults, or children that are not mine, unsolicited advice?
  • Do I feel that if people would just listen to me, their lives would be better?
  • Do I say things like “I told you so” or “If only you had…”?
  • Do I ask for explanations when something was clearly an accident?

There are many more questions we can ask ourselves, of course. In fact, the list I’ve provided could easily become a book. The key is to start investigating what we are doing and why in our relationships. Then we can start learning to manage what is not working. And remember: You do not need to tackle your self-investigation all at once. Just take a few questions at a time, or even just one, and really dig into it.