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Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the ``Love'' Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships Paperback – September 20, 1990


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sexual addiction, in Schaef's diagnosis, comes in many guises: an obsession with erotic activities, lust, child molesting, incest or an "anorexic" distaste for matters sexual. Besides sex addicts, Schaef ( Women's Reality ) here profiles two other types of addicts: "romance junkies," who seek escape from true intimacy through pseudo-relationships, and "relationship addicts"preoccupied with a particular person or with the need to have a relationship, real or fantasied. A former psychotherapist, Schaef insists that addictive ties are reinforced by underlying sick tendencies in our frantic, competitive culture. Romance addicts, for example, mesh with society's illusionary focus, which reinforces their avoidance of life's hard realities. The author outlines a 12-step program for recovery from self-destructive personal addictions. Her levelheaded yet powerful analysis holds up a startling mirror in which many readers will see themselves. Author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A valuable contribution to our understanding of these complex addictions." -- -- Jennifer Schneider, author of Back from Betrayal

"[Shaef's] levelheaded yet powerful analysis holds up a startling mirror in which many readers will see themselves." -- -- Jordan Paul, PH.D., author of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st Harper & Row Paperback Ed edition (September 20, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062548735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062548733
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By L. Rephann on December 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
reading this short book has changed my life. i found myself detailed in practically every page. having experienced several failed relationships and a generally "unlucky in love" sort of life, i recognized myself in these profiles of sex, romance, and relationship addicts who form "pseudo relationships" that are designed to keep the addict from knowing her true self. Schaef, a recovered "pseudo relationship" addict, details all the tricks of this disease, which is a progressive and fatal addiction like all other addictions (drugs, alcohol).
if you think this statement sounds like malarky, read Schaef's book to see how true it is! Addiction serves to alter a person's mood or perception. This can be accomplished without drugs or alcohol. Relationship addiction is a "process addiction," whereby the addict spends his or her time focusing on an external stimulus (the relationship) instead of taking care of their Self! Most useful is Schaef's list of behaviors exhibit by sex, romance, or relationship addicts. I found myself in nearly every one!
This constellation of addictions is tricky to detect because the very skills to support the addiction "appear" to be relationship skills AS TAUGHT on tv, movies, in the general folklore of our culture. Which, as Schaef explains, is an addictive society, so it reinforces our addictive behaviors. These process addictions are VERY common, and at the heart of other conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc.
DO NOT BE FOOLED...cynics may read this review and find what I've written here to be self-help/new-age gibberish. Schaef's book is very short (158 pp.), extrememly readable, totally lucid, and very clearly organized, with information that builds on itself in an expert, lockstep manner.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl A. Kozicky on May 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book was very eye opening. Where I had previously labeled my self as 'Co-dependent' I can now see where it is truly another addition of MINE in my life. I had felt almost a superiority in wearing the 'Co-dependent' hat, and can see after reading this book how it is a mask that was hiding my own addiction. Now I have to do the work.
It was easy to read and very realistic - the examples were very helpful for me to see my own patterns in creating relationships. My favorite section began on page 103 " The following are some of the skills used to form pseudo- (addictive) relationships."... I am an expert at 9 out of 10 of the skills and previously thought that I was just a nice person, good friend, etc...
Great book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Highly recommended for anyone, ESPECIALLY MEN, wishing to learn about the realities of how we mis-apply sex, love, and relationships in our lives while trying to find that elusive realationship [sic; think about this spelling] we all yearn for. Anne's understanding and ability to easily explain what is happening makes this a book for everyone.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
Schaeff's clarity helps you to distinguish the possible from the impossible with several sub-types of obsessive behavoir which masquerades as 'love' - yet it is a short book which can be read in an afternoon.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By I. Nevas on September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Well written, concise, and powerful. There are a lot of people who have some kind of "love" addiction, and realizing what it is gives you a lot of power to begin changing old patters that lead to unhappy and unfulfilling interactions with people. During and after reading it, I had some profound realizations and healing. I don't recommend many books, but I recommend this one. And I recommend even fewer universally, but this would be one. Is helping me have deeper, more intimate relationships.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK BROUGHT ME TO MY KNEES! IT TOLD ME MY DISEASE HAD A NAME AND I WAS NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD SUFFERING FROM: ROMANCE ADDICTION!
A MUST READ FOR ROMANCE ADDICTS AND RELATIONSHIP ADDICTS...THERE IS HOPE FOR US.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sparrow on May 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book marks significant breakthrough in the research and treatment of distortions and addictions related to sex, romance, fantasy, relationships, and culture. Schaef offers clear structures for identifying relational dysfunction, patterns, and the addictive cycle - from "anorexic" behavior to a variety of forms of acting-out. Written in frank, laymen's terms, this is a must-read for anyone in the helping profession, in recovery, or seeking to address questions about intimacy. The author does not just present much-needed distinctions between relationship and pseudo-relationship, but she offers keys for real intimacy in the battle against addictive cycles. This is now required reading for my clients and recovery groups.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KBG on June 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I enjoy about Anne Wilson Schaef's writing is that she is direct, concise, and engaging. I purchased this book for a friend for a birthday gift. At age 70, she began a romantic relationship with a 53 year old man. She was criticized
brutally by her children and had to learn to establish boundaries with them. She learned so much from this relationship and came out the other side able to counsel other senior women in their romantic partnerships. I wanted her to have this
book as a reference for romantic addiction for which there is a fine line. Due to the chemicals involved, it can be a tough addiction to recognize as well as a challenge to shift. Most romantic addicts call their feelings for the other person "love"... and "I am IN LOVE"...that's the first clue. This book is terrific and could be a reference for all relationship counselors or for people who believe that they are "in love".
My addiction is codependence. Ms. Schaef writes again, concisely about this addiction. My need "to fix" or "give solve another's problem" is a daily challenge for me. Thankfully I am more aware and recognize my "need to fix" and then I have learned to mind my own business. The other day, a little squirrel was limping around with a leg injury. Before I knew it, I was planning on going and getting it some food instead of recognizing that it was "God's" business not mine. I like Byron Katie's 3 kinds of business...God's, mine, and yours. I have gained so much freedom staying in my own business. I have an old copy of this book and use it as a reference for my own life. Thank you Anne.
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Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the ``Love'' Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships
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