dr margaret paul love addiction is real


In today’s episode we are interviewing Dr. Margarte Paul. She says that people are addicted to trying to get love from other people in order to fill an emptiness that’s within themselves, or in order to avoid feelings that they don’t know how to manage. Many people believe that the only way to feel worthy and lovable and full inside is to get love because that’s what they’ve been taught, so they don’t see it as an addiction. They don’t realize that they’re using it to avoid responsibility for learning to love themselves, and that is the real issue. They’re in denial and they’re not taking steps to go inside and find out what they’re doing that’s causing their neediness and unhappiness. Relationship expert and bestselling author Dr. Margaret Paul provides a roadmap that breaks that denial in her “Inner Bonding” process. Dr. Paul believes that the only way to heal is to learn to love oneself.

If you want more on getting the best out of your life and relationships, check out our new brand The Royal Path where you find everything about personal growth, deep healing and emotional liberation.


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Love Addiction Is A Real Thing! with Dr. Margaret Paul

In this episode, I’m very excited to have a conversation with Dr. Margaret Paul. She holds a PhD in psychology and is a relationship expert, a public speaker, a consultant and an artist. She has successfully worked with thousands of people and taught classes and seminars for 50 years. Margaret is a bestselling author, a popular Huffington Post writer and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding Self-Healing Process also recommended by Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including Oprah and has written nine books. Her most popular books are Do I Have to Give Away Me to be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness and Inner Bonding.

Her current book is called Diet for Divine Connection, where she provides cutting-edge techniques on achieving the physical, emotional, relationship and spiritual well-being and clarity of mind that free you of the low vibrancy blocking the Divine connection. Welcome, Margaret. I’m very happy you’re here. It’s very nice to meet you. Thank you so much for saying yes to this.

You are welcome.

My first question is, in your opinion, is love addiction a real thing? If yes, how would you describe love addiction?

Love addiction is definitely a real thing. The way that I would describe it is that people are addicted to trying to get love from other people in order to fill an emptiness that’s within themselves or in order to avoid feelings that they don’t know how to manage. It’s true of love addiction that people believe that getting love from somebody else is what will make them okay, what will make them feel they have some sense of worth. They don’t know how to give that to themselves.

Would you agree that love addiction is a very delicate subject for people to acknowledge in a sense that I shared in an earlier episode of my podcast that the very nature of love addiction is often denial? We don’t really know or do not want to know that we are addicted to love. Is that true? If yes, why are we so much in denial when it comes to this subject?

Many people believe that the only way to feel worthy, lovable and full inside is to get love because that’s what they’ve been taught. They don’t see it as an addiction. Of course, we have to get love in order to be okay. They don’t realize that they’re using it to avoid responsibility for learning to love themselves. The real issue is that when people learn to connect with a higher source of love or actual source of love and bring that inside, then they heal. When they don’t even know that that’s available, then of course they don’t think that they are love addicted. They think they’re just doing what they saw their parents do or other people do, which is try and have control over getting other people to love them.

There is probably a real need to deny it because it’s connected to the defense system that we’ve so carefully built around things. Would you agree with that?

Yes, but also the reason that they deny it is because they don’t know what else to do. If they say, “I’m love addicted because I need love.” Yes, we all need love and, “I need love but I have no idea how to get love unless I’m trying to get it from somebody else.” They would feel completely bereft if they admit that they are love addicted, but they don’t know what to do about it.

If we want to start breaking that denial, we have to first realize that we are in denial. What are the possible signs that someone is in denial?

They’re in denial if they’re not taking steps to go inside and find out what they’re doing that’s causing their neediness, that’s causing their unhappiness. If they’re not interested in focusing inward and learning how to bring love inside, then, they’re going to be in denial. The only way to heal this is to learn to love oneself.

You can't feel joy unless you love yourself. Click To Tweet

What would you say are ways to start breaking that denial?

This is what I teach with the Inner Bonding process. It’s a six-step Roadmap that actually does break that denial. Somebody has to want to before they’re going to get into the inner bonding process. Step one of Inner Bonding is that we learn to get present inside our body. Most of us have had a lot of pain as we were growing up and we learn to stay in our head as a way to avoid pain. When we’re in our head, it’s like if a child came to you upset and you just maybe stayed focused on your computer, that doesn’t help the child. Step one is being willing to feel our painful feelings and take responsibility for them. To feel that neediness, the emptiness, the longing for somebody to love us. We have to be willing to feel it. We have to make a decision. We want responsibility for what we’re doing because of that inner emptiness, that inner aloneness and that inner lack of self-worth.

Once we make that decision in step one, then in step two, we focus on our heart. In Inner Bonding, there are only two intentions. One is the intention to learn about loving ourselves and about our false beliefs, how we’re treating ourselves. The other is the intention to protect against pain and avoid pain with some form of avoidant and controlling behavior such as trying to get love from somebody else, food, drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, TV or internet. There are many of the ways that we have learned to avoid our pain and avoid responsibility for it. In step two, we move into a deep intention to learn. Then I teach people how to access a higher source of love. This means opening to a higher part of themselves, whether they call that God, Spirit, Higher Self, Universe or whatever they want to call it.

When people open to learning about love and when they’re treating their bodies well with healthy food, then they’re able to raise their frequency high enough to access the higher information. In step two, we’re inviting that spiritual love and compassion into our heart because step two is about becoming what we call a loving adult. If a child comes up to you who is upset, and you say to the child, “What’s wrong with you this time?” The child is not going to feel safe to tell you anything. If you’re a loving adult, you’re compassionate and you say, “I can see you’re upset. I want to understand what’s upsetting you?” Even if there is something that I am doing then the child will feel safer and that’s what we need to be in step two is that compassionate, loving adult.

ATL 6 | Love Addiction Is Real

Love Addiction Is Real: When people open up to learning about love and when they’re treating their bodies well with healthy food, they’re able to raise their frequency high enough to access the higher information.


In step three, we ask that soul, that feeling self, which we can call an inner child, “What am I doing? How am I treating you? What am I telling you that is causing you to feel needy, alone, empty, scared, anxious, depressed or anger?” Then, we go inside. We allow our feelings to talk to us and tell us how we’re treating ourselves. Our feelings might say, “You just ignore me. You don’t even know I’m here. You stuff me with food. You keep giving me away to somebody else to love and every time you give me away to somebody else to love, I feel rejected by you. I’m not good enough for you to love me.” All things that our inner child or our feelings of self might tell us about how we’re abandoning ourselves. This is the issue. Self-abandonment is what creates the love addiction or other addictions. We need to learn what we’re doing. Then we go deeper and ask why we are doing this. What are our belief systems? Then we discover a whole lot of false beliefs in this process.

Once we understand what we’re doing with and what the beliefs are, we go to step four, access our higher guidance. We’re asking for the truth about any of the beliefs. We are asking for what would love look like, what would loving action towards ourselves look like, and what would it be? Once we get that information, which takes practice to access that information, then in step five, we take the loving action. Whatever it is we’ve been guided to do. In step six we go back in and evaluate. We see how we’re now feeling. If we feel fuller, if we feel less depressed, anxious, guilty, shamed, empty, alone or angry, then we know we’ve taken a loving action on our own behalf. This is very briefly the six steps of inner bonding. They take practice but the more people do them, the more they start to feel full and loved within. They find that they don’t need to try and have control over getting other people to love them.

Then reality starts to magically adjust. That’s what I felt in my own process. I didn’t need to run after love anymore, but love came to me because I vibrated something different. That’s how I felt.

When we’re needy and we’re trying to have control over getting love, people are repelled by that. They feel resistant to it all and they want to move away. When we’re loving ourselves and our vibrancy or frequency is higher, then, people are drawn to us. We attract people at our common level of self-love or a common level of self-abandonment. When we’re abandoning ourselves by judging ourselves, by ignoring our feelings, by giving ourselves away to other people or turning to other addictions to numb out, then we’re going to attract people who are also abandoning themselves. When we’re loving ourselves, we’re going to attract healthier people into our lives.

I also find it very interesting maybe to talk for a moment about self-sabotage because you said we have to be ready to go that path. What stands in the way for people to not do what’s good or right for them? How do we self-sabotage ourselves?

Many people don’t want the responsibility. They don’t want to believe that they’re the ones causing their pain. They want to believe that it’s all coming from outside themselves, that they’re just a victim of other people’s behavior or events in their lives. If they don’t want to learn to take responsibility for their own feelings, they’re going to continue to abandon themselves, basically in these four ways that I mentioned. Which is – you stay up in your head, you ignore your feelings, you judge yourself harshly, which makes you feel very badly, turning to various addictions, process addictions, substance addictions. Handing yourself over to somebody else to love you, to define your worth, to make you feel like you’re okay. If they don’t want responsibility for their own feelings and their own well-being, they’re just going to continue to do that.

I’ve also felt that in my own process, I often thought there was an entitlement. Things should just happen to me. Love should just come to me. It was that false entitlement of that child that is an okay entitlement, but now, we’re adults and this is a different story. We have to give things to ourselves so we don’t expect them from someone else.

People need to be taking responsibility for their own feelings. Click To Tweet

The problem is that most people did not get any role modeling from their parents for taking that responsibility for themselves. Either their parents were rejecting them and they didn’t get the love they needed, so they think they’re entitled that somebody else should do what their parents didn’t do, or their parents were very self-abandoning and they learn that role modeling or their parents were actually very cuddling. It led them to believe that all their good feelings came from somebody else. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t recognize that they need to be taking responsibility for their own feelings.

What would you say are the consequences of living a life being addicted to love?

First of all, you can’t feel joy unless you are loving yourself. You may have moments of happiness, but the deep joy and the bliss that comes from connecting with the source of love, you’re not going to get that because you’re always going to have to try to be perfect, to try to do it right, to say the right thing, to look the right way, to act the right way to achieve whatever it is you think you have to achieve in order to get loved. It’s a very hard way to live. I used to live this way. You have to say the right thing. You have to act right. It’s so hard to live that way. Whereas, when you’re loving yourself, you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to do things right, you’re valuing who you are intrinsically. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fail. It’s such an easier way to live. Being a love addict causes so much tension and stress in the body. It makes that inner child feel unloved and anxious a lot because you’re always worrying whether or not you’re doing it right.

ATL 6 | Love Addiction Is Real

Love Addiction Is Real: When you love yourself, you don’t have to be perfect. You’re valuing who you are intrinsically, and it’s just such an easier way to live.


That crazy need to survive all the time, like I could see my system being so agitated simply to survive because that is how desperate we get when we are threatened to lose love or not have love. It’s that feeling of, “I’m going to die,” as you said it. That is interesting because that is what changed it for me. The moment I was deep in that pain of like, “I’m going to die right now if I’m not going to be loved,” that’s where I started my healing because, after that, nothing more came. When I was able to feel that in its entirety, that is not suffering, that was actually liberating.

Yes, and that feeling of “I’m going to die,” goes way back to infancy. When we did not get the love we needed, if we were left to cry, if we were not treated with love, we could have died. When we’re little babies, we can’t take care of ourselves. If somebody doesn’t come to take care of us and love us, we could have died. That fear inside of not getting the love that we need is very old and deep in many, many people. They are absolutely terrified of the feeling of helplessness over being able to get love from somebody because that helplessness as an infant was life-threatening.

People have to realize that they’re not babies and they’re not toddlers. That now, we can take care of ourselves. We’re not going to die. We can reach out for help. We can learn to open to the source of love and bring it into ourselves. We’re not dependent on somebody else, on parents or others for our very life. When people really get that, they start to see that they’re operating from this very young place in them that’s no longer accurate.

What I often see is that people don’t realize that feeling is not the same as suffering. For me, suffering means, “I do not have access to my feelings. I don’t know how to feel.” That is scary because that is a very unwell place to be in, but once we’re in a feeling, would you agree that that is not a horrible place to be in?

It’s not if we learn to show up with compassion for our feelings, but if we don’t know how to embrace our feelings and learn from our feelings, it can still feel pretty overwhelming to people. People need to learn how to bring compassion, how to be open to learning about what their feelings are telling you. All of our feelings have information for us. We’ve been taught in our culture not to feel, which is very sad. Our feelings of anxiety or depression are letting us know that we’re abandoning ourselves in some way. We’re judging ourselves or ignoring ourselves. That’s important information. We need our feelings to let us know what’s happening, but we need to approach them with compassion because that’s what allows us to manage them.

That means a lot of self-love, compassion.

That means learning to access that because compassion is not a feeling that we generate. It’s a feeling that we open to. It is what spirit is. We need to learn to open and bring that in. Before people can do that, they might just think about being kind. Most people know what kindness is and just being kind to themselves is what will start to open them to their feelings. I told you I had this new book that I had Diet for Divine Connection that came out. This would be enormously helpful to people in accessing their higher guidance and in learning how to truly love themselves so they can heal their love addiction and other addictions.

Selfishness is not loving ourselves, it's the opposite. Click To Tweet

Yes, that is a beautiful state to be in and once we start to choose our self first, life gets so much better.

Lots of people have been told that choosing yourself first is selfish, but it’s the opposite. Once we learn to love ourselves, we get all filled up with love, we want to share it with others. We don’t want to come from that neediness where we expect other people to give themselves up and take care of us. That’s what selfishness is. Selfishness is NOT loving ourselves, it’s the opposite. That self-responsibility and that’s what we all need to be doing.

Thank you so much for all your knowledge and your sharing. I want you to share with our audience what you have to offer at this point or what is important to you right now? Most importantly, where can our audience find that information?

They can come to our website, InnerBonding.com. They can take a free Inner Bonding course that will help them get started or they can read my new book Diet for Divine Connection. There’s a lot of free help on our website. I also offer a fantastic course called Loving Yourself, which is a 30-day home-study course that will teach people very in-depth on how to learn to love themselves.

Thank you very much, Margaret.

You’re very welcome.

If you want more on getting the best out of your life and relationships, check out our new brand The Royal Path where you find everything about personal growth, deep healing and emotional liberation.

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About Dr. Margaret Paul


Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages.

Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967.

Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world — mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public.

Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.

In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.


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