Co-Dependants Anonymous
Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Fantasy based relationships

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 124
Fantasy based relationships

Over the years one thing I have learned is I have an "Operating system" much like a computer, lets call it "Delusional XP Pro", because it is an expert at delusion, one of the things I realized was I had imaginary friends, imaginary girlfriends to be exact, well, lets call them make believe, because the real person bore little resemblance to the picture I had built up in my mind about them.

I learned this because I noticed something peculiar, every time I get angry at someone it's because they didn't behave the way my mental image, my "model" of them in my head did, they did something different, and it caught me by surprise, and I'd get angry, I'd say "You can't do that, research shows you are supposed to do this, if you do that you are failing to live up to my fantasy of you, and you are disappointing me" which is NOT OK, because I am the hero of this story and you are my princess, and in my story princesses are supposed to behave like this!!!

I literally lived in a fantasy world, now the sad thing...or isn't many people to tell this to, I walk up to someone and say "Hi, I live in a world that is equal parts delusion, fantasy, and viewing it through a skewed filter of my experience, occasionally I may hit "objectivity" for a moment if I happen to not be thinking, but the truth is, I truly don't have any concept of reality or what it is much of the time", so they look at me, decide I am brain damaged, I pretend to be normal for a few minutes and they will start talking about something like the killing, maiming and oppression of little brown people in other countries so our 4% can live in the style in which they have become accustomed while ignoring theses same people are making our middle class flat disappear as we resemble a banana republic more and more every day,  and they talk about how good it is we are "helping" these poor beknighted foreigners by shooting them, then crack open a nestles bar (made from slave labor in Africa) and drive their SUV to Walmart to buy a new pair of Nikes....and I realize it's just best if I keep these thoughts to's lonely though sometimes...anyway, there is something I read that got it right, that explained some of our delusions in a way I thought others could understand, it's called the love fantasy


This is an extract from an article taken from another forum I'm on (where it was reprinted from another site). It's not referring to alcoholics (so bits may sound a bit off track), but rather to a certain type of abuser (the other forum is a forum for abuse victims). I found it useful in helping think about my own feelings towards my stbx and WHY it was that I 'loved' him even though he treated me so badly. At first when I read it I thought it was being a bit harsh on ME, but then......

The following applies not only to romantic relationships; it applies across the board of all relationships including parent/child.

You can not truly love someone until they have revealed their characters to you. Why is this so? Because who we are is revealed by what we choose to do. Our characters are the sum total of the choices we've made.

Until you know someone's character you can not say in truth that you know or love who they are. This explains why so many marriages fall apart. People fall in love with their imagined version of the other person and don't become acquainted with that other person's character until enough time has passed for the consistency of their characters to be revealed. This is why short dating periods are often disastrous in the long-term.

We each have a will. How we exercise our will = the choices we make. The choices we make = our behaviors. The consistent behaviors a person exhibits is the truth of who they are. Behaviors are the revelation of character. Behaviors reveal what has been happening in the unseen realm of someone's thinking. When a person, like Cho of the Virginia Tech massacre, suddenly went on a murderous rampage, he was not acting out of character. He revealed what his character truly was. We have a sudden, horrific and stark revelation of what his thinking and small choices have added up to. What Cho did is who he is. Cho forced us all to see what an evil character had been developing quietly step by step and choice by choice while no one was really looking. We often hear people protest after being caught in some bad behavior that "it isn't like me to do this". No, it is like you. You chose to do what you did. You revealed who you are, not who you aren't, when you cheated on your husband or when you cooked the books at work.

If, after having a clear view of someone's personal character traits, you have respect, admiration and trust in that person then you can correctly state that you love this person.

Then there is the situation where you have gotten to know the personal characteristics of an individual, and you find that you can not say you love those characteristics. Yet you insist that you still love the person. Never mind that this person lies to you, cheats on you, slanders you to others, even physically abuses tenaciously insist you hate their character traits but you love the person. It is this so-called "love" which justifies why you are still in this bad relationship. Whatever the reason for it (there can be many), this is describing someone who has created a fantasy around the objectionable character. They are not in love with the person...they are in love with the idea of who they've decided this person is in spite of the evidence to the contrary. This is not reality-based thinking. To insist a person is "good" despite what bad things they actually do is an exercise in your imagination only.

Perhaps you insist that you love what this person could be if they only tried. This, too, is a refusal to live in reality. Can we please dispense with this sloppy thinking? Can we stop trying to fool ourselves in order to justify staying in a destructive relationship? Can we call things by their right names? Go ahead and insist that you love the rotten character, but quit doing it to make yourself believe you are a better person for doing so. Stop white-washing their character in order to convince yourself you need to stay connected to them. If you are afraid of leaving the comfort of the known for the discomfort of the unknown world of life without this bad character, then admit that truth to yourself. But stop pretending you love something that is hateful. Remember that a key component of mental health is the mind which insists on living in reality i.e. the truth. You are not doing your mental health any favors by engaging in these mental games which allow you to stay in a bad place. If you don't love what a person does then you can't accurately state that you love the person himself.

It is okay to love a bad person, but only from a distance. Don't insist your love for a destructive person is justification enough for staying close to them. You risk all that is good and beautiful in life in order to love the unlovable. Maybe you think that means you are a better person because you can love and unlovable, but when your so-called love means the destruction of your own well-being, and the well-being of the innocents around you, then I insist you are not as good as you think you are.


it's not the change that's painful, it's the resistance to change that is painful

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 108

This is a good reminder to continue to work on making my insides match my outsides.  I am often in a fantasy relationship with myself - in denial about certain aspects of who I am.  I hope to continue to raise the awareness of who I am and make my actions match my words.  Hopefully this will include less judgement of others, less expectations of others, and more humility. 

I guess if the "you spot it, you got it" priniciple is true, and I work on myself, then I will be better at seeing people for who they truly are, not who they promise to be, and set my boundaries appropriately.


Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.