Watching a woman go too far with her interest in a married man in “Obsessed” has us thinking of real women we all know who have crossed the line—fatal attraction style. Read how far these sisters went and find out what our experts had to say.
“I didn’t realize how obsessed I was over a guy I had been seeing for six years until I actually retrieved his cell phone records. He told me about his other women, but I didn’t realize how many until I started calling their numbers asking for him. They all would say, ‘Oh my man is not here right now. Who is this?’ I have called about ten different women. I stayed with him for a little while but I had to get out because I realized I could become something that I didn’t want to be.”
—Darlene P., 28, New Orleans*
*All identifying characteristics have been changed.
“I was reunited with my first love 20 years after our first relationship. He happened to forget to tell me he was seeing someone else at the time. I went to his house with all the love letters and cards—there were at least 100 pieces—he gave me and spread them all over his front porch, lawn, and his car. It was raining that night, so everything was sticking to the surface and I left before he came out.”
—Patricia S., 39, Kansas City
“I lied to a grand jury to keep my man out of prison by giving him an alibi. Days later I found out he was engaged to another woman who was pregnant with his child.”
“A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” is the classic tale of how far a woman will go in the name of love. Darnell (Martin Lawrence) gets more than he bargains for when he loves and leaves Brandi (Lynn Whitfield). She doesn’t take being blown off lightly and some serious stalking ensues.
“To help an ex-boyfriend buy a house, I loaned him money I had in a joint account with my fiancé. My ex disappeared after getting the cash. It’s been ten years, but I still want the money and maybe him, too.” —Naya, 36
Starring Hollywood hottie Gary Dourdan (Jermaine) and former beauty queen Kenya Moore (Jasmine), “Trois” tells the story of a young buppie couple who finds out the hard way why sometimes three really is a crowd.
“Love addiction is the most painful detox there is,” says Charlie Risien, a counselor in San Antonio who’s worked with love addicts for the past ten years. “The addiction is about wanting something to work out in your life so badly that you create a fantasy in your mind that says this guy is ‘the one.’ You think this person has the power to make you happy, when in reality, he’s probably about to bring you all the sadness you can bear.”
“A girl that I dated in college and amicably broke up with would just show up at my job unannounced nearly a year after we had called it quits. Sometimes she wouldn’t even say anything to me, she would just call later on in the evening and say something like “I liked that green shirt you wore to work today.” The real crazy thing is my best friend initially wanted to go out with her. Man, I should have let him have her!”
—Tony D., 31, Seattle
“I was a bartender in the eighties and moved in with a lady I was dating. She fed me in bed and treated me like a king—until I saw her dark side. She started showing up at my bar and if a woman looked at me too long she made a scene. She then started accusing me of flirting with her grown daughters and calling the bar checking on me. She got so mad she started throwing knives at me and biting me when we argued. I left her, and she came to my job and started a fight and brought some guys to fight me. When she put a note on my door threatening my child, I realized it was time to file a complaint and it turned out she already had one against me.”
—Lamar J., 56, Detroit
You might be obsessed if you:
-Find yourself calling him when you know he won’t pick up just to hear his voice on the outgoing message…six months after you guys have broken up.
-Are still daydreaming about your honeymoon with him even though he just celebrated his five-year wedding anniversary with his wife.
-Are still checking out his Facebook account to see who he is corresponding with although he let you know from the beginning that he didn’t intend to be exclusive with you.
Just as some people are addicted to porn online or gambling, some of us are addicted to what we think is love. “Love addiction can be an attempt to escape high levels of depression,” explains Brenda Wade, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of “Power Choices” (Heartline Productions). “Love addicts are hooked on the adrenaline rush of the drama,” she adds.
In “Boomerang,” Eddie Murphy’s character Marcus learns the hard way not to play with the hearts of women close to home. His neighbor, played by Tisha Campbell Martin, continues to yell out every time he brings a woman home and holds up signs to alert the new girl of his cheating ways. The root of her anger is hope that the two will reconcile after their brief fling.
“Wanting to love and be loved is a normal desire,” says Hammond. “We all want to know that we matter, know that we belong. But when we didn’t get loved appropriately or enough as a child, that normal desire goes awry.”
“Only when we give ourselves the love we are craving can we put love addiction behind us,” says Wade. Setting up a network of friends to support you can be helpful as well.
“Love addicts have difficulty grasping the fact that while love may involve some sacrifice, it isn’t about suffering,” explains Michelle McKinney Hammond, author of “How to Avoid the Ten Mistakes Single Women Make” (Harvest House Publishers).
Actor Mekhi Phifer played Silk in the 1999 film “An Uninvited Guest,” a drama about a charming young man who woos potential sweethearts Debbie (Mari Morrow) and Tammy (Malinda Williams). As the plot thickens the women learn that there is a lot more to Silk than meets the eye.
“I tried to get a married man to love me by buying him things. The breaking point came when he said he would sleep with me—if I gave him $500. Thankfully, I didn’t.”
—Kenya L., 40, Charlotte, North Carolina
“Love addicts are hooked on the adrenaline rush of the drama,” says Brenda Wade, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in San Francisco who specializes in couples and family therapy. “With addicts, I always start with the question: ‘What makes you think you deserve so little?’” she says. “I try to help them see that a brother who’s married, noncommittal, abusive or unfaithful is not going to be able to give you the love you truly desire.”
It is virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship with anyone else until you have learned to love and respect yourself first. Get and enjoy the relationship you deserve, not sloppy seconds. Everyone is much happier that way.
Have you ever been obsessed with a man? How did you get over it and move on with your life?