Women Who Love Too Much is a self-help book by Robin Norwood, and it was first published in 1986. The author is a licenced marriage, family, and child therapist and she specializes in love relationships, as well as addiction, co-addiction, compulsive eating, and depression. The archetypal pattern described in these relationships relate to Neptune’s patterns of idealisation, sacrifice, illness, breakdowns, violence, alcohol problems, and terrible disillusionment.
The main premise of the book deals with relationship addiction and describes loving “too much” as a pattern of thought and behavior which certain women develop as a response to problems from childhood. The author views these women as destructive as heroin users jabbing needles in their arms. The characteristics of women who love too much are those that come from a dysfunctional home of alcohol abuse or other drugs (prescribed or illicit), growing up around the compulsive behaviour of a parent, and domestic abuse. Furthermore, a child treated as an adult and raised to the level of a parent, heavily burdened with too much responsibility, can grow up as a woman who loves “too much”.
Unstable and Needy Relationships
- The woman has a strong attraction to men who are “needy” and she needs to be needed, unconsciously drawn to unstable relationships and damaged men. The woman often feels that she can redeem him through her love. However, the relationship often turns into an all-consuming and desperate yearning for the beloved, who is perceived as mysterious, and elusive. Compassion and pity are powerful components in what these individuals define as love.
- Another indication of Neptune’s role in a relationship is the willingness to endure pain and hardship for the sake of the union. Suffering in love and yearning for more than is available is another characteristic of those involved in unhappy and destructive relationships with men. Neptune glamourizes the bond and she offers unflinching devotion to him.
- In childhood, the woman may have been subjected to eternal chaos and have developed an overwhelming need to fix everything and take care of everyone, being far too willing to take on others’ burdens and emotional problems. The denial of the problem is undeniably, Neptune. Robin Norwood’s books have received some criticism from feminists and women’s rights groups. However, there are highly relevant psychological themes that can be applied to Neptune in relationships.
- Neptune is “hooked” on these type of relationships and the dream of saving someone and seeking redemption slowly turns into their worst nightmare. The waters often turn dark, murky and treacherous, overwhelming and chaotic feelings leave the individual in despair, slowly drowning in misery. Neptune has great difficulty seeing what is actually there, so they fall in love with someone who later turns out to be not at all like the person imagined.
- Not all Neptunian relationships are this complex and co-dependent, but we often wonder why it’s so difficult for a woman to leave an abusive relationship, even when she is given all the help that she needs. The powerful emotional compulsion shouldn’t be underestimated, and the woman often commits to such a relationship even if all the warning signs are flashing. Those who work with victims of domestic violence understand the frustration of this woman’s compelling attraction to her abuser, and even after all their best efforts to counsel and provide a safe haven, she goes back to him.
Plunging into the World of Feelings
Pisceans and Neptunians are not afraid of plunging into the world of feelings, and the Neptune archetype describes universal love and compassion. Commonly, martyrdom and taking care of others can also hold great emotional and manipulative power over loved ones. The subject is not black and white and I have only explored some of the darker themes in this topic, which relate to addiction in relationships and the role that Neptune plays.