Codependent Relationships: Bonds that Hurt
Codependency is a kind of love that really hurts. Ironic, isn’t it? Something as wonderful as loving another person can suddenly become a horrible ordeal.
This happens when you attach yourself to another person in a way that’s unhealthy. You might not yet be aware of the fact that no person can truly belong to you, because from the time you’re small you learn about a kind of “property.” Now you think you belong to another person, and vice versa. This is something that you need to start to change.
Codependent relationships: when love hurts
In all couples, in every relationship between two people, there will be conflict. This is entirely natural and a part of growing together.
When your partner starts to be the center of your world, however, when you develop the kind of dependence that prevents you from living a normal life, that’s when you know you’re facing a real problem.
Two people have to make the decision to share their life and love, to respect each other, and understand that living together doesn’t mean they have to depend on each other. Of course they should continue to respect the other’s persona space, and if the relationship doesn’t work out it will all be okay!
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You can’t depend on anyone else in your life – all you have is you. To put something like that in the hands of someone else is almost like suicide. That’s why it’s important that you pay attention to the characteristics of codependent people:
- Their self-esteem depends on what their partner does or does not tell them.
- They assume responsibilities that go far beyond what’s considered normal duty to try to meet the needs of their partner.
- There’s an absence of the boundaries between yourself and your partner.
- You don’t ever contradict what your partner says out of fear of rejection.
- When one relationship ends, it’s immediately followed by another.
If you’ve ever felt like you identify with some of these aspects, you have probably experienced or been close to suffering from emotional dependence.
Loosen the ties that bind you
You know when you grab on to a rope so it doesn’t slip out of your hand? When that loose rope escapes, the damage and pain you feel is just like what you’re doing to yourself now!
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This same thing is happening in your head. You’ve bound yourself to someone in a relationship that’s not providing you with any benefits. It’s not easy to release that bond, because sometimes you can be a bit masochistic and prefer to endure the excruciating pain that holding on is causing you.
If you’re not sure whether to release the person or not, or if you know you need to let go but don’t feel ready or able, now is a good time to get it done once and for all.
The liberation you’ll feel is indescribable. You’ll be filled with inner peace. Now you’ll be able to see that your fears, insecurities, and low self-esteem have vanished because you allowed the other person to be completely in charge of your respect.
But…will this make you happy? Being free will be a wonderful situation, but it might not make you happy at first – it hurts. Still, you can’t allow yourself to continue to die in their care, you have to break free. Only you are holding on to that pain – no one is forcing you, except you.
Yes, it’s hard to take that step, so if you don’t feel capable of it, seek help. Without help you might not have the courage to face this alone.
What led you to this situation? Is there something in your past that could cause you to fear losing someone? Are you overwhelmed by love?
Sometimes love can be like a drug. It’s normal to think about your partner and want to be with them at all times…but emotional dependency is harmful and humiliating if you can’t continue to be yourself.
And what if you leave? Perhaps you immediately look for a substitute or replacement. This is a serious problem because you don’t know how to be alone! You need this drug that makes you feel good, even if you have to grovel to get it.
Seek help instead, talk it out, and open your eyes to reality. It will hurt, you’ll suffer (although, weren’t you already suffering?), and you won’t feel like yourself. Learn to be alone, make peace with the loneliness. You don’t need to feel insecure and alone in this world. You are your best companion.