Are you dependent on your partner?


Are you dependent on your partner?

You love who you are when you are together. He*she makes you a better, funnier, more spontaneous version of yourself. And that is nice. But it becomes problematic when your common identity as a couple leaves no room for you. For you as an individual. And on the one hand you lose yourself and also forget that you can definitely function on your own.

Ness Cooper , a sex therapist, explains unhealthy addiction to Cosmopolitan : “A healthy relationship dynamic must allow space not only for the couple’s shared identity, but also for each individual’s self-identity. In most relationships, there are moments when one of the both people need and the other person fills the partner’s need, but in unhealthy codependent relationships, the needs that need to be met often become very one-sided and control other aspects of the relationship.”

Unhealthy Dependency
In principle, one speaks of dependency when two people in a relationship completely rely on each other and make themselves dependent on each other. It becomes problematic when one person always relies on the second person to solve their problems. Thus, one person becomes the victim and one becomes the rescuer. But what if the rescuer needs help?

But dependency can also mean that one person can no longer function without the second. For example, cannot/do not want to spend time alone or with other people. Of course, this puts enormous pressure on the second person to always be there.

Give and take
From the examples it becomes clear that it prevents both partners from functioning independently. How do you know you’re in such an unhealthy kind of addiction?

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In the short term, the problem may not be noticed immediately, but the psychologist explains that “in the longer term, codependency erases boundaries and prevents people from taking responsibility for their self-esteem, their lives, and their happiness.” That’s because in a codependent relationship, you often burden those things on the partner you’re relying on, which is particularly unhealthy. However, there are four signs you can look for to tell if you are in a dependent relationship.

Your boundaries are blurring

Healthy boundaries are important to any healthy relationship. In a co-dependent relationship, however, those boundaries fall away—and that can mean your personal wants and needs fall by the wayside.

You realize that power is not shared equally

In many dependent relationships, there is one person who gives more and one who takes more. Here you can see that the distribution of power within a relationship is uneven. So one person could make all decisions, whether it’s about activities, vacations, finances, or what to eat for dinner. Similarly, one person is always the victim and expects the second person to take care of them unconditionally.

One of you needs constant validation

Of course it’s nice to hear from your partner from time to time how much you mean to them. But when a person needs constant convincing of how great they are just to make them feel good, that’s problematic. Because you should never give more importance to what your partner thinks about you than what you think about yourself. Self worth has to come from you. Not from anyone else.

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You support the negative behavior of others

That sounds complicated, but it isn’t. I’m sure you all know someone with a helper complex. People who like to get involved with people who need to be saved. If you have addiction tendencies, you may find yourself drawn to people who need you. The psychologist warns to pay attention to whether you are reinforcing negative behaviors from your partner or enabling them to deal with them in a positive way. If you stop him*her because he*she might need you more so badly, that’s very problematic!

Further indications of a dependency in your partnership could be:

The merging with the partner and the inability to live together as two separate individuals.
Inability to go out alone or even start projects of your own for fear of being abandoned or rejected.
You feel empty, unhappy, and extremely dissatisfied with being yourself.
Giving up hobbies, events, plans, or personal interests to be with your partner.
An immense sense of loyalty to your partner, even if they constantly reject and hurt you.

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