Independence Versus Co-dependence in Relationships

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Independence Versus Co-dependence in Relationships

In this article you’ll learn and discover the differences between independence versus co-dependence in relationships.

In relationships, it’s natural to want to feel needed. When someone wants to be around us, we feel a sense of importance or value. This is a great feeling, but there’s a balance between being “needing” someone and “wanting them. You are capable of doing things for yourself. You can take care of you, and do positive things to make you feel good. You don’t need another person to validate the fact that you have wonderful qualities and things that you are good at.

Sure it helps to have people in your life who acknowledge your worth. Being with someone in a romantic partnership helps you to build up your confidence. Your partner finds you attractive, both physically and emotionally. You relate to them and they can see you as the beautiful person that you are. And conversely, you are able to give back to them. You can tell your partner how much you appreciate their qualities and understand them. They will love the fact that you see them for who they are.

You can love being around your partner and the ways in which you show mutual respect and gratitude toward one another, but there’s a balance between building each other up and needing that validation to feel whole. When you need that reassurance constantly to feel complete, that can be a sign of codependence. A codependent relationship isn’t healthy for either of you. In a relationship, you want to maintain your sense of individual self. It’s important to remember who you are, what you want, and how you can keep living the life you want with your partner as a support.

If you start to notice that you’re dependent on your partner’s approval too much, or that it’s hard to do things on your own, it might be time to consider working these issues out in counseling. That might sound premature, but codependence can lead to a long-term pattern of an unbalanced relationship. Going to counseling and getting relationship advice may even help spice up things in the bedroom! Regardless of the reason behind why you’re going to counseling, you don’t want to have an unhealthy relationship you want the opposite. Being with a partner should be an enjoyable experience.

Couples therapy is a safe space to work on your relationship. You never know what the benefits of counseling with your partner could be. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to give it a try. Another benefit of couples counseling is that you are encouraged to express your own perspective in the counselor’s office. Sometimes we don’t see eye-to-eye, and there’s nothing wrong with a healthy disagreement. Talking out different ways of looking at things can be a great way to strengthen individuality in a partnership. We don’t have to view things exactly the same way to make a relationship work.

Take a moment and think about your partner. Do you feel dependent on their approval much of the time? Evaluate what you can do to live independent lives and come together to share special moments.

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Sarah Fader

Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York. Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with panic disorder. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.