Is Dependency Really Wrong in A Relationship?

Date Posted: July 21, 2014
Is Dependency Really Wrong in A Relationship?

I want to say a few things about the concepts of dependency and independence. People are constantly working in therapy to become more independent in their relationship, or to tolerate more dependency in their relationship, but there is no such thing as independence or dependence. Everything is interdependent.

We are one organism that is interconnected. You may think that you are separate from you partner and your partner is separate from you, but that's not the case. We are open systems. This is why you are affected by the moods and attitudes that your partner comes home with, either negatively or positively. And vice versa. The idea that you are not responsible for the way your partner is feeling is an old idea. That was before we recognized that we were open systems. That said, being affected by your partner is not a sign of "codependency", but more a sign that you are alive and breathing and have your senses working.

You can stop treating your partner like they're cracked because they are aware of your crummy moods, and you can stop treating yourself like something is wrong with you because your partner's crummy moods rock your boat. The reality is that you are at the mercy of each other's energy, both subtle and overt. Let's quit acting like that isn't true and start taking responsibility for that fact.

Most couples over-estimate their ability to be intimate and under-estimate the negative impact they are having on their partner. When you come to recognize that you both have great power and influence over each other just from being attached to each other, you may actually be a little more careful with bringing icky moods home, or justifying nasty tones of voice. And that goes for both of you. Now go say you're sorry.

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