You might know or have heard of people who say that they can’t live without their partner. Sometimes, what they mistake as genuine love is merely a parasitic need for attention and validation.
I refer to it as “parasitic” because real love is about unconditional reciprocation.
On the other hand, co-dependency is driven by a twisted need to maintain the relationship only for the sake of doing so.
It doesn’t matter that there is no personal growth taking place. The important thing is that the partners involved are together – regardless of the damage that’s happening.
However, we can’t deny that humans are social animals by nature. To some extent, we all need someone to fulfill our physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Despite this, there should still be an element of balance. What I mean by this is that the need to seek a partner should not overtake the other aspects of our lives.
Are you in a bad marriage?
If being in a relationship for the shallow purpose of being with someone (or anyone for that matter) is your only goal in life, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. This is the very reason why a lot of co-dependent relationships begin in the first place.
Emotional neediness often starts with a deprived childhood. This doesn’t necessarily equate to economic status.
Even children who grew up in a poor household can still manage to become well-adjusted adults, provided that their parents provided enough emotional support.
Therefore, co-dependents were usually starved of love and attention which consequently drives them to fill in the void through someone else.
Enter the other half of this picture. The “nurturer” in the relationship will consciously or unconsciously keep this destructive cycle in motion. Their misplaced sense of self-sacrifice is rooted from a variety of reasons.
Sometimes, he or she is only interested in keeping their needy partner perpetually dependent without actually helping them.
In this case, the so-called “caretaker” in the relationship is, in fact, deriving a sense of satisfaction from the fact that their partner needs them. The feeling of being wanted is a source of gratification for these misguided partners.
Are you in a bad marriage?
On the other hand, there are those who are equally unhelpful but genuinely care about their needy partner. In fact, they care about them so much that they’ve already forgotten about their own well-being. In their minds, they have to bear the entire burden of their significant other’s problems.
Remember that there is a difference between merely helping a person and helping them help themselves.
This is because “helping a person” is often confused with supporting his or her self-destructive habits. Such a person might go so far as make excuses for their partners behavior.
For example, a spouse may be tolerating his partner’s chemical dependency because it may seem easier to deny reality rather than deal with the problem.
As a result, the heart of the issue is never resolved since only the symptoms are given attention and not the cause. To make matters worse, this sort of behavior will only encourage the abusive party to carry on until it’s too late.
In order to avoid this kind of scenario, you have to realize that a truly functional marriage is composed of two emotionally mature people who look out for each other. Both of them should be concerned with each other in the truest sense of the word.
This is why you have to evaluate the reasons for getting into a relationship. You should give it some serious thought if you feel that any of the reasons we talked about earlier might apply to you in some way.
Caring about someone boils down to fostering his or her personal growth. It holds true even if it means having to let go of each other for the meantime. The right choice is not always the easiest one to make.