Strong relationships require strong individuals.
Strong women and strong men, together, form strong relationships.
You cannot rely on your partner to make you happy, to take care of your every need. Furthermore, you are not solely responsible for your partner’s happiness. You cannot bear every burden for your partner and you cannot sacrifice your own happiness for what you believe a relationship to be.
You might say: “But this is what love is all about.”
To which I would respond: “Actually, this is what codependency is all about.”
If you sacrifice your personal life and all of your own individual needs for your partner, with the expectancy that this will make the relationship stronger and more “real,” you are not being realistic or fair to yourself or your partner. It is actually selfish and controlling to single handedly take everything upon yourself with the notion that it’s all for your partner, for the relationship.
Relationships are about sharing, understanding, and communicating with transparency. With both people working together to create the bond and share the relationship in a balanced way, as equally as possible.
Codependency, on the contrary, is more often characterized by one-sidedness, relationship addiction/attachment, fear of abandonment and self-detachment. Often with deep roots in shame, guilt, unawareness, and abuse.
Codependency is not love. It’s not healthy. It’s damaging to both people in the end.
So, why do people stay in unhealthy, codependent relationships?
Why don’t they communicate properly?
Why don’t they express their wants and their needs?
The short answer is: low self-esteem.
Codependent relationships often stem from a person who believes they need someone else to complete them. That life is not meaningful without a significant other.
This is a skewed view of what life is, and what the value of what a true loving relationship can be. A person must value themselves and learn to love themselves before they can truly love another and share a healthy, balanced relationship.
A person with low self-esteem may find themself in a relationship where they do not have the confidence to ask for what they want from their partner. They may feel unworthy to the point of incapable of this type of communication.
As a codependent, you might think: “no one will listen to me anyway. It doesn’t matter what I want.” Or “I don’t want to offend anyone by asking for something.”
Or, the type of codependent who doesn’t feel worthy unless they’re constantly “proving” themselves as a valuable partner – may think to themselves: “I wish my partner understood how much I give them. I hope they know how much I love them, and hope they recognize everything I do for them.”
This is clearly unfair to the partner of the codependent as they are typically in the dark here, not having much insight as to what their partner is thinking or feeling. This can be a breeding ground for miscommunication, self pity, displaced anger and deep resentment.
The hard lesson is, you cannot change your partner. You can only change yourself. And this is where you, as a codependent, need to focus your awareness and energy.
To be able to connect to your partner in a meaningful way and create a strong and nurturing relationship, you need to start building up your self-esteem. Start holding yourself accountable for how you treat yourself in a relationship and to set clear boundaries.
You need to find your purpose – this will lead you to a place of passion where you can start to reclaim your power and inner strength.
To make yourself the most important person in your life.
This is essential, as any relationship you invest yourself in will serve as a living reflection of the degree in which you love and value yourself.
Only then, when you have come to love yourself and respect your value as an individual, will you be able to build and share meaningful relationships that enrich your life. For you can never depend on someone else to make you happy and whole. It begins with you, and only you.
Start today by learning to build a healthy relationship with yourself.
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