“Do you love me because you need me? or Do you need me because you love me?”
For some, it’s just a mushy phrase but for others, it could mean that they are trapped in a “Codependent Relationship” .
They say, codependency is an emotional disorder affecting persons from all walks of life. We only need to take a closer look on the motivations and expectations of people in their lives and relationships to be able to determine if they are codependent.
“Codependency occurs when two people form a relationship with each other because neither feels that he or she can “stand alone.” Neither person feels capable or self-reliant. It is as if two half parts are trying to make a whole. Both partners are seeking to become psychologically complete by binding the other partner to themselves.”
I have this friend, she falls in love with this guy, and despite of the complexity of their relationship, the financial difficulties and the infidelities of the guy, she still clings to him. During most of their arguments, she would always threaten to leave him, but eventually she would take her words back. Saying because she loves him, that she couldn’t bring herself to face the loneliness of being single again and because she feels that somehow she’s financially dependent on this guy. But most of all, she strongly believes that he would change.
In this typical codependent relationship my friend serves as the caretaker, she stays in the relationship for she feels a sense of purpose (she thought that she would be able to make the guy change for the better) However, she may also be hanging on with him to avoid her own unhappiness and personal issues, to overcome her fears of being alone.
“Caretakers are the ones who suffers from low self-esteem and have a certain predictable way of thinking, feeling and behaving. This means that from a place of insecurity and low self-esteem, they try desperately to hold on to the people they are addicted to using codependent behavior. They will do anything to “take care” of their partners in the hope that they will not leave—or that someday they will reciprocate. Caretakers tend to give, to get.”
The guy on the otherhand also claims that he love my friend, he gave her everything, lavished her with gifts and would even buy things for her even if they couldn’t afford it. He’s the typical nice guy, super-friendly and someone who doesn’t know how to say no. He could be tagged as a perfect partner except for his infidelities.
The guy now plays the Taker part of the relationship, I believe that he uses my friend’s love for him and her weaknesses to dominate her. Maybe he cares about her but his love for himself is greater. He would treat her coldly at one point then be so loving and caring the next day, because he cannot let her go too, for he needs her to satisfy his hunger for acceptance and reassurance.
“Takers are commonly of the Narcissists type, they use dominance, seduction and withholding to control their partners. Narcissists won’t put up with anything that interferes with their happiness. They are self-absorbed and their low self-esteem is masked by their grandiosity. “
In a codependent relationships, we would often hear the lines “We need each other,” we make up for each other’s weaknesses, and most often this is why people in a codependent relationship never learned to overcome their weaknesses, because they end up continually looking for partners that will complete them.
To escape the cycle of ending into a codependent relationship we must learn to take responsibility for ourselves, we must learn how to be self-sufficient, how to provide for ourself, we must learn how to be independent.
” The highest form of human relationship is between two independent people.”
“When you no longer need anything from your partner, you can focus on giving. When you are no longer depending on them to come through for you, you can forgive them when they don’t. When you no longer need them to make you complete, you can appreciate them for who they are, flaws and all.”
I myself, had been once a part of a codependent relationship (had been the caretaker too) and I could say that it’s a really draining experience, you’ll end up slowly losing yourself, for you are continuously giving out everything. The good thing, I was able to leave before I completely lose myself. I’ve learned that to be able to give love, I must first learn to love myself and no one could complete me, but me. ;-)
Enabling and codependency