When you have a pattern of being the “strong” one in your relationships; where you’re the one your mate can’t overcome their struggle without; where you’re in control – it’s easy to delude yourself into believing that it’s just because you’re better at handling “life” than your partner is.
You’re just more adept at handling stress, adversity, challenge, and trial. You are the cool navigator in the chaotic storm of your relationship. How would your partner’s world keep spinning without you?
The truth about codependent relationships is that they are fantasies which require the full participation of both partners to maintain the illusion.
The weak one remains pathetic, unsure, off-balance, and insecure because as long as they’re victims – nobody is going to call them on their crap and actually require them to fully function as an adult partner on an intimate team.
By staying pathetic (I’m using the term in its true, definitive meaning), they maintain a connection to someone who devotes themselves to “helping” them; to making their lives easier; to running interference so they never feel the full brunt of the consequences of their choices. It’s an old and classic manipulation that ensures they get maximum return for minimum investment.
The strong one gets to be the selfless one; the self-sacrificing martyr that subjugates their needs in order to attend to the needs of their weaker, pitiful partner – “who really is just a good person caught in a bad situation”. As soon as they get over this hump, they’ll be alright and they’ll be able (and willing) to fully show up in the relationship. Sometimes partners need to be parented.
That’s why I’m here. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Codependency thinks like this when dating/mating:
- “My date/mate is the most important person in the world to me – even more than I am to myself.”
- “If they don’t like something I’m doing (or something I am), then I’ve got to change it – whether it’s my outfit or my attitude or the way I see the world.”
- “I’m supposed to make my date/mate happy. That IS what makes me happy.”
- “I’m going to make my date’s/mate’s life so much easier, they’ll never want to be without me. That way, I know they’ll never leave.”
I could make a much longer list, but I have limited time and space. Suffice to say, that if lasting contentment, lasting peace of mind, lasting excitement, lasting adventure, and lasting intimacy are what you want – this is not the way to get it.
The truth about codependent relationships is that they are the perfect vehicle for weak egos to gain the illusion of strength without actually having to work.
More importantly, the weak one continues to weaken – themselves and the relationship. The strong one grows increasingly fearful of abandonment and becomes more controlling in order to maintain they illusion.
Many times, codependent couples can look quite good in public – they’re often masterful at painting pretty pictures for others to see. But alas, as with all illusions – reality eventually intrudes. The strong one finally reaches their limit and leaves. The weak one finds a new strong one to attach to – and so the toxicity continues.
Are you in a relationship or is the relationship in you? Until you can HONESTLY say that you like yourself better in that relationship than you do without that relationship – you’re either in the wrong relationship or you’re wrong in the relationship. Either way, the end result is the same – frustration, resentment, bitterness, anger – sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Isn’t that just what you got into a relationship for in the first place?
If love is what you want, embrace that it’s going to require your best – and as long as you continually try to bargain and negotiate and invest the least while demanding the most – you will continue to get the corresponding results. The price of love is what it is. It doesn’t go on sale just because you don’t want to pay it.
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