Codependency—Finding balance between giving to your partner, and giving to yourself.

Balance--in this area--it’s about having a reciprocal relationship with another.  If you have things you do for yourself that are “you”,  giving you your own identity that, “keep you going”; and your partner also has things they do for themselves, that give them their own identity, that keep them going--you are then moving forward together in a healthy, balanced relationship as a couple.

But, this is not always that easy for you to do.  You may feel uncomfortable, helpless when you are alone, or scared to take initiative in moving towards your own identity.  You may also feel a need for acceptance outside of yourself, and go out of your way to help your partner so you feel loved or accepted, while forgetting to love yourself.  Anything that feels like disapproval or criticism towards you can really “sting”.  It can be difficult to find comfort in your own company.  You may not see that you really do have a lot to offer.

As with many things, this may have stemmed from how you grew up.  Maybe you were overprotected. Maybe you had expectations placed upon you to behave perfectly.  Maybe your family believed in strong loyalty or family ties.

It takes a commitment to yourself to overcome dependency, and an appropriate relationship with a counselor to gently move you through your process of self growth.  But where can you start?  You can be open to introspection—looking within yourself to begin understanding your own dynamics behind your need for dependency.   You can begin working towards communication with your partner, asking them for their support.   Also, celebrate YOU when you make even the smallest step.  That is progress!

1. Become open to introspection.
2. Communicate with your partner.
3. Celebrate YOU!