Womens Relationship Advice - Dependency and Co-Dependency
It certainly doesn't seem that way does it? In our very human world we all rely on each other for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical support. However, there is a difference between support and dependency. In popular terminology, "support" implies a mutuality of giving. For example, you may support me financially while I support you by caring for your children. Dependency is entirely different. "Dependency" says that my survival is contingent upon what you give to me.
Dependency has harsh conditions attached to it. Without the mutuality of support, the dependent individual is effectively at the mercy of the one that is depended upon. We have all seen this. There are certain circumstances in which this seems unavoidable. If someone has a debilitating illness for example, or has a serious mental disability, declaring that they "shouldn't" be dependent is foolish. However, there are often unseen compensations, such as with an infant. The quality of love and gratitude may be more than adequate compensation for the care required. If this isn't occurring, the dependent individual will very likely suffer for their lack of mutuality in the relationship.
Yes, this is harsh. It can be particularly harsh when the dependent individual is essentially sound and healthy. Although we may be more familiar with such situations occurring for women than for men, this isn't always the case. Some men require such inordinate levels of support and assistance that they qualify as being dependent as well. Either gender can place themselves in a situation of such dependency that they will allow any sort of behavior from the person they are dependent upon, even if it is vicious or neglectful.
This is the unnecessary dependency which usually stems from an unhealthy self-image and surprisingly often, anger. Having someone be dependent upon us unnecessarily is exhausting and limiting to our own life. The individual who is "inflicting" this upon us may be at best uncaring of our well-being and at worst, viciously taking advantage of us. Neither of these approaches comes from love. If it isn't love, then what emotion is operative? In my opinion, it's some form of anger. Anger in the form of envy, jealousy, or even hidden rage.
Either partner in such a relationship can suffer. Perpetuating the myth of co-dependency will lower the self-esteem of both parties. The dependent individuals will progressively see themselves as less and less competent. The partner who is most depended upon in this way may begin to feel as if they only serve a function, not that they are cared for, for who they are.
Either partner can take the initiative to end this cycle, though it takes courage to do so. The dependent partner can start assuming responsibility for their own well-being. The partner being depended upon can cut off the unnecessary support. Of course there can be a number of details involved in precipitating such action on either side, and often the habit must be broken gradually. If there is real caring for each other however, the essential actions will be taken.
Best advice for women is to celebrate their own personal power to achieve and create from their own skills and talents and blend them with those of your partner. This way the relationship is not built upon dependent or co-dependent principles.
Famous Quote: FEAR
It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson