Every so often in my marriage I do an inventory, or a self-check. One of the things I ask myself is do I still want my husband, or do I feel like I need him? Throughout the years, depending on the time frame, my answer changes. When I was in the emergency room with my husband and they thought he was going into a diabetic coma, it became very clear to me that I need him. Before some of you buck at me and say you don’t need any man, let me explain why that conclusion came to be for me.
I don’t need my husband in the sense that I couldn’t make it on my own without him. I need him in the sense that he is such a major part of my life that I wouldn’t know what to do if something were to happen to him. Would I figure it out? Absolutely. Would I want to know? Definitely not. So it’s only fair that I ask the same question when it comes to him. Does he want me or does he need me? Those are two entirely different things.
Now, believe it or not, this is a question I have asked my husband. I have gotten the same answer every time. He needs AND wants me. Let me explain why this is such an important issue. In a relationship, when the desire to have your partner there with you is not there, and all that exists is the need, the dependency part of it, it becomes a co-dependent relationship. A co-dependent relationship is not a healthy relationship. Instead it becomes relationship where instead of love keeping you both together, it is instead a fixation.
It becomes a “toxic” relationship, where issues like jealousy and clingy behavior can rear their ugly heads. Not saying that those issues could not arise in any relationship, but the chances of it wreaking havoc in a co-dependent relationship are great. So how can you tell if your relationship is codependent? Here’s a few ways:
1. You are unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of your significant other.
2. You recognize unhealthy behaviors in your partner but stay with him or her in spite of them.
3. Giving support to your partner at the cost of your own mental, emotional, and physical health.
4. Most of your relationship revolves around trying to change their partner or trying to conform to their partner’s wishes.
5. You get anxiety just thinking about number 4.
If you find yourself in a codependent relationship, you don’t necessarily have to end it. You have options. Therapy, couples therapy, communication and behavior change, etc. If your partner is refusing to work with you, then it may come to a point where you have to decide if you still need to be in that relationship.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is what’s best for you? Life is too short to be unhappy and miserable. Make the choices that are best for YOUR life.
Let us know, have you ever found yourself in a toxic relationship? What did you do? Were you able to save it?