Here’s a radical thought: We can still care about another person without “taking on” their emotions or problems.
For those of us who have been codependent for our entire life, this can be a difficult concept to grasp at first. We have to keep catching ourselves in the act of becoming enmeshed in our partner’s (or any other person’s) drama, and over time, we learn to detach. This doesn’t mean we don’t care about their pain anymore. It simply teases apart “caring about” and “sacrificing ourselves for.” The former remains, while the latter is released.
The evolutionary journey to a healthy relationship with another is a dance of dependence (relying on another), independence (self-reliance), codependence (enmeshed attachment that enables dysfunction), counter-dependence (refusal to attach), and interdependence (mutual reliance). While no one can maintain it 24/7, interdependence is the healthiest way to be.
In an interdependent relationship, you take care of yourself, your partner takes care of himself/herself, and you rely on one another when it feels right to do so. It isn’t about need, but about mutual—and neutral—reliance on each other. You shift from obligation to desire, so that you do things for each other because you genuinely want to. And for those of us who have been codependent most of our lives, it takes some work to discern the difference.
We need a new blueprint to reframe the way we love… and I just happen to have it!
If you’re ready to discover your relationship patterns and change the way you love so you can have satisfying and fulfilling relationships, TAKE THIS QUIZ to find out your specific Relationship Blueprint.