Codependent partners are not necessarily together because they want to be - they are because they have to be...
If you've had difficulty with starting or maintaining relationships, issues with feeling jealous and possessive or find that your connections with others are more a source of distress than anything else, then this book is for you.
It may feel sometimes that an intense and serious connection with someone is proof of the depth of the feeling you have for one another. But be careful, obsession and dependency is not the same as love.
In the codependent relationship, our affection and attention is coming from a place of fear and need. As a result, the partners never really connect with each other. They do endless, complicated dances around each others problems, but what they never do is make an honest human connection.
In codependent relationships, manipulation, guilt and resentment take the place of healthy, balanced affection. Codependent partners are not necessarily together because they want to be, they are because they have to be, because they don’t know how to live otherwise.
One partner may bring a history of abuse, a "personality disorder" or mental illness into a relationship; the ways the other partner responds to this may be healthy or not, but if they bring their own issues to the table too, they may find that the bond of their love is more accurately described as a shared and complementary dysfunction.
Remember, the relationships we are in can never be better than the relationships we have with ourselves. Two unhappy people together never make a happy couple together. We cannot treat other people in ways we have never taken the time to consider before, and we cannot communicate properly if we are not even sure what it is we need to communicate in the first place.
An individual with a mature, well-developed sense of themselves has the most to offer someone else. They have their own lives, their own sense of self-worth, their own strength. And when you remove need, fear, obsession and desperation, you open up the way for love and affection just for its own sake.
Love is many things, but it's cheapened when held hostage by the ego. Connections formed around ego and fear may be strong and lasting, but what keeps them going is mutual need. What could be more romantic than, "I don't need to be with you. You don't complete me at all. I am happy and stable and fulfilled without you. But I still want to be with you, because you're awesome"?
It all boils down to this: communication.
Whether it's through words or not, we are constantly communicating, and the accumulation of these little units creates this big thing we call a relationship.
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