the Subtle Difference Between Love and Codependency.


I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Codependency or codependence is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationship’s and quality of life. It also often involves putting one’s needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships.Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, and/or control patterns.

I love to shop after a bad relationship.  I don’t know.  I buy a new outfit and it makes me feel better.  Sometimes I see a really great outfit, and I’ll break up with someone on purpose.  I need to go shopping!

Once upon a time when I was 13 years old, I got my first boyfriend.  For the next 10 years, I had never been single.  I always found myself immediately in a relationship.  Often, it was someone I was not merely interested in, but  I’d end up being with them because I dreaded the idea of being alone.   Eventually, they would grow on me, and with time, a friendship would bond, and love was born where it did not exist.  But only a shallow love on the surface.

I believe we  are not capable of loving another on a deeper level if we are in a relationship to fulfill a need.  I think often people are afraid of being alone that they will seek out someone to fill that void.  If we are to responsibly go into a mature relationship, we must be secure with ourselves, and spend a decent amount of time soul searching.  We must be comfortable with ourselves.  A reason we are seeking out others are because we have not discovered who we are or what we want.

A few years ago after being single for almost a year (in 2007), I fell in love.  He was a Navy Seal, and he was gone all the time.  It drove me crazy, because I was the type that had to be with someone all the time.  After some time that he was away, I never got use to it, but I learned to deal with it, because I was in love.  The distance between us didn’t matter.  I decided to stand by him.  After we tragically broke up, I was single for 2 years.

At first it felt impossible to be alone.  All of a sudden I was meeting a lot of gorgeous guys, good personalities, boyfriend material.  I had to turn them all down because I was heart broken and I refused to be with someone just to rebound and get over it.  I didn’t want to get stuck in a 2 year relationship on a rebound again like I had before.  I spent a lot of time making good friends for the next few years.  Being sociable, casually dating, after about 6 months, I still hurt for him, but I started enjoying being alone for the first time in my life.  I was keeping busy, being sociable with friends of both sexes (not boyfriends), being ambitious, studying for my personal trainer’s license, and planning to get out of Hawaii.

After being comfortable in my own skin, I started looking for different types of men to date.  Instead of getting into something not ready for, I tend to be more picky about who I am interested in.  Someone classy, attractive, tactful, (you’d be surprised how many people lack any,) someone I know will be a good boyfriend.  I’m attracted to the metro type, and quiet types are mysterious and keep me entertained.  I think sometimes we jump into things and before we have a chance to fully fall in love with someone we are already stuck in a relationship, and sometimes afraid to hurt that person, we aren’t honest, and stay with them until something better comes along, or until a breaking point.  Then most likely we won’t remain friends.

My last short relationship ended nicely.  We are still good friends.  He is a great guy.  But I just got bored and we both decided we were incompatible.  We decided to just be friends.  And that is how mature adults deal with things.  I hate when you break up with someone and they’re so immature, they start making up all this drama, and fight instead of accepting the truth, and try to do hurtful things to get even or make you jealous or even hurt you.  That is the most immature crap ever!  Why can’t we all be mature and walk away from relationships unhurt, or at least with our heads up, a friend for life, and a better person?   Is it that we have to selfishly push that person away to keep them away to heal the pain?  I think they’re just immature.  When will the world stop being bitter?

In many cases codependency becomes a problem because the suppressed expression of needs and desires can turn to resentment. For example you want to attend an evening class, but keep letting registration deadlines pass because you wouldn’t be there to cook dinner for your husband. Eventually your resentment at giving up your dreams begins to take root in your life.

Codependency stifles communication. You don’t tell your spouse what you need at particular times. You many want your spouse to be more intimate or to be more generous with appreciation for all you do for the family. You might want to tell your spouse how unhappy you are he or she is working overtime or how the overtime is preventing you from having any free time. Instead, when there is codependency you just bite the bullet and leave everything unsaid.

I’ve experienced this in many relationships, and then when the shit hits the ceiling, it explodes.  Because I am a controlling type personality, I tend to take the blame because they have a problem expressing their needs.  Thus I appear to be the abusive one, making them the victims, because they are resentful for something I cannot understand.  I have no problem expressing myself, and I expect that from people I surround myself with, which I am finding is difficult for most.

Come to think of it, I think my Mom is the codependent type.  My father is the controlling type.  So he tends to seem like an asshole.  But after researching this topic, I understand now his frustration with my mother being submissive.

“A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself – to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP STATISTICS

  • 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce (Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri).
  • Among women that described themselves as happy, 49% said they were unhappy with their sex lives (Self magazine survey, 2010).
  • Most cheaters – a whopping 60% — have been in a relationship for at least five years. But 18% of newlywed women and 12% of newlywed men admitted to committing infidelity within the first year of marriage (British survey, 2005)
  • Only 29 percent of women report that they’re able to achieve orgasmduring sex (National Health and Social Life Survey).
  • Just a month of cohabitation decreases the quality of a couple’s relationship (Penn State study).
  • At least 50 percent of sexually active adults will have a genital HPV infection at some point in their lives (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
  • Maybe the most that you can expect from a relationship that goes bad is to come out of it with a few good songs.

NOT BEING CODEPENDENT DOESN’T MEAN BE AN ASSHOLE AN INATTENTIVE TO YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER.  IT MEANS EXPRESS YOURSELF AND DON’T HOLD RESENTMENT.  HAVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE, BALANCE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

4 thoughts on “the Subtle Difference Between Love and Codependency.

  1. What if I have friends outside of my relationship, I was single for a year or two before this relationship, we were just friends for several months before we began dating, we’ve been together a year and when he goes out of town for a week I cry? I mean I cried about an hour after he left, knowing he’d be gone for a week, but I hung out with friends that night, also cried for a few minutes after talking to him on the phone today(the next day) but planning on seeing friends again tonight. Am I co-dependent or just in love?
    It also may help to note that I’ve never had this issue with other boyfriends. In fact, I was kind of a bitch…Now granted, I do tend to be a “rescuer” but I still think with my head more than my heart.

    1. I use to think I had to be with someone. Having time to yourself makes being apart not so bad. If you haven’t had that time to yourself then you will probably freak out when he leaves. It could be love if you didn’t behave that way with the other guys. But also, codependency in love is a possibility. I’m not a dr. But if you’re freaking out, it’s because you are not happy with yourself, and need him to be happy. You need to learn to have time to yourself and not worry about him leaving.

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