Have you ever been in a relationship that you thought was perfect? Have you wanted to spend immense amounts of time with the other(s) and began seeing your own autonomy dwindle as you lost sight of who you were outside of the relationship? Have you ever started seeing the signs of codependency but didn’t know how to break those patterns because you found yourself becoming fully absorbed in the various dynamics of the relationship(s)?
I’ve found myself in those types of relationships as well, and not just romantic relationships. I was excited about the chemistry and amazing conversations. We connected across many different interests and wanted to spend unlimited amounts of time together. Then I began seeing red flags in my own behavior. I wanted to check in about every decision I made because and lost sight of myself. I opened myself completely to the relationships only to be hurt because the other party knew I’d willingly allow my vulnerabilities to be used against me. I knew I wasn’t emotionally nor mentally safe, yet I also didn’t have the power to set boundaries and eventually remove myself. These kinds of relationships are difficult to manage and even harder to manage given the current global climate.
Relationships are hard. They require continuous work and are beautiful at their healthiest. They can also be challenging when toxic behaviors seep in and go unchecked for too long. For me, the most toxic behavior is always codependency and I have to be very intentional to ensure myself and others don’t adopt increasingly uncontrollable codependent behaviors. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a certain level of dependency that is natural and allows relationships to thrive. My children must be dependent on my husband and myself to care for them. I depend on my husband to receive and give the best love of which we’re both capable as we invest in our marriage and family.
There is a healthy dependence with those who are worthy of our trust and vulnerability that makes us feel safe and live into our best selves. This kind of dependence gives us the support and encouragement we need to grow and love ourselves. And we know the difference between healthy dependence and unhealthy codependence. Sometimes we need space and new boundaries to find ourselves again, regain strength, and make progressive steps because we should be never feel threatened within the safe and trusting boundaries of the relationships that define who we are.
Just like everything else, I’ve been taking time while quarantining to reflect on past relationships that were amazing and those that weren’t best for me. Those reflections have also helped me get clearer on the ways I want to show up in the world and love myself and others well the rest of my life. I encourage you all to take some time and do the same. We’re never wrong in the choices we make, but we can always learn more about ourselves to be better each day. I love you all and am cheering you on as you grow within yourselves and with the people closest to you.
Until next time ♥