People usually talk about emotional dependence in the context of a marriage or other kind of love affair. But emotional dependence doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships.
In this context, it is a complex psychological state that makes it impossible for anyone to end a harmful relationship. Even if they are aware of the problem, they are unable to cut ties with the person. They believe that it does more good than harm.
It is an unhealthy relationship that seriously erodes the dependent person ‘s self – esteem. They idealize their partner and are extremely afraid of being alone.
If the relationship ended, they would withdraw. Like a true addiction, they create an unbalanced and destructive relationship.
However, emotional dependence doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships. In fact, there are two other types that we would like to explain today.
Emotional Dependence Doesn’t Just Occur in Romantic Relationships: What Does It Look Like in a Family?
Emotional dependence in the family occurs when one family member exhibits an unhealthy attachment to another family member. Their behavior is obsessive and oppressive, and seems strange to the subject of their dependence.
An example of this is a parent who wants to monitor one of their children and needs to know what it is doing all the time.
They call them all the time and want to talk to them. Typical behaviors include expecting the worst and the need to check that the child is okay.
What happens if the child wants more independence? The parent starts playing the victim, crying and using other manipulative techniques. They don’t want to lose the child who has become the center of their world.
If that doesn’t work, they call even more often and stifle the relationship.
On the other hand, dependent children always need their parents’ opinion to feel safe. They cannot do anything or make decisions without their parents’ approval first. Dependent children say no to certain opportunities because they are afraid of losing their parents.
It is not good to normalize unhealthy ways of affirmation. Why? Well, as we’ve seen, these imbalanced, damaging relationships can have serious consequences.
In addition, many relationships continue like this because there is mutual dependency. The parents raise the child, the center of their lives, to feel insecure and dependent.
Emotional Dependence Doesn’t Just Occur in Romantic Relationships: A Look at Social Relationships
People in this category need to be recognized by others in order to feel accepted. Maybe that’s why they spend so much time on other people’s problems. And forgetting their own problems. They try to increase their self-esteem by using outside sources.
This is how they extract meaning from life. They must be connected with others, to serve some purpose. Sacrificing oneself so that others are happy and thus making oneself happy. As we know, dependent people put their happiness in the hands of others.
In their social environment, emotionally dependent people are always preoccupied with the pleasure of others. This prevents them from being assertive enough.
And they end up wasting a lot of energy, both physically and emotionally, building relationships that let them down.
They don’t just want exclusivity from their partner, family or friends, but a combination of all three. They know no other way of dealing with the people who love them. Why do they do it like this? Because they think it means the other person cares about them.
Within the relationship
But what about them themselves? Emotionally dependent people seek out people who are authoritative, manipulative, and narcissistic. They are attracted to people who initially exude confidence, but later it turns out to be fake.
Emotional dependence is a difficult, unhappy way of life. And emotional dependence doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships. That is why it is important to detect it early and put an end to it. There are many reasons why a person can develop emotional dependence, and it is often confused with true love.
Pay attention to the warnings. Idealizing and placing other people above yourself takes you further away from the most important form of love there is, the kind that can end emotional dependence: self-love.