For him, he feels anxious when she chooses the social company of others.That she sometimes wants social time without him feels like a major threat.If you’re not codependent, it’s difficult to relate to the mindset.If you’re not codependent, you like yourself enough and you trust that you will always have a partner who’s there to love you.(And that’s a lot.) Codependence – which I’ll define in a moment – is one of the biggest problems people have in relationships, and it always leads to a breakup or festering resentment on both sides.
Put another way, I see codependence as frequently as, say, Jennifer Lopez sees bronzer when she looks in her makeup bag.
Yet codependence today refers to something broader, where a person loves another and loses himself or herself along the way in the effort to stay fused. Though many of the rules are often unspoken, both members of a codependent couple are keenly aware of what is and what is not allowed in the relationship.
The codependent mindset says, ‘Let’s do everything together and be all things for each other so that we never, ever end up alone.’ High stakes, right? I see a couple in my practice who always manages to fight about the same thing: She wants to meet friends for drinks after work for happy hour, but he wants her to invite him or to hang out at home with him instead.
On the surface, he acts angry and bothered, and he shuts down or picks fights. He is afraid that her spending time with others will take her away from him – for a few hours in this instance, but potentially forever if she were to meet someone else who replaces him.
Codependence is a terrible existence because so much anxiety bubbles under the surface.Accordingly, you would never worry if your partner was doing a regular happy hour with co-workers because you trust that your partner will keep coming back to you because 1) the love is real, and 2) you’re simply worth coming back to.