Emotional Dependency in Relationships
It’s normal to turn to your partner for his/her support. It’s normal to look for guidance and emotional support.
Emotional dependency goes above the point of support. You should not depend on your partner to meet ALL your emotional needs. If you are doing that, you are risking your relationship – People tend to “wake up” and learn that THEIR needs are not being met and they are emotionally drained.
What you should strive for is INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIP – when you both meet in the middle or take turns to soothe and support each other. In other words, it’s OK to need emotional support for SOME of your emotional needs – not all of them.
Emotional dependency means that you are relying on your partner to soothe you when in distress BEFORE you try to exercise SELF-SOOTHING.
If you feel that “You can’t live without your partner or their emotional support” it might mean that your relationship has become unbalanced and unhealthy.
Here are some of the symptoms/signs of emotional dependency in a relationship:
– You believe your partner is more emotionally balanced than you – and you idealize them
– You believe you cannot be happy alone (“I don’t want to break up – do you?”
– You believe your life will be nothing without them
– You need constant reassurance “Do you love me?”
– You feel anxious when alone
– You have a fear of being alone
– You have a fear of being rejected (“Am I bothering you?”)
– You may be overly jealous and obsessed with the person
– You might not even trust your partner has real feelings for you (“Do you REALLY want to spend time with me?”
– You might be overlooking your emotional needs to prioritize your partner’s
– You might have feelings o insecurity
– You might have self-doubt
– You might need approval to feel good about yourself
– It all can be coming from a deep fear of abandonment
– You might be trying to control your partner’s behaviors
– You might have a pattern of failed relationships
– You may feel high levels of stress and emotional distress (Changes in mood, bursts of crying, depression, anxiety, tension, headaches, stomach pain, etc.)
– You might not be taking care of yourself as well
How to overcome emotional dependency?
A. First you need to come to terms that is a trait you have.
B. Then you must start paying attention to your triggers – what makes you feel the need for emotional support?
C. Then, look for help – either from a therapist or books. You can take action to address the issue, starting with:
1. Identifying your emotions
2. Identifying your emotional need
3. Being comfortable with your emotions (remember that emotions come and go)
4. Learn to show up for yourself – have a list of self-soothing techniques that helps you: deep breathing/meditation, warm bath, walking (in nature), spending time on your own (drawing, singing, cooking, etc.)
5. Spending time with friends alone
6. Self-care: Do what YOU enjoy doing for yourself
7. Learn to relax – using breathing and relaxation techniques
The goal to overcome emotional dependence is to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, develop self-compassion, and manage automatic negative thoughts (ANT’s).
If you are dealing with emotional dependence, call us (813) 530-5180 at Tampa Therapy and Wellness and talk to one of our therapists.