How can we know if we are emotionally dependent on our partner?

People who suffer from emotional dependence relate to their partners based on a pattern of behavior that involves behaviors such as:

  • Inability to make decisions on their own.
  • Abandonment of their own needs, norms and tastes, and adaptation to those of their partner.
  • Need for security from their partner through proof of love, appreciation and fidelity.
  • Difficulty in expressing one’s own needs.
  • Despair when the source of dependence moves away.
  • Abandonment of other relationships such as family or friends.
  • Extreme fear of abandonment.

The person suffering from emotional dependence lives trapped in a relationship that, deep down, should not continue. The price for maintaining this relationship ends with the person’s self-esteem and freedom to the point of giving up who he/she is in order to maintain the relationship.

Distinguishing emotional dependence from love

Relationships based on love are characterized by the freedom, communication, acceptance and respect that exist in the couple. People who relate based on love build relationships in which certain characteristics are present, among them:

  • The desires and needs of both are respected, respect for each other and for oneself.
  • No one stops being oneself for fear of abandonment.
  • There is respectful communication.
  • There is mutual admiration, accepting the other as he/she is.
  • There is a real commitment to the other person.
  • There are common life projects, but there must also be individual ones.

The emotions that are experienced in this type of relationship are joy, trust, acceptance…while in dependency relationships we live from fear, distrust, submission and insecurity.

Therefore, to know if we are in a relationship of love or a relationship of emotional dependence we must learn to identify if we move from freedom, acceptance and respect, or if we have stopped being ourselves in favor of maintaining the relationship for fear of abandonment or insecurity.

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How to end emotional dependence?

Emotional dependence decreases when we achieve:

  • Increase self-knowledge, that is, know who we are, what are our achievements, goals, needs, desires….
  • Social skills, such as putting into practice the defense of our assertive rights, increasing our skills when communicating and transmitting to others what our interests, needs, etc. are.
  • Increasing self-esteem, valuing our qualities, in front of ourselves and others.
  • Recognize our attachment style, how we relate and what are the qualities we need from a partner.

How can we manage emotional dependence on our partner?

Emotionally dependent people suffer, but so do people who are emotionally dependent on them. The continuous demands of demonstration of love and closeness, the sudden changes of behavior and emotional and isolation to which they sometimes submit their partners, wear the person out and end up undermining patience, self-esteem, social relationships outside the couple. This ends up destroying the healthy relationship based on love.

It is very important to take care of oneself, to respect one’s own space and time, to resume relationships that may have been lost along the way, to communicate to our partner the consequences that their behavior is having on us and, most importantly, to go to a specialist who can guide you and provide you with the necessary tools to achieve this.