If you have been to a wedding at any point, you are bound to hear the officiant detail what love is. Patient. Kind. Hopes for good things. Never fails. Sounds wonderful, right? Now that we all know what love is, what isn’t it?
Exceptions exist for every situation. But if you have been in a relationship, it’s very possible that you have seen some tough times with your partner. Finances get tricky, children leave little time for a love affair and the loss of one’s health can be devastating. The good news is that even in these scenarios, good love can withstand these things. You and your partner can pull together to make a budget that doesn’t leave you feeling broke. Trustworthy family can step in for an occasional date night with each other. You can be the arms that are nurturing your ill spouse back to health. That’s love. What if you take these same circumstances with different outcomes? Your partner continues to spend and demands that you figure out how to make it work? One of you is more attached to your children than you are to your spouse and avoids making time to make your love work? And those marriage vows about the “in sickness” part was for someone else to deal with, not you?
The One Word Difference Between Love and Codependency is CHAOS…
Codependency is defined as an emotional and behavioral state that can affect a person’s ability to participate in a reciprocally healthy and satisfying relationship. To maintain a relationship, there is an unhealthy reliance upon the other person to meet the needs of their partner. This one-sided “exchange” leads to destructive, emotional damage and oftentimes abuse. Chaos is much the same. It is a disordered and dysfunctional state that invades healthy situations with its unpredictability and upset. There is no clear way to respond to chaos because of its ever-changing behavior. And much like codependency, chaos expects for you to “roll with it,” or “get over it” and adjust to its new asks.
Most of us want to be loved and want to be involved in the goodness of what love brings. What does love bring? A sense of peace, fulfillment, motivation, contentment and even good physical health and life longevity. Codependency (chaos) is a subtractor. It doesn’t add qualities of joy, serenity or long life because it focuses on what it can take from you. Are you in a codependent relationship? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is saying no to your partner’s demands for time, money, sex or your energy difficult to do?
- Is your sense of well-being attached to being self-sacrificing to your partner’s needs?
- Do you make excuses for your partner’s lack of responsibility, such as addiction, legal troubles or financial negligence?
- Do you ever feel trapped in your relationship with your partner?
- Have you trained yourself to avoid conflict with your partner because the arguments tend to escalate to levels that feel unbearable for you to handle?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please seek help from a qualified professional to ensure that you are safe, can learn how to use your voice to be empowered and gain the courage to become a healthy you, unapologetically.
Good love, quite simply, is good. Codependency is a cry for a better understanding on how to break the cycle of accepting another person’s poor behaviors at the expense of yourself. Get to what you deserve and make a break from the damage of chaos and pain. You are worth it.