What to do with the emotional dependence of the partner?

Although commonly people who do not suffer from it downplay the importance of depressive episodes related to the loss of love with a partner and pathological attachments, this issue is of utmost importance since it entails a deterioration of the emotional and behavioral life of the individual who suffers from it. .

From an emotional point of view, it implies a pathological relationship that persists for a long period of time, even for a lifetime. If the person or patient does not recognize that they suffer from ‘dependency personality disorder’, the therapeutic task, aimed at their emotional, cognitive and social restructuring , is impossible.

How to deal with emotional dependence and the importance of doing so

Considering the characteristics of emotional dependence on the partner, which goes through an excessive affective need and the loss of meaning of life without the other, it must be attended by professionals dedicated to the study of the human psyche.

Emotional dependence is a personality deviation from common human affective behaviors. For this reason, the disorder must be faced by a psychotherapist or a psychiatric professional , from a comprehensive point of view, which takes into account, apart from the behavioral, the psychodynamic, the affective and the cognitive aspects. Once the pathology has been recognized by the same patient, it is up to the specialist and close associates to start the treatment.

There are several clinical resources to treat this type of patient; from pharmacological treatments to behavioral therapies . Sometimes the use of drugs that tend to control emotional arousal and grief (anxiety and depression) is combined with specific psychotherapies, according to each particular case.

The affect-dependent person idealizes and considers the center of his life his partner. And if a break occurs, the subject does not take long to look for another person on whom to direct all his attention. It is possible that both members of the couple suffer from the disorder, although there may be a combination of a submissive dependent (usually the woman) and a dominant dependent (the man).

The vicious circle created between the lack of love and low self-esteem structures the factors so that the individual does not miss balanced relationships, but rather joins people to place them on a pedestal, granting them the status of saviors.

Of course, whoever feels that degree of dependence has a distorted idea of ​​love and what a relationship is. In addition, the other party, who accepts this type of dependence, tends to also have a blurred concept of the relationship , admitting submission and believing himself a subject of adoration.

In a relationship with these characteristics, vigilance is a recurring issue. The dependent individual will always want to know where the partner is, what their daily movements are and will insistently show the desire to share with her. In a relationship made up of a counterpart with a certain level of self-criticism, such a situation leads to a demand for living space, stress, and eventually divorce.

In couple relationships with dependence by submission and domination, whoever exercises dominance imposes his wishes on the other. But, paradoxically, the dominant can also be emotionally dependent, only that their control weapons are coercive, even reaching violence .

For the emotional dependent, his partner will always be above his family affections, his friends and professional and work desires. The couple is the center of all their attentions , above their own children.

It is extremely important to take charge of life, although the path is not always free of obstacles. Emotional dependents come from dysfunctional foster families . Lack of affection, accompanied by low self-esteem, influences people, deteriorating their interpersonal relationships.

The emotional dependent idealizes his partner as the relationship develops. The other is seen as invested with values ​​and superiority, which complement his existence.

All these characteristics describe conflictive relationships, although they seem very cohesive and happy to families and friends. The isolation that dominant emotional dependents seek becomes another obstacle to their approach, exposure and treatment.

Examples of emotional dependence on the partner

As has been explained, the examples of emotional dependence in the field of couples and love relationships are not easy to verify by third parties .

The gradual self-absorption of these couples and the complacency of both can prolong this type of dysfunctional relationship over time. In addition, it is common for their circle of friends to be very small.

Submission and domination can acquire, every time, greater weight, deriving in humiliations that are difficult to understand, although the fear of rupture and loneliness is greater.

If the experiential history of dependent people is analyzed, other stormy and pathological relationships are found , dating back to adolescence and from the beginning of adult life.

Dysfunctional dependency relationships are manifested, for example, between a dependent and an egomaniac individual , the corollary of which could manifest itself in states of complacency and end in contempt. That is, the egomaniac could reach the most extreme humiliation of his partner, making him submissive and dependent. Everything happens under a context of tolerance, because the fear of the breakdown of the relationship is higher.

The breakup panic generates anxiety and strengthens the degree of dependency. The individual acts in unlikely ways in order to preserve the partner. The reactions are very varied, but they all seek that the couple does not move away.

In this context, the fear of loneliness runs so deep that a breakup immediately leads to the dependent’s withdrawal syndrome. As with dependencies without toxic substances (gambling, for example), the person experiences anxiety, nervousness and fear of being alone.

A woman who does not admit criticism of her husband among her circle of family and friends can represent a sign that their relationship is not equal .

In conclusion

Emotional dependence for the guild of psychologists is a problem in the field of personality, which arises from an altered consciousness . The subject manifests a fixation of dependency that goes beyond what is reasonable. Desire and love are by no means negative feelings; but, in emotional dependents they are distorted.

This pathological emotional intensity described above cannot lead to a healthy couple relationship. The criteria that specialists follow to diagnose this personality alteration are based on transformations of cognition , affectivity, the control of impulses and interpersonal life.

These ways of acting are persistent, show little or no flexibility, cover many personal and social settings. In general, they extend throughout life and start early. They are not usually associated with the consumption of toxic substances or physical pathologies.

As in other personality disorders, emotional dependence must be located along the lines of an adaptive type disorder linked , in this case, with the interpersonal dimension. Moderate emotional dependence is regularly verified as a healthy feeling, and even a necessary one, since the love of a couple implies a certain level of selfless dedication. Like non-exaggerated self-esteem, it is an aspect of the personality that favors interpersonal communication.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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