What do you consider an ideal relationship? Maybe you’re thinking of a wonderful, lifetime relationship with the person most important to you? A close connection with someone whom you trust to have your back for the long haul? That kind of relationship that gives you the freedom to be yourselves while supporting your growth both as individuals and as a couple?
A Healthy Relationship
Have you ever wished you had a healthy relationship like that?
Interdependence is important to a healthy relationship. It entails a balance of self and others in the relationship. Partners value the bond that they share while maintaining a solid sense of self.
In an interdependent relationship, the partners recognize that they are both working to fulfill each other’s needs. They feel secure and confident that they are not alone in the relationship, and they have each other to rely on in times of need, without losing their self-esteem or self-worth.
How can you and your partner make your relationship less codependent and more interdependent?
Strategies for Interdependence
1. Work on yourself continuously.
The secret to a healthy, interdependent relationship is having partners with a strong sense of self. Keep on building up the different aspects of your life – professional, social, spiritual, etc. This will help you become a happier and more well-rounded person and may lead to improved passion and intimacy in your relationship.
2. Spend time with family and friends.
Having regular dates with family or friends without your partner will make both of you realize that you don’t have to do everything together and that it’s fine to approach other people for advice or support.
3. Maintain healthy communication.
Healthy communication entails actively listening without interrupting and letting them explain first without making any conclusions or judgments. When you allow each other to express your opinions and emotions, it builds openness and respect in your relationship.
4. Get real.
You should be able to get real about any fears or doubts that may arise. Codependency usually entails a lack of trust or low self-esteem. Hence, expressing vulnerability, being able to honestly talk about it, and identifying where it’s coming from will help deepen your relationship.
5. Take a break.
If you or your partner is showing some codependent behaviors, you can take a break and give each other some space. Just make sure the purpose is clear to both of you. This will give you and your partner the time to calm down and take things into perspective. Be patient and gentle with each other. Eventually, you should be able to resolve this and come back stronger than ever.
6. Set long-term goals.
A healthy, interdependent relationship is not looking for temporary or short-lived satisfaction that comes from one partner. Instead, setting long-term goals shows that you’re both committed to the relationship and mutually working to achieve a brighter future.
Certainly, healthy relationships don’t happen overnight; they are not instantly created with a magic wand or spell. They need partners who have wholeheartedly agreed to work together… like a pair of feet going through a long, exciting journey to reach the destination.
And when you do get there, you’ll know it’s all worth it!
Jessica Baum is a licensed and experienced relationship therapist in Palm Beach County, specializing in codependency and love addiction. To learn more about love addiction or to book an appointment, please feel free to call her at 1-800-274-8106.