On emotional dependence

On emotional dependence

Emotionally dependent relationships are toxic and based on constant conflict. In these relationships, one partner, the emotionally dependent partner, puts aside his or her own needs in order to attend to those of the other partner. Little by little, he or she ceases to be himself or herself. On many occasions, the emotionally dependent person is the object of manipulation and psychological aggression on the part of the other person, which can go as far as physical abuse. 

Emotional dependence is overcome like any other addiction. To begin with, the emotionally dependent person, whether they have left the relationship or have been dumped, must break off all contact with their ex-partner. This is known as zero contact and not only consists of not responding to messages or calls from the other person, but goes further, starting with blocking them on all social networks: WhatsApp, telephone, email and other applications. We can make an inventory of what hurt us during the relationship and why we have decided not to continue. In this way, we will have a good reminder when the mind assaults us with memories that make us nostalgic. 

The aim is to think about our ex-partner as little as possible, so it is advisable not to hear from him or her. In this sense, it is recommended not to talk about him or her with friends or family and, if necessary, to tell mutual friends not to talk about him or her. Even if we think that we will not be able to bear it, the truth is that we will feel better and better. Thoughts of him or her will assail us and we will become distressed, as happens when we stop using any chemical substance. However, we must remember that the distress will pass. 

Little by little these thoughts will fade away and we will feel better and better. Of course, counselling is highly recommended. There are also help groups, among which CODA (Codependents Anonymous, https://www.divulgacioncoda.org), based on the twelve-step programme for treating addictions, is world-renowned and totally free of charge. 

Staying in such traumatic relationships causes psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and physical disorders, such as stomach and skin diseases. Remember that these situations, although painful, are a window of opportunity to at least a healthier life. Protect yourself.