I was eighteen when I met my husband. We were in college, living in the same dorm, on the same floor. I am in my thirties now, and we have had over thirteen amazing years together. Before I continue with this post, I must say, I feel very fortunate to have met him at such a young age. We are blessed with extra years with one another and have grown together in ways I never expected. I thank god and am grateful for him EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
When I went to college and moved from my parents home, I was expected to gain a lot of independence, which in many ways, I did. However, since I quickly became involved with someone living so close in proximity to me, it was easy for me to rely on my boyfriend (now husband), to help me with things like cooking dinner, driving me to run errands, and extra security. If something was broken I could easily ask him to fix it rather than figure it out myself. Fast forward over a decade later and this still happens day to day.
I pride myself in being a very capable and resourceful person, therefore, I consider myself to be pretty independent. However, about a year ago it came to my attention I rely on my husband for things I should be taking care of myself. I did this quite often, concluding I may not be as independent as I thought. I am not surprised, after all, I have always had someone very close to me to lean on and take care of me.
In recognizing my dependence, I found a couple of truths. One being, it is especially easy to expect him to do things that for me seem either boring or overwhelming. Not tackling these matters myself only hurts me, as I am either not facing my fears or not dealing with the monotonous parts of life, we all have to accept.
The other is, I count on him to do things as a form of togetherness. My subconscious perceives if I rely on him to take care of things for me, it will bond us. When in reality pushing for any form of togetherness causes more distance, as it is forced and not natural.
Keeping these things in mind, I now accomplish more things on my own which in the past I would have wanted my husband to handle. Not only do I feel confident and happy with myself, but received extra support and excitement from my husband. It’s not always easy to differentiate self in any relationship, but it sure is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and happy relationship.
Below are a few articles related to establishing independence to help, when you find yourself a little too codependent.
- How To End Your Dependence On Other People (Think Simple Now)*
- Ending Co-Dependency In Relationships: Find & Live Who You Really Are (Tinny Buddha)
- How to Stop Depending on Others and Take Control of Your Lifestyle (Lifestyle Updated)
- Is Independence The Key To Happiness? (Oprah)
- 6 Ways to Become More Independent, Less Codependent (Psych Central)