I don't know if you have had such an experience. For some people, perhaps your friends, family, lovers, or even pets, when they are doing well, although you are happy for them in your heart, there is a faint feeling of loss.
When they are not doing well and come to seek your help or comfort, although you feel sad or angry for them, there is a faint sense of intimacy in your heart that you are needed.
When others live their lives happily, we feel that we are not needed; When we live our lives happily, we may feel a sense of guilt in our hearts, vaguely feeling that we should not be happy because we feel that someone is unhappy because of our happiness.
This is a pathological interdependence where we take care of each other's unhappiness to prove that we are needed and valuable, and when we seek comfort elsewhere, we feel the need from someone to prove that we are needed, causing us to constantly argue against each other.
Although some people may seem uncomfortable with their friends constantly coming to complain about themselves, their family members being unable to quit certain addictive substances (such as drugs or alcohol), or complaining that their partner is like a child, miraculously, they are all inseparable from each other.
Although such a relationship feels painful and wants to end, there is no magic spell that keeps both parties stuck in this situation and unable to escape. In fact, this caregiver is also relying on others' reliance on him, which means he is also addicted to taking care of someone who needs him.
This pathological interdependence stems from the inability to separate independently, meaning that neither party has their own clear boundaries and believes that intimate relationships should be a form of bonding.
In fact, intimate relationships are a state that requires independent space. We all need independent space to accomplish what we should do and enjoy the freedom we should enjoy. However, when we are unable to separate independently, we mistake the bonding state for intimate relationships, and we control this bonding state because we must feel intimate through bonding.
It's like being caught by a demon god, thinking it's delicious food, but actually eating earthworms. We have been fed and dependent on unhealthy relationships, but in reality, what nourishes us is a poison that destroys ourselves and relationships.
If pathological interdependence is reflected in emotional relationships, it can lead to the following common situations:
1. I have been complaining about my boyfriend not being responsible, not doing his job well, and not being able to take care of himself, but I still take care of him.
She often complains about this matter with her sisters. When the sisters constantly persuade her to break up, she may make up her mind in an instant, but often her heart softens and recombines under the man's bitter pleadings.
When the sister learns the news of her reunion, she will say, 'No way, he really can't do without me.'. (Or any excuse, such as waiting for him to pay me back and I would break up with him, I'm afraid he won't pay me back after breaking up, etc.), and in the end, the sisters don't want to talk to her anymore.
When a partner has a new life or interest, the person involved will begin to feel uneasy, feeling as if they are no longer important in the other person's life, and even experiencing an unbalanced mood, believing that your happiness is not due to me.
If a partner is able to give themselves happiness, the person involved may start to find excuses or reasons to attack their partner, try to make them unhappy, or create a situation for themselves, attempting to draw their attention back to themselves.
3. When a partner's career or academic success appears very happy on the surface, but secretly feels that it is not a good feeling in the heart, due to the constraints of social morality and rational judgment, thinking that holding such a mood is very wrong, so they do not show it.
But when a partner fails or is discouraged, their mood suddenly improves because there is a feeling that the other person will not leave me or come back to me.
In order not to want the other party to leave, there is often a desire to criticize the other party in the bottom of my heart, but I do not admit it or even unconsciously. There are many forms and manifestations of pathological interdependence, and the above are just three common examples for everyone to understand. If we have a pathological interdependence, we often feel conflicted with our emotions and cannot understand why such illogical emotional states occur.
But in fact, the existence of these emotions is very reasonable, they only prove that at present, we are individuals who cannot be separated independently and cannot provide their own value.
The common interdependence in friendship is the need to constantly identify common enemies. They often say that we share a common enemy, and when we have a common enemy, the intimacy between us instantly increases, creating a sense of belonging to one country, most commonly seen in small groups during high school.
A characteristic of small groups is that we all need to be the same. This sense of belonging provides us with a sense of belonging, which in turn makes us feel valuable. So when the leader in a small group decides to create an enemy, others often follow up for this sense of value and belonging, otherwise they may face the dilemma of being different from us, so get lost. A small group is an obvious state of cohesion. Everyone in the group has no will to express his or her ideas freely, because the content of expression must conform to the hidden rules of the group.
In a group, we cannot freely feel our own feelings, because when our feelings are different from those of other members, we will fall into a dilemma. If we do not want to leave this group, we will have to stifle our true feelings; In a group, it is even difficult to have time and space for oneself.
When you have other arrangements and are often unable to act with other members, your relationship will naturally become estranged. Not to mention, if you want to go on a date, you are likely to directly face the pressure brought by other members, such as verbal attacks such as being a dog, having opposite sex and inhumane, having a woman and forgetting a brother, etc., which makes us feel at a loss in that situation.
Recognizing our own state is the first step towards breaking free from pathological interdependence and bonding. Only when we are aware of our own state can we try to break free.