In therapy we often talk about the balance of autonomy and togetherness. We discuss the importance of having an identity outside of a partner so we avoid codependency and so we thrive as the individuals we are.
Unfortunately, there are times when an individual becomes fearful that if they give too much space the other person won’t realize they “need” them. Togetherness becomes saturated and autonomy starts to suffer. Fear of loss, abandonment, and loneliness can push a relationship system into codependency. It demands that togetherness is necessary in order for the relationship to be safe.
This is unhealthy.
Part of loving someone is giving them the space they need in order to maintain a relationship with themselves. Read that again. Part of loving someone is allowing them to exist outside of you and have a life that is both full with you and full without you present.
Manipulating a dynamic (whether consciously or not) to have someone codependent with you extinguishes both a healthy love and desire.
Healthy love trusts that in the space love and desire grows (not shrinks). It trusts that a person will return to togetherness. And even when trust isn’t as strong, healthy love still knows that controlling togetherness doesn’t actually make it real. As painful as it may be at times, love also allows the other person to be in charge of their decision to return or to go. Scary, I know, but necessary nonetheless. Be the moon and the sun…especially today. #mindfulmft
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