In a codependent relationship, obsessive love can trump a healthy, balanced partnership. Often times, the individual who exhibits codependent tendencies may protect his or her own feelings by becoming love avoidant. The irony is that as this individual emotionally withdraws to protect her own feelings, she will go to great lengths to win her partners approval. If you feel that your relationship is unhealthy, a good first step is to examine it for signs of obsession.
Your own feelings are the most important component in evaluating your relationship. You are the most qualified person to tell if your love is healthy or not. Even people who do not have love avoidant or obsessive tendencies can have codependent aspects in their relationships. The difference is the degree of codependency; in healthy relationships, partners learn to adapt to each other without sacrificing their own emotional needs.
A common characteristic of codependents is they often had family problems as children, and have carried their emotional experiences into adult relationships. These experiences can make a person love avoidant, because the type of love they know is painful. The feelings of pain associated with this unhealthy “love” can cause individuals to create emotional barriers while feeling the desire to maintain control, which can become ingrained in a person throughout his or her adult life. People who develop these behaviors may experience low self-esteem or self-loathing. Ironically, while the need for constant validation drives destructive behavior and makes it virtually impossible to conduct a healthy relationship, the same need for validation keeps codependents constantly in relationships, even after they become unhealthy. It becomes a downward spiral of harmful relationships until the root of the problem is addressed.
Maybe someone has told you before that you are self-destructive. You may need to conduct a self-evaluation to determine if they are right. If you are indeed self-destructive, you likely avoid healthy relationships because you feel unworthy, exhibiting love avoidant characteristics. Fear of abandonment is familiar, and you pursue relationships that you believe will not last. You also may work too hard to please, while trying to control. A codependent person may become stuck in a cycle of unhealthy relationships, due to their belief that they are not worthy of love and that everyone will eventually leave.
A codependent relationship is partially characterized by the expectation of reciprocation. You give not for your partner’s sake, but because you expect gratitude and rewards in return. This sets up a pattern of conditional love. While most people view this as wrong, to a love avoidant person, all love is conditional because they feel unworthy of unconditional love. This is a form of self-sabotage, because you create a cycle of expectations that cannot be met, followed by self-loathing when they aren’t fulfilled.
If you find yourself exhibiting these irrational thoughts and behaviors, you probably also continually find yourself in love avoidant relationships where true love cannot blossom. If you notice this pattern in yourself, you should consider seeking professional help to get to the root of the issue. Once you understand why you repeat the same relationship problems, you can begin to have healthy relationships without obsessive or conditional love.
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Source by William G. Heart