Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Seeing your significant other as the answer to everything in your life (your best friend, your lover, your parental figure, mentor, companion, helper, comforter, confidant, your happiness, and your entertainment, for example) can be a lot of pressure for that person! It can even seem like an overwhelming burden and, in some instances, an impossible task. Complete dependence on your partner is an enmeshed relationship.
An enmeshed relationship is where each partner gets mixed up in his or her partner’s emotion. There are no clear boundaries, defining each other’s emotional worlds. The partners prop each other up, rather than letting them experience and work through their emotions in a healthy way. The partners are not taking responsibility for their behaviours, acting in the here and now as adults from a state of presence (resting in your natural loving state rather than in a state of fear).
The couple takes care of each other as an adult would take care of a child. There is often an expectation that the other person will make you “feel loved,” rather than knowing and feeling that you are already loved. As I said before, any love from your partner is a bonus and not a necessity. When we have to have another’s persons love to feel whole or complete, this can make us needy or clingy, expecting our partner to fulfill unmet needs.
When your partner’s love is a bonus to you—you want it but don’t need it—your relationship will be lighter and freer as your energy isn’t being drained to prop each other up. Instead, your energy is used to co-create a beautiful life together. Life is slower and heavier if either one of you is trying to live your life and control your partner’s too!
When you meet your partner halfway, your life becomes more buoyant and fun. Instead of trying to fulfill each other’s needs, you are taking care of your emotional needs, leaving you free to enjoy each other’s love. Of course, this is a journey to grow with our partners, and, over time, achieve emotional strength and stability.
When we are trying to fill each other’s holes or areas where we don’t feel whole and secure, we keep each other weak. However, if we support each other in helping ourselves on the journey to wholeness, we create an emotional foundation that is secure and stable.
Developing the skills to master our emotional world, while “holding the space” to facilitate our partner mastering theirs allows to become fully functioning adults. Independent yet connected in a loving, healthy way.
And stand together yet not too near together
For the pillars of the temple stand apart
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other’s shadow.
~ Kahlil Gibran
To discover more about relationships see: Love Now eCourse