Goodbye emotional dependence; hello emotional autonomy

In his book The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm reflects on the difficulties we face in relationships, among other reasons why we don’t view loving as an action (an art, according to him) that requires prior learning).

We get caught up in torturous and toxic relationships that end up producing more pain than well-being because no one has ever taught us how to behave as a couple. How to deal with the whirlwind of emotions our bodies generate when we fall in love, How to give space to the other when what you want the most is to be by your side 24 hours a day, how to manage the fear of breaking up or deception … in short, how to get there to love healthily, not foolishly how he teaches us what we have to do with society.

It is enough to take a few random songs to realize that the messages we are receiving about love are extremely harmful, and apologize for the dependent, symbiotic and sick love. If we take for example The Police’s song “Every Step You Take” and read it instead of singing it – we’ll likely be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder or labeled as stalkers:

Every day every word you say

Every game you play

Every night you stay

I will watch you

Can’t you see you belong to me?

How does my poor heart hurt with every step you take?

Emotional dependence and pathological loves

Whereas Hollywood movies, books or television series also promote this pathological love, it is normal to find yourself embroiled in insane behaviors of affection and dependence which take away all the meaning of being in a relationship. We must aspire to free love, for our psychological health and that of our partner, and because the only way to be happy is to let go of fear.

Relationships evolve in the realm of uncertainty, and not accepting or wanting to see this reality inevitably leads us to fear, pain and frustration, trying to control the uncontrollable. If we are to enjoy our loved one healthily, we must be prepared to lose them, no matter how much that thought hurts us.

Affective dependance

Affective dependence is not an “excess of love” but an excess of fear. It is an addiction to which the individual literally feels unable to live without the other (which is also well seen in our society, we have all heard phrases like “you are everything to me”, “I don’t know. not what I would do without you “,” without you I am nothing … “) and has all the components of any other substance addiction: urgency to” consume “our love drug, withdrawal syndrome when we are without, irritability, compulsiveness, feeling of misunderstanding around us, stop doing the things we liked before to be alone with our “drug”.

seconds Walter RisoThe central schema of all affection is emotional immaturity, understood as “a naive and intolerant outlook towards certain life situations, which are generally uncomfortable or aversive”. The most prominent manifestations of emotional immaturity related to affective inclination are said to be low thresholds for suffering, low tolerance for frustration, and the illusion of permanence, i.e. inability and imagination to the end of the relationship. The emotionally immature person (who may be mature in other areas of their life) needs the care of their loved one just like a mother’s child. Without her protective figure, she feels lost, scared and unprotected.

How to learn to love healthily?

The first step is to be aware of loving it as a verb and not as a noun, As action and not as feeling or thought. Loving is a behavior we adopt when we take actions that affect the well-being of others, when we rejoice in their successes, when we respect their motives, when we give them space to grow.

As we tend to be more focused on being loved than on loving, we live by waiting for our partner’s manifestations of love or their absence. It’s totally unproductive because we can’t put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and behave in a way that meets our expectations. It is advisable to abandon receptive guidance and start to be proactive.

Instead of complaining because our partner is not affectionate, it is us who initiate the process, instead of complaining because she is not a reseller, we have some details with her. Basically the best way to start receiving is to start giving.

To begin to heal our relationship, we need to get rid of the old pseudo-love patterns that many incorporate that keep us from enjoying relationships in their fullness. Move from emotional dependence to emotional autonomy.

Achieve emotional autonomy

What is sought with emotional autonomy is not indifference or coldness, but a healthy way to communicate in an independent, non-possessive and non-addictive manner.

Autonomy promotes anti-tip systems and produces healthier relationships, as well as greater individual well-being. Self-employed people gain self-confidence when they see that they don’t need someone to solve their problems, thus increasing their sense of self-efficacy and therefore their self-esteem. They become more mature emotionally and cope better with loneliness, losing fear.

It pays to learn to enjoy the time we spend alone as well as the time we spend with the couple., And not to remain in a mummified state every time we parted ways with her until we see her again. Maintain the life that is beyond the couple: their own space, their own friends, their hobbies, their moments of solitude. In a relationship, it is much healthier to miss than to “throw too much”.

We don’t have to be weak to be loved. If the couple love us in a healthy way, they will be ready to help us develop an independent personality, which doesn’t mean we want her less, but we want her better. People who have found their calling and their own way of life become immune to emotional dependence. The most positive thing is to focus on cultivating and taking charge of other areas of our life. The key is always in balance.

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