Relationship Problems: Yours, Mine, Ours? Part V

Greetings. Welcome to my post. My hope and desire is that you will find these posts to be informative and helpful for you. Life is a journey filled with mountains and valleys in our relational life and in our personal life. Sometimes we can predict and make something happen. But sometimes we can never predict an event or relationship difficulty and we need to adjust and cope with these curve balls. At times life can be great but as you know, life can also be difficult and challenging.

One of the biggest difficulties and challenges is when you find you are in a relationship with someone who has a problem. Now we all have spiritual, emotional and relational problems. That is a given. The challenge is when you are with someone who has problems and you falsely conclude it is your role or job to try to fix that problem. But do you address the problem or do you address the person? Far too often, we choose the person by trying to fix or correct that person with that problem.

As you know, if someone has a problem, we try and fix the person and their feelings so we can find a way to keep the relationship going. We know deep down that someone’s pain and problem is affecting us negatively, but we will stay or be loyal to a relationship and person to avoid being alone. The statement is true: a bad relationship is better than no relationship. We will fear being alone and in isolation from others as we know the pain that comes from feeling rejected, abandoned, or all alone is worse than an abusive relationship. Being all alone can lead to feeling all bad, shame, low self-esteem and low self-worth.

But staying and remaining loyal to someone as a codependent is not good. Often times staying and remaining in bad relationships results in being extremely loyal but also feeling extremely insecure as a codependent to someone that is not good for us. We conclude this type of codependent relationship is chaotic and not healthy for us but if this is all we ever know, then we will put up with it and conclude this is as good as it gets. But the problem is our own feelings as they continue to creep up inside of us sensing we do feel insecure and shameful inside. So we are in conflict as codependent: Should I stay or should I go?

Feeling insecure and feeling shame then becomes our pattern and we conclude this is normal and familiar. Our loyal commitment to someone does not serve us well and we remain committed beyond what we should, when it would serve us well to not remain so loyal and feel so insecure. But this is what codependents do: they stay loyal to a person and a problem far too long when in their best interest, it would be healthy to set some boundaries and stop this pattern of remaining so loyal to the person and problem that we end up feeling insecure. We will trade in our own feelings for the sake of being loyal and we will conclude being insecure is our only option given we do not want to be alone.

But remaining loyal to someone who is mean, angry, and hurtful to us is not working. Sure, we will tolerate bad people and bad feelings for the sake of feeling secure and to keep on trying to fix the person hoping that maybe someday that person will change and our insecurity will go away. But our loyalty does not serve us well, and trying to fix someone else only results in feeling defeated, insecure and concluding that a bad relationship is better than no relationship. The challenge for all of us is to evaluate our loyalty to someone and problems and ask this question: Is helping you helping me? Does all my giving and remaining committed and loyal to you really the solution? Does fixing someone else by remaining loyal changing anything or is it only leading to further pain and insecurity for me?