Relationship Problems: Yours, Mine, Ours? Part VI
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. So when we think that fixing someone will fix ourselves, we set ourselves up for a disaster.
When we think about being loyal and committed to being a problem solver, this only leads to you putting on a mask and hiding your true self and pain. You say no to you and you say yes to the problem person by trying to fix them versus trying to fix you. We then become unacceptable to ourselves and our pain by hiding our true self convinced that if anyone truly knew us, they would abandon us.
Thus we give due to our fear of abandonment. In our past, we have experienced abandonment and rejection from our parents or our family or origin. We know this pain of being alone and being hurt by our family and experiencing the pain of abandonment and rejection. Avoiding anger and avoiding being alone is our highest goal. So we will try to fix and please others through our codependent ways as a strategy to not experience angry and not be alone.
Our fear abandonment then fuels our thinking and our strategy to be codependent in our behavior as we seek to do everything in our own power to become so valuable or important that others will not leave us. People not leaving us means that if I can prove to you how important or valuable I am, than you will not minimize me, dismiss me, or reject me as you start to notice that you do need me and I am valuable and important. The problem is this: You are asking a person with many problems to affirm your self-worth. Your self-worth is defined by trying and trying to get someone else to notice you so that you do not get abandoned, rejected or misplaced.
Therefore our role as a codependent is based upon proving to others that I am important based upon what I can do for you. My power and my self-worth is based upon making sure you will not leave me. So if you drink and get angry, and in your anger and drinking you threaten to leave me, than I must think of strategies to keep you near me so that you can notice that I am of worth and importance in your life. So if you are angry, what can I do to make sure you are not angry; if you drink, what can I do to make sure you do not drink. My decisions and my ways are focused on you with the hope that my ways will please you and keep you close to me so that I will not be rejected nor abandoned. Being valuable is more important than being alone. Putting up with your anger and drinking is far more important than being alone.
Can you notice in your life how much of your behavior is based upon making sure you avoid being abandoned or being rejected? Can you notice that your self-worth and your self-value comes from fixing someone else versus taking care of you?