Is It Bad To Be Codependent?

Have you ever wondered whether you are too dependent on your partner? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines codependency as “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (such as an addiction to alcohol or heroin)” or “broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another”. Of course it is bad to be codependent based upon the first definition; the broad definition is where I believe many people run into trouble.

Codependent is a misleading and often misinterpreted word. I have seen numerous posts on social media basically referring to any relationship where you’re “co-depend” on one another as toxic…that we should have everything in our life together and figured out before we even try looking for someone to date. This thinking is not only a misinterpretation of the word, it is toxic itself.

If you’re waiting until you have everything together and not going to bring any baggage or negative energy into a relationship before you look for one, you’re either going to die single or you’re a liar. No one is perfect. Everyone brings negativity into relationships. Of course if that’s all you’re bringing, that’s a problem. But my fear is that many people buy this lie that we should have everything figured out before we jump or that our partner shouldn’t have any issues.

This attitude breeds a toxic idea that will consume any relationship. If your expectation is that you or your partner should have all their shit together, shame and judgement are going to run rampant in your relationship. Worse, it eliminates the possibility of real love and turns marriage into a conditional contract, ripped up anytime either person makes any major mistakes (which is undoubtedly going to happen because both people are flawed humans).

If you don’t depend on anyone for anything, you are the one with the problem. Humans are built to rely on one another in community. We do need each other. Any healthy relationship is co-dependent in terms of each person relying on the other for some of their needs. A healthy marriage is one of give and take, sharing responsibilities, sacrificing, and putting their needs in front of your own (as long as these are healthy needs).

Being codependent in this way is not weak…it is love. This toxic view that you’re weak or broken or disqualified from a relationship because you are going to “need” or rely on something from that other person is prideful, arrogant, and selfish to its core. Unfortunately, this self-reliance on steroids is killing people’s chance for happiness and love.

The Streets of Love – A Poem

11482410_72d91bccf1

The Streets of Love – A Poem

Somewhere in the depths of solitude
There’s a searching, a seeking,
An endless pursuit for meaning
Among the daily rendezvous with silence
And the lonely morning hangovers
From drinking too many shots of unrequited love
The night before.
There’s Tylenol for a headache,
but what do I give my heart?
How do I treat this pain
From parading down Main Street
Putting on my best show every night,
Yet only performing to empty streets
And vacant sidewalks?

Once upon a time I wished upon stars
But the veil of darkness has smothered their glow.
Night is now a cosmic sea of black waters galaxies deep.
No longer is hope revived after hours of sleep,
But staggers out of bed like a wounded soldier
With an ailment that has gone untreated.
My hope is not yet defeated,
But is down to its last stand
And is backed into a corner of surrender.

Somehow it seems my time has passed.
I feel like the school boy who wakes up late
And misses the bus, sprinting out just in time
To see it carry his classmates away.
I stayed at home the day the rest mingled and played,
Discovering their partners.
Love has swished me around in its gullet on more than one occasion,
But refuses to swallow, hacking me up and spitting me out again
To wallow in the remnants of its saliva and digestion.
Is my taste not sweet enough?
Or am I missing some tang?
My heart is burdened by the pangs of rejection.

I do not need another to define me,
But my masculine desires rage within my loins
And seek fulfillment and release.
Until this need is satisfied
I am afraid inner peace is out of reach.
Naked. Starving. Ravenous.
My hunger feasts upon my thoughts.

I am lost in this lonely night
And trek across the land
Hoping to find another unfortunate soul like mine.
I yearn for intimacy –
To taste a feminine spirit and savor her juices on my tongue.
But now I lie among the vagabonds and migrant drifters
With endless winters that leave me without shelter and cold,
Shuffling alone through sleepy towns and foreign lands
Searching for a home wherever I can find it.

But cardboard boxes and bridge overpasses
Are no place for relief and asylum
From the weather of the world.
There is still faith that one day I can unpack my suitcase
For the last time and warm myself
By the hearth of another’s heart.
But until then I remain homeless –
A hopeless romantic just trying to survive
Living on the streets of love.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


photo credit: via dei funari 2 via photopin (license)