Recently I have been obsessed with the podcast “Rise Together” created by Rachel&Dave Hollis. In this podcast they talk about how they have made their relationship exceptional while having busy lives and raising four children. They often talk about co-dependency in a relationship and how it can be detrimental.
Kirk and I were definitely co-dependent in the beginning. We were both insecure and only ever went somewhere if it was with each other. But through the years we have come to the realization that we both have to lead our own lives and that being independent of one another actually makes a relationship stronger, not the opposite.
If you are right now struggling with co-dependency with either your boyfriend/girlfriend, your fiancée or your spouse here are four ways we make sure we are independent of one another.
Side note: I wanted to do this blog post because my life is so very different from Rachel and Dave Hollis’. They have been married for a very long time and have four children plus they travel the world. Kirk and I have been dating for 6 and a half years, do not have children and have no desire to travel the world. I feel like this perspective may speak to other couples who are in a similar situation to us.
1) We allow each other to go out with friends. We do not hold grudges when the other goes out with their friends (same or opposite sex) and we also do not berate the other if they drink with their friends. It was not always this way. Before Kirk I was in a highly abusive relationship where the guy would never tell me where he was, and would often cheat on me. This caused me to be very insecure to a point where I needed to know where Kirk was at all times and would often not allow him to be with his friends. This made our relationship toxic. I would like to say that we came to be the way we are now through some huge conversation, but what really fixed it is we went away to different schools that were over 2 hours away from each other so we had to either cope with it or break up. We decided to cope.
2) We do not text each other when we are out with friends. I find that when we are constantly texting each other we are not focusing on the people in front of us, and this can often lead to resentment. We do, however, call each other if there is something important. There is an unspoken agreement between us that we do not *have* to respond to texts but we do have to pick up the phone when the other calls. But the other can ONLY call if it is important.
3) We allow each other to grow. We do not hinder the other’s personal growth. Kirk does not hold it against me if I want to do some personal development or get a workout in when I could be spending time with him. I don’t hold it against him if he wants to do something that will help him grow as a person because if we are growing as individuals we are also growing as a couple.
4) We never, ever look at the other’s phones when the other is not around. That is a sign of distrust and can lead to arguments and often resentment. We trust the each other wholeheartedly and we know that if one of us wants the other to see something they will show them.
I hope these tips are helpful. I know how it can be when you are breaking the co-dependency within a relationship, but I promise you .. you will come out the other side stronger than ever !