Isn’t Dependency In A Relationship Bad…And How Do You Avoid It?

by Reid on February 7, 2016

lovely african american couple kissing at the harbourWe’re all taught that we should avoid dependency in a relationship, that codependency is bad. What can you do to avoid that?

Join relationship expert Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from as they share more about this topic.

Cathy: We’re all taught that we should avoid dependency in a relationship, that it’s bad, codependency is bad. What can you do to avoid that? This is Reid Mihalko from acting goofy as usual.

Reid: That’s one way, to scam away, just act goofy all the time. This is Cathy Vartuli from the

Cathy: Who obviously wasn’t smart enough to run several months ago.

Reid: Yes.

Cathy: Anyway in relationship, it’s easy to get dependent on someone that you’re around all the time, who’s picking up energy for you, taking care of things, relationships are really beautiful, they can be supportive, but there can also be dependency. Can you share …

Reid: What’s your definition of codependency, or someone, or something is too dependent?

Cathy: Relationships can be really supportive and that you have someone who was there to help pick up the slack, meet the cable guy. There’s …

Reid: The cable guy, yeah.

Cathy: Just because your mind is in the clutter, all of the sudden …

Reid: You install the cable, would you like the premium package? I’m sorry …

Cathy: Their support, but dependency is when you feel like if the other person disappeared or left, or that you can’t function without them. I know for my grandmother, she didn’t know how to drive for a lot of years. My grandfather would always drove. She was dependent on him, and then she learned to drive. There was a dependency she couldn’t get around without him.

I know some couples where one person in the couple knows where the finances are, pays all the bills and the other partner doesn’t know anything about that. There’s no way for them to take care of themselves or be educated about it. They might be emotionally dependent, or that person is always meeting the need, and they’re not learning to meet it themselves or they’re not having any place else that that can be met. To me that’s … I like, trying to be and not always succeed but trying to be pretty self sustaining and having several people I can get my needs met from..

Reid: Okay, you want my advice on this?

Cathy:Well, how do you avoid dependency in a relationship?

Reid: Okay, well what you’re talking about doesn’t sound like a codependent relationship. I’m not a therapist, nor do I appear on television. The dependency piece, the easiest solution is really to make sure to get clear about what your needs are, like the things you actually need to feel healthy, good about yourself, your own care and wellbeing, and make sure that you’re able to get those needs met from at least three to four different people in your life. Now, for those who are monogamous, the sexual piece is going to be … you should probably keep that to one  person if you’re monogamous, preferably the person you’re in a relationship with and have a monogamous agreement with. Your mileage may wary.

But the compliments, reassurance, social needs, the Maslow hierarchy of needs, that second tier of things where respect and confidence and appreciation have more than just your love relationship be part of the people that you go to for those needs because it will allow you to not burden the romantic relationship as much.

Cathy: Not putting all the weight on the relationship.

Reid: Sure. If you were a store owner, you would have several different places that you could market, you could get your vegetables from, not just one farmer’s market so that if they went under, you’re screwed. When you have a more diverse set of people helping you get your needs met, you’re healthier because it’s easier for you to get those needs met on a regular basis and you’re not so distraught if one or two of your friends kind of fall off the map for a little bit because they’re sick or they just got married or whatever. We all know our friends, they fall in love and then they’re gone.

Cathy: The new relationship energy.

Reid: Those when you have a community, a village where you’re getting those things met, you’re actually more robust and healthy person I think and you’re not burdening those, the one person who’s the end, the sole provider of something which can occur to them as a lot of stress and anxiety for them and then put you on kind of a strip wire of this head trigger, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, they’re leaving. I need them. I need them. I need them.” Which again is even harder on the other person. How can you diversify your emotional portfolio? Then also, please, if you start to get good at this, encourage your loved ones and your friends and families to have several people as well. It just works better for everybody when you do that.

Not that you can’t be in love, have all that new relationship energy and just want to cocoon up for a little bit but don’t cocoon up and forsake and have all the rest of your community fall away because when you come out of that cocoon, you need those people too.

Cathy: Yeah, absolutely. It can keep the relationship really healthy.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: Let us know what you think, what’s coming up for you or what you’ve experienced. Leave comments below.

Reid: Bye.

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