Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Kind of Relationship Do I Have?

What kind of relationship do I have? There are different types of attachments that partners tend toward in relationships.

Dependent: partners may become enmeshed within the relationship and with one another, losing their individuality in the process and making their lives smaller. Dependent partners bring little new life to the relationship and may gradually become like a sponge, absorbing energy and vitality from the relationship and giving little in return. Dependent partners may be frightened of individual growth and may try to prevent it within themselves and their partner, thereby suffocating both their partner and the relationship in the process.

Independent: partners may not form attachments properly in independent relationships... they may live separate lives focused mainly on their own pursuits, interests and achievements. The relationship may be for status, financial reasons, or to have the correct partner for social functions. Rarely is there a significant amount of emotional intimacy between the two. The relationship may not foster attachment and may dissolve if one of the partners becomes emotionally involved with another party.

Codependent: the partnership may be unbalanced... with one of the partners needs dominating the relationship and the other partner functioning as one who services the needs of the other. Often times the partner who services feels used and alone, frequently complaining of being ignored, unheard and not validated. The partner being serviced may be completely unaware that there is any problem, as they may tend to be self absorbed. These relationships may eventually become hotbeds of anger and frustration. Partners may burn out due to excessive care taking or a build up of resentment and bitterness.

Interdependent: partners are committed to one another, yet are each others cheerleaders for individual growth and exploration. Individuation is not seen as a threat, but as an expression of growth necessary for both the individuals and the partnership to remain healthy and balanced. Each of the partners brings their individual growth back to the partnership, enriching it in the process. These partnerships may be quite long lasting and healthy, as the partners are encouraged to pursue their own interests and lives adding to the value of the relationship.

What type of relationship do you have?

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