A powerful perspective on relationships and overcoming codependence.

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A while ago I read something in a magazine that really made me see my relationships in a totally different way. 

A woman had written into an advice column saying that she suspected her husband of having an affair. She was really distressed about it and said how it felt like they’d been drifting apart a bit and he was spending more and more time at work and she was getting worried and suspicious.

The advice that followed was totally not what I was expecting but it was friction excellent!

The advice columnist said something along the lines of this…

“Whether he’s having an affair or not is kind if irrelevant.” 

My initial reaction to reading that was: What?! Surely that’s the whole point? 

“The fact that you’re suspicious in the first place indicates that something clearly isn’t right. 

There’s obviously a disconnect somewhere and the truth is, you can’t control how he behaves or feels. So getting stressed out about what he may or may not be doing or feeling is pointless. 

The only person you can control is you. We can’t be good partners or love someone unconditionally unless we’re good to, and love ourselves first. 

I would encourage you to stop worrying about what he’s doing and focus on you first. 

What makes you happy? What do you love to do that you don’t do enough of? What brings out the most authentic and best version of you? 

When you can make yourself whole and complete amazing things will happen.

1- You will become the best version of you which is not only an amazing place for you to be, it’s also a amazing place for others to be around. By giving to yourself and finding your own joy, you’ll become more of the person your husband fell in love with in the first place. 

2- Maybe he see’s the new, happier you and decides to reconnect and work on making your relationship amazing.

3- Maybe he decides it is time to part ways (or maybe you do), but now you’ve given to yourself. You’re happier and have that inner peace that comes with knowing that you have everything you need to be happy and fulfilled and that your relationships are just the icing on the cake.”

This perspective kind of blew my mind. I remember reading it way before I ever really started on my personal development journey and I just loved it and it’s stuck with me ever since. 

It made so much sense to me and really hit home because I have very close relationships with my friends, family and my husband. One of my biggest fears has always been around those relationships ending in some way. 

But then I learned about codependence. 

Codependence is not a healthy way to be in a relationship. Being together because you feel you need to be, or you have to be, or that life would crumble and fall apart without the other person puts so much pressure on you, the other person and the relationship.

When you’re in a healthy relationship you’re there because you choose to be, because you can each individually bring something awesome to it. 

When you know that you will be ok with or without the other person, everything will change for the better because you will be doing things from a true place of love and not from a place of fear, insecurity or obligation.

People come in and out of our lives all the time. When you put someone on a pedestal or hold on super tight to the relationship you end up suffocating it. 

Since I started my personal development journey and continue to learn and grow as a person, I still have super close relationships that I hope last for a very long time, but I know now that if they did end I would be fine because true lasting happiness has to come from within. You can’t rely on external stuff for that. 

Where do you put too much attachment onto other people or things?  Who or what do you rely on for your happiness? What needs to happen for you to feel happy, whole and complete? 

Amy Shefik

Happiness Coach, The Fierce Flamingo

I help people navigate their way through the challenges and expectations of being a grown up in modern society, whilst building happiness, self-worth and having more fun.


Go to the profile of Catherine Bancroft-Rimmer
over 4 years ago

Yes, all that is good stuff, but it is also true that "no man (or woman) is an island".  People do come in and out of our lives all the time but losing a close relationship will always be devastating.  The threat of an affair should cause us to question the relationship and, in doing so, may be the catalyst for deep discussions and change that will ultimately make the relationship better.  An affair is a sign that someone isn't getting their needs met and for whatever reason, doesn't feel able to communicate what those needs are.  It's a red flag, and just focusing on ourselves is akin to jumping off the marriage boat with a lifebelt and leaving the other person to save themselves.

Go to the profile of Amy Shefik
over 4 years ago

I totally agree Catherine, close relationships are super important. What I loved about reading the article in the advice column was the shift in perspective it gave me about my own relationships. I love A LOT and the thought of loosing certain relationships in my own life had always filled me with so much fear. That kind of, I can't imagine going on without you type of fear which was a huge pressure to put on myself, the other person and the relationship. I love the way that finding that love and joy in myself has allowed me to come to my relationships with love and joy but no pressure because ultimately I know I would be ok without them. It's like we're all there because we truly want to be. That said, I do believe that connection is super important, necessary even. It's just important to know where the energy is coming from. Thank you for reading the article and commenting, much appreciated :)