Co-dependant relationships are a form of family violence that often results in one partner having power and control over the other. This type of relationship can have long-lasting effects on both parties and any children involved. Therefore, it is essential to understand the dynamics of co-dependency and why it occurs to help prevent this kind of toxicity.
In co-dependent relationships, power and control become major factors; one partner may manipulate or abuse the other for their benefit. Power and control can be implemented through emotional blackmail or physical intimidation, making it difficult for the victim to escape the situation without outside help. Additionally, if a child is involved in this cycle of abuse, they may learn unhealthy relationship patterns that could follow them into adulthood if not appropriately addressed.
If you find yourself in a co-dependent relationship, it is time to make some changes. This article will look at the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. We will also look at what makes a healthy relationship and how to develop healthier ones. The core of any good relationship is respect for each other's needs and rights, not just as individuals but also as human beings with inherent worth and dignity. When one partner or both see the other as means to their ends rather than persons worthy of respect on their terms, problems arise in relationships.
An essential first step in developing respectful relationships is learning about the underlying dynamics of power and control in them (Gottman & Silver 1986). For example, if your partner frequently undermines your sense of self-worth by criticising your character or competence, they may exert coercive power over you (Bass & Davis 1993; Gottman & Silver 1986). Likewise, if they repeatedly make promises they cannot keep or neglect to do things, e.g., "I'll help out more around the house if only you would stop nagging me, " they are using withholding power over you (Kernis & Miller 1985). In either case, you need to recognise that your partner has certain expectations regarding behaviour—expectations based on their perception of who you are within their system of beliefs—and those expectations must be honoured for mutual satisfaction to exist between yourselves. Suppose these expectations are not met because one party does not act according to their perception of what s/he needs from another party for s/he to feel good about him or herself. In that case, conflict can result because neither person feels respected nor loved by the other (Hoffman 2001).
Respectful interactions require that each person perceive that s/he has been heard fairly and respectfully by their partner when expressing opinions or wishes regarding interaction with others outside themselves (Feinhold 2005) so it becomes clear which behaviours are expected vs undesired and which behaviours elicit positive emotions vs negative emotions respectively toward oneself given a particular set of circumstances during an interaction with another individual(s) within a given context, e.g., family life etc.
The way people communicate with each other indicates whether there is respect between them as well – verbal communication conveys information. In contrast, nonverbal communication conveys emotion, so many things can hinge on how effectively people use both communication channels when interacting, i.e., body language communicates emotion too! These different channels set up an interesting dynamic: You express what you want through words, whereas your partner interprets those words based on their perceptions of what he wants based on past experiences etc.
So basically, anything can seem like a fight even though love could be trying its best!
Regarding healthy relationships, respect for each person's boundaries is paramount. Respect means that no one should be trying to control the behaviours of others. Family violence and toxic power and control dynamics are two serious issues that can arise when one partner seeks to exert too much influence on the other.
It is essential that both parties in a relationship feel respected and valued, not just through their words but also their actions. An atmosphere of trust should be present so that individuals don't feel like they must prove themselves or be someone else to make a relationship work. Everyone should be free to express themselves without fear of judgement or retribution from their partner.
The key is to respect others' autonomy within the relationship; this includes allowing the other person's right to move around freely without having their movements constantly policed or questioned.
Follow the link here if you would like help with changing your behaviour.