People who suffer from emotional dependence will describe how their emotions are at the expense of their partner in an inordinate way. Any small detail can be taken as a sign that something is wrong in the relationship and cause enormous suffering for the person who has this problem.

It should be noted that emotional dependence is not love, but an excessive dependence on the partner hidden behind the nuclear belief that “life ends without that person”.

How do I know if I am emotionally dependent?

People who have this problem often express some of the beliefs discussed below:

  • The fear of breaking up the relationship or being abandoned by your partner is often present. This in many cases leads to an excess of control of the couple, in order to avoid any event that may damage the relationship.

  • In order to avoid the breakup, the person with emotional dependence will forgive many things that he or she didn’t see himself/herself capable of overlooking before starting the relationship. It is common to find that the partner is not accepted as he or she is, however, this is intended to be overlooked in the hope that one day he or she will change.

  • Many times, the dependent person becomes isolated from the rest of the world voluntarily. His desire is to be with his partner permanently, which becomes his total priority while the rest of his relationships take a back seat.

  • The need for constant demonstrations of love is also another manifestation that such a problem can exist. And failing that, any sign that can be interpreted in such a way that the couple is not your priority can be experienced as a terrible betrayal or a great threat to the relationship.

  • It transforms your personality or style in order to please your partner. The reference point on which to act is the other. Sometimes, you can idealize some characteristics of the couple in decline of your own.

  • In the end, the person with dependency feels that he or she needs his or her partner. This is not a real need, but the person lives it as such.

What are the short-term consequences of suffering emotional dependence?

The first consequence at first sight is that these people live with great suffering . They can be in control of their partner all day long, watching what they do or don’t do and having increasingly intense emotional reactions when the partner does not show himself as the dependent person expects him to do.

In any relationship, it’s easy for our partner to end up behaving in ways that we don’t like and still continue to do so despite the upset and anger. The person with dependency will be able to observe that, in spite of his complaints, his partner does not change. This may have a negative effect on their self-esteem, as they may make the mistake of not considering themselves “good enough” for their partner to change for them.

In fact, self-esteem and emotional dependence are intimately related to each other and, moreover, they feed back into each other. Having a strong self-esteem can function as a protective factor against emotional dependence since the beliefs we have discussed above become meaningless.

People who suffer from low self-esteem end up transmitting their “need” for love to their partner. When they show neediness, they will go beyond all existing limits and accept situations that are not to their liking as long as they do not lose their partner, which can end up generating very toxic relationships.

Abuse may be present at times, even if we do not speak of physical abuse as such. There may be humiliation, coercion and manipulation that will be overlooked as long as the relationship continues.

When to ask for help?

In many cases the consequences of emotional dependence are trivialized . However, the person who has this problem ends up finding that many areas of his or her life are affected as a consequence of this.

Many people leave jobs or make important life decisions based on their partner’s wants and needs, without considering what they really want for themselves. It is also very common for other personal relationships such as friends and family to be neglected in order to devote all available time to their partner, so that their social circle is often severely reduced.

In addition, these relationships tend to become very toxic, so that in the end we can see that a large part of life’s facets can be disrupted as a result of this problem. If you feel that you have entered a loop that you don’t know how to get out of, maybe it’s time to ask for help.