The Interdependent Relationship

  • Healthy boundaries
  • Active listening
  • Time for personal interests
  • Clear communication
  • Taking personal responsibility for behaviors
  • Creating safety for each other to be vulnerable
  • Engaging and responding to each other
  • Healthy self-esteem
  • Being open and approachable with each other

When partners feel cherished and valued, the relationship becomes a safe haven and a place where the couple can be interdependent.

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Love & Family

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Interdependence

Being dependent on another person can be unhealthy. Independence, taken to an extreme, can actually get in the way of us being able to connect emotionally with others in a meaningful way. 

Interdependence suggests that partners recognize and value the importance of the emotional bond they share while maintaining a solid sense of self within the relationship dynamic. 

A codependent person tends to rely heavily on others for their sense of self and well-being. There is an enmeshed sense of responsibility to another person to meet their needs and/or for their partner to meet all of their needs to feel okay about who they are.

Interdependence involves a balance of self and others within the relationship, recognizing that both partners are working to be present and meet each other's physical and emotional needs in appropriate and meaningful ways.

  • Know what you like and what matters to you
  • Don't be afraid to ask for what you want
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Continue pursuing your personal goals
  • Be mindful of your values
  • Make time for hobbies and interests
  • Don't be afraid to say "no"
  • Don't keep yourself small or hidden to please others

Allowing your partner room and opportunity to do these same things will be the key to establishing a healthy, interdependent relationship.

  • Poor/no boundaries
  • People-pleasing behaviors
  • Reactivity
  • Unhealthy, ineffective communication
  • Manipulation
  • Difficulty with emotional intimacy
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Blaming each other
  • Low self-esteem of one or both partners
  • No personal interests or goals outside the relationship

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RELATED IDEAS

Codependency in relationships means being overly preoccupied with your partner to the point of losing your own sense of who you are and what you need. 

Partners in an interdependent or secure relationship put the relationship first. Not their partner.

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IDEAS

  • Interdependency requires two people capable of autonomy.
  • They share power equally and take responsibility for their own feelings, actions, and contributions to the relationship. 
  • They can manage their thoughts and feelings on their own and don’t have to control someone else to feel okay. 
  • They can allow for each other’s differences and honor each another’s separateness. 
  • There’s support for each other’s personal goals, but both are committed to the relationship.

Intimate relationships also tend to be highly interdependent, wherein each partner influences the other meaningfully, frequently, and vastly, in terms of topic and importance.

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