Interdependence by definition means two or more parties rely on each other for mutual support. Symbiotic relationships like that exist in nature and evolved to include humans. Building interdependent relationships between spouses is primal to creating a safe and sound haven for both the partners and their children if they have any.
After all, healthy human relationships are based on interdependence. Wars are prevented, and prosperity between societies flourished through interdependent trade.
But interdependent relationships between couples is the most basic and intimate form of relationship two people in love can have.
But what is interdependence? And what defines an interdependent relationship? Is building interdependent relationship worth the trouble? When two people rely on each other for their physical, emotional, and worldly desires, then the couple has achieved a healthy interdependent relationship.
Difference between interdependent and codependent relationships
At first glance, it looks like they are the same thing. But the mutual symbiotic benefit is what define interdependence.
Co-dependence, on the other hand, is a dysfunctional relationship where one partner is excessively reliant on the other, while the other partner is using that reliance for emotional blackmail and control.
Interdependency is a give-and-take kind of arrangement while codependency is more comparable to a master-slave arrangement. Personal value in a relationship is also different. Interdependents see each other as equal partners. While in the textbook definition of a codependent relationship, it does not.
All emotionally dependent relationships have strong desires associated with satisfying the need of their partner to fulfill their own. The main difference between the two is how each partner values their mate.
What is one’s value in relationship defines dependency
There is no point in having an intimate relationship if there are no emotional and physical benefits one gives and receives from their partner. So that’s a given.
Equal reliance is the core of interdependent relationship definition.
If there is a twist in the definition of either “reliance” or “equality”, then it has the makings of an unhealthy relationship.
If one partner does not rely on the other as much as their mate, then the larger the inequality, the more toxic the relationship. Reliance is also what defines persons’ perceived value in a relationship.
Perceived value is not necessarily the same as that person’s worth.
Some people highly value a partner that abuses and neglects them. There are also some people who take caring worthwhile partners for granted.
A person’s value is not the only thing that matters.
The values the couple hold dear as a single entity is, equally important, but a whole different ball game. Their priorities such as work/life balance (or imbalance), or their socio-religious obligations also matter.
For example –
It may seem like women are mistreated in some traditional Oriental, Indian, or Islamic societies. However, that is only in the point of view of western liberal societies. In their eyes, they are fulfilling their rightful role both as a wife and a member of society.
The most important values in relationships are not what others judge, but what makes the couple happy. That is why codependent relationships exist, no matter how toxic they seem to others outside the box.
Why interdependent relationships are ideal
Even if we don’t want to judge unequal dependencies in relationships, but we advocate building interdependent relationships as ideal for modern couples.
Equality aside, here are other characteristics of Interdependent relationships that you may find interesting.
Partners rely on each other in an interdependent relationship, but each is still their own person. They are free to pursue their personal goals and hobbies that won’t harm the relationship.
Each partner is allowed to develop according to their own will.
Their personal growth is not dictated by their relationship or partner. The person is free to improve themselves and create more value to themselves, their relationship, and society as a whole.
Each person is unique and free, but they have plenty of common ground and goals.
The commonality creates a synergy between the couples and makes them enjoy each other’s company as well as share each other’s dreams and aspirations.
The couple’s desires have a high percentage of commonality that when one wants, the other is happy to give, and vise-versa.
It is a totally symbiotic relationship, such as a sadist and masochist couple. There are other appropriate interdependent relationship examples, but that one provides a very graphic point.
5. Patience and tolerance
Even with couples that have high commonality and synergy in their life goals, interests, and hobbies. It will not be 100% aligned.
A couple, building interdependent relationships, support or at the very least, tolerate each other in times where they have conflicting ideals.
Growing old together means changing two different lives and turning them into one. Building interdependent relationships is one of the keys to that end.
Evolving your life to fit your partner (and children) and be happy with the change is fulfilling.
How to be your own person in a relationship
Building interdependent relationship sounds like building a life together and to be a person who fits perfectly in that life. But it also mentions that you still have to remain your own person and develop as an individual.
It’s a tricky proposition, go too much one way, and it ends up being either a codependent relationship or the laissez-faire independent relationship.
A balance of self-love and development is easier said than done.
Here is a simple rule, be transparent with everything you do, and never do anything that would conflict with the relationship with your partner. It’s a simple golden rule, but a lot of people have problems following it, especially people who are too independent for a relationship.
Transparency and communication are important, do not just assume that everything is ok with your partner. But there is no point in communicating if you’re going to lie (or not tell the complete truth).
So let your partner know about everything and vise-versa including your pet peeves.
It may seem like eating the last pudding from the fridge is ok, but things like that pile up over time and piss off your partner. But it will never be big enough to start a world war, but it will be enough to ruin each other’s day.
You will know each other well enough over time, but until that time, make sure you consistently communicate.
Building Interdependent relationship is like building a house one brick at a time, it requires planning, hard work, teamwork, and lots of love.