Rosy and Adam not their real names, decided to seek marriage counseling and coaching at the beginning of their relationship.
They wanted help maintaining their alignment and independence while feeling happy and secure in the relationship. They also wanted to break generational patterns of toxicity and failure, and build a family that inspired everyone who came around.
A sense of abandonment often leads to jealousy and overbearing demands
They never expected to experience a sense of insecurity and loss every time they were apart for more than a day. This feeling often turns into a sense of abandonment which led to jealousy and overbearing demands. They knew this was not the way they had envisioned their marriage but they did not know how to fix it.
When looking at their role models for marriage, Rosy and Adam believed their parents had loving, healthy relationship. Rosy described her mother as submissive and her father as dominant.
Even though they appeared to have a loving and healthy marriage, this role model did not match Rosy and Adam’s personalities, both independent and successful in their respective careers.
Rosy’s parents grew up in a generation where most women stayed home to care for the children and men went to work. Even though they seemed to have a loving connection, this type of relationship was not applicable to Rosy’s current life with Adam.
Rosy and Adam lived busy, independent lives and were attracted to each other because of their autonomy and self-reliance.
A skewed perception of a healthy and happy relationship
Rosy realized that her concept of a healthy and happy relationship was skewed by what she perceived in her parents’ marriage. She believed that she had to change who she was and what she enjoyed in order to accommodate her husband’s wishes.
She did this unconsciously, neglecting herself in order to please him, changing her routines to match his, denying her needs to put him first. When she did not receive the love she believed this sacrifice entitled her, she would blame and doubt herself, which led to growing insecurities and jealousy.
Adam, on the other hand, had divorced parents who got along well.
His mother went to work and was self-sufficient. His dad was supportive and involved and occasionally helped his mom when needed. Adam wanted to make his wife’s life easier so he complied to her demands, despite the inconvenience it created on his work productivity. He adapted to this role quickly and soon began feeling insecure and resentful.
They both felt exhausted and lost. Codependence was killing their marriage.
What is codependency?
Codependence is an unhealthy, excessive reliance on another person for approval or sense of identity.
It is losing your sense of self in order to please someone else.
Rosy and Adam engaged in codependency when they stopped doing the things they loved in order to gain their partner’s approval. They had forgotten that their relationship was born from a place of love, autonomy, and acceptance which got lost when they began changing who they are to please the other.
Inability to manage your partner’s emotions
Rosy’s parents modeled for Rosy what she believed was a healthy marriage but when applied to her own marriage, it was destructive.
Adam did not know how to manage Rosy’s emotions so he adapted to her demands in an effort to maintain the peace. They both lived in fear and neglected themselves to please the other, which turned out to be a destructive codependence.
Breaking unhealthy patterns and growing the relationship goals
Once Rosy and Adam understood their unhealthy patterns, they made a commitment to regain their independence and learn new tools to build their interdependence.
They took time to nurture their personal wishes and desires, and made time to plan and grow their relationship goals according to their shared values, hopes and dreams.
Setting appropriate boundaries
They set appropriate boundaries for their personal lives and relationship, and continued exploring way to align with their relationship goals. Rosy and Adam regained their sense of self and inner confidence, and are now able to contribute more to their relationship through their individual lives.