Emotional Dependence: I Always Go Back to You

Emotional Dependence: I Always Go Back to You

Last update: 05 April, 2017

Even when the wind changes, my sailboat brings me back to you, always to you. I don’t know how to navigate other waters, and I don’t know any other way of guiding my sailboat than with the wind. But you are the wind, and you cause oceans to form out of the curtain of tears that I cry when you tell me that being by my side is dragging you down.

You say that you love me, but that you need to breathe and not be so attached to me. You say that you don’t have to show your love for me by being with me everywhere I go. And these statements hurt me, as if you were leaving me. For me, love is doing anything and everything for you.

This emotional dependence, which pushes me back to you despite the pain I feel, is something that I know can be changed. But it’s hard to accept that the way I love isn’t the right way. It’s also hard to accept that love isn’t shown by breathing down someone’s neck all the time, but rather by trusting them when they’re not right by your side.

You are everything to me and I can’t live without you. My sense of self has dissolved in the idea of being together, and now I don’t know how to be myself. Now, there’s only us.

sailboat on woman's back

The wind turned into a storm

It wasn’t all bad at the beginning. It was like a light breeze that you feel on a spring afternoon. The kind that gives you goosebumps when it touches your skin and makes you feel so comfortable in its presence.

I quickly became attached to you as if my life depended on it. You were my world, and I stopped doing other things so I could always be by your side. I didn’t take one step without first thinking about what you would say, and you controlled me like I was a doll. You took the helm of the boat, and I limited myself to thinking that, if I did everything you said, if I did everything for you, no pirate would ever be able to attack our boat.

I came to need you like the air I breathe, and I drowned in my tears thinking that my life had no meaning without you. 

But one fine day, everything changed, and you began to ask for space, to tell me that I was suffocating you. You didn’t ask me to be so dependent on you, but it was the only way I knew how to love. And I faded away in the insults that you made, because you didn’t understand how much I loved you, how much I had done for you.

But the wind turned into a storm and agitated the waves. And then the jealousy and criticism began. The arguments and the fears. I didn’t want to lose you, but I knew that the way I loved you was eating away at me from the inside. So I asked for help and I understood that this was emotional dependence, and I learned how I could prevent this from happening again. I learned that to love is to be free and to trust the other person, and that I could go back to being myself, even as a part of us.

girl with waves as hair

“May you always be that brave woman, who never stops even in the worst of storms, who knows herself better than anyone else, and who doesn’t care what other people think. May you always be the owner of your life, and if the world abandons you, may you find company in your arms. May you never change the way you are just to please someone else, and if one day you choose to hide, may happiness always find you.”

-Kelbin Torres-

How to end emotional dependence

Nobody should depend on anyone else to be happy. This is true both in relationships and outside of them, because emotional dependence doesn’t just occur in romantic relationships. It can also occur with family members and friends. Therefore, working on the following points can help you establish healthier relationships:

  • Don’t systematically put the other person’s desires before your own. Your own well-being is important. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else in a healthy way.
  • Nobody can make everyone happy. It’s not your responsibility to please others. You can’t expect everyone to like everything you do, just like you shouldn’t stop doing things because other people don’t like them.
  • If you need someone else to enjoy yourself and be happy, rethink the bond that you’ve established with them. Happiness and joy should come from within, though yes, they can be shared with others.
  • Learn to be alone. Enjoying your own company without depending on others is a very healthy act of self-love. Being the wind that guides your ship will allow you to enjoy the little things in life that you don’t normally value.
  • Redefine what love means to you. Love is not possession. Spending more time with someone and doing what that person likes doesn’t mean you love them more. Love is being yourself and sharing who you are with the other person.

These steps can help you prevent the wind in your relationships from turning into a storm. Because before you can love another, first you have to love yourself, and if you don’t know how to do that, therapy can help you. Ask for help if you need it, so that the bonds you form are as healthy as possible.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.