Co-dependency is all about finding your self-worth by making your partner happy or by pleasing them. Co-dependency is a treasure; it keeps the relationship intact and positively working. However, have you heard the term, counter-dependency? Most people think that counter-dependency is the opposite of co-dependency, they are somewhere right. Counter-dependencies make relationships insecure and cover them in a fear of intimacy. People who are going through a counter-dependent relationship do not trust anyone or they believe that they don’t need anyone so that they do not let others step on their behalf on their relationship.
We cannot deny the fact that the basis of an intimate relationships are trust and connection however, in counter-dependent relationship these both factors are missing which results in disruption in relationships. To put it in a nutshell, the counter-dependent relationship is all about appearing to be self-sufficient and strong but still struggling with intimacy and other consequent struggles in a relationship. As a writer, I have seen people with both co-dependent and counter-dependent partners in a relationship. I observed that one was needy, one was anxious, if one was avoidant, the other was the distant one.
To be in such a relationship, it is important to adapt to the behavior and support them strongly without any judgments. According to relationships experts, counter-dependency can be defined as “people with counter-dependent behaviors appear strong, secure, successful on the outside, while on the inside they feel weak, fearful, insecure, and needy. They function well in the world of business but often struggle in intimate relationships.”
Well, with this, do you think that you are a counter-dependent person in your relationship? To validate this, you may need to understand the concept of counter-dependent relationships in brief.
The Concept of Counter-Dependent Relationship
Relationship experts from the counseling field observed counter-dependency as a flight from intimacy. To keep it more easy and understandable, counter dependency is the fear of depending on each other. it is referred to as a defensive behavior wherein people in relationships find it difficult to form or maintain close bonds that basically work on the elements of connection and trust.
Such relationships generally avoid seeking help from others or the counselor as they fear opening up to others or they just don’t want to be appeared as needy or don’t want to get hurt later on. Counter dependent relationships are little problems as they are more negative than it appears to be positive from the outside.
Moreover, counter-dependent relationships or people are egoistic as they have a fear of showing or talking about their problems with others. If you ask me, how I would define counter-dependent relationships…I can say they are a bit deprived as they do not want to hurt others. It does not matter how much a person is craving internally due to past or personal experiences, they still avoid talking about their feelings with someone.
8 Signs of a Counter Dependent Person or a Relationship
Below are some common signs of a person with a counter-dependent relationship or behavior:
- You find difficulty in forming a close bond with others.
- You find the strong requirements to be in an appropriate manner every time.
- You keen to be strongly resistant towards seeking help from others even a therapist (even when you require it).
- You find difficulty in focusing or relaxing due to overworking or long working (still you don’t ask for help).
- You experience continuous fear of vulnerability and weak towards others.
- You experience overwhelmedness when asked to come out and speak about your issues with others or a counselor.
- You find difficulty in regulating your emotions which later on becomes hard to identify your feelings.
- You seek perfection from everyone and yourself as well.
Apart from these eight common symptoms of counter-dependent relationship or personality, you can also look for these signs:
- Fear of rejection.
- Continuous feeling of loneliness or chronic loneliness.
- Pushing yourself from others so that you don’t have to give closure to someone.
- Feeling trapped with your partner.
- Unable to form sexual relationships without emotional and deep connection
- Feeling fearful and anxious when the relationship starts to begin meaningful and deep.
- Fear of commitment
- Always complaining about partner or problems in the relationship.
Thoughts related to Counter-dependent relationship
A person who sees the world as a contradictory place do not how they behave. They may speak things which show that they don’t want to be love or it’s just they don’t want to feel disappointed. The fact is that such people try to keep their distance from people as they don’t want to feel hurt. The shame and fear run through them deeply that it makes them difficult to recover from any type of addiction as they do not want to share their feelings with others. The connection between counter-dependency and co-dependency is strong as both types of relationships are linked with self-worth. However, the difference is that both manipulate in different ways.
Origin of counter-dependent relationship
Childhood for such people is very hard. Such relationships are full of trauma and tragedy. Sometimes, it might happen that they might challenge a person’s trust. And it does not only cause harm to themselves but also others. Counter-dependency basically takes place from the type of parenting offered to someone in the early stages. The formed connection helps them to relate to the world and in the future as well. The attachment type and attachment theory are based on sensitivity, the need of children, and how they have grown up. Herein, caregivers and parents play an important role in people who are struggling with these issues and their recovery journey as a result.
Healthy transitions in a counter-dependent relationship
Recognition of counter-dependent behavior sabotages your personal life is the first step towards healing with your fears and making required changes enables you to become close with someone. However, this is a long, painful, and slow journey. The process involves you getting in touch with your vulnerable issues and it helps to see others as well.
It helps you to be present in therapy sessions and forming a better relationship with someone. It also helps you to spot patterns and recognize healthy ways of relating. However, the journey is full of risks but it helps you to connect with others and express your true self.
I hope this blog helps you to understand the signs of a counter-dependent person in a relationship.
Thanks for reading!