Emotional addiction: how to recognize it and how to leave it behind

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Emotional addiction: how to recognize it and how to leave it behind

Emotions determine our entire life. They come in an abundance that we can not even put into words. But especially when it comes to love, many describe emotional dependence as a feeling of not being able to live without the other person. However, what sounds like movie-like romance at first can also turn into a serious problem. This is the case when there is a strong emotional dependence.

To a certain extent, an intense sense of belonging is of course important, because it protects the Dear itself and also the trust in the relationship. However, it is also important to recognize the point at which this develops into a dependency. This is exactly what the following section is about. We will not only talk about what emotional dependency actually means, but also about why it develops and how you can overcome it.

Emotional dependence - What is it exactly?

Emotional dependency is when a person in the Relationship is overly dependent on the partner. In the process, she may even become bondage and immature. The whole thing can develop to the point of complete self-sacrifice.

This often happens when we have a low Self-esteem and are looking for security and support. Sometimes there is also a personality disorder behind it, which causes us to submit emotionally.

If you want to find out if you're showing signs of emotional dependence and learn more about your personality, we have a tip for you: Take our free personality test! It can help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses and develop an awareness of your emotional dependency.

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If these people come into contact with a man or woman who has a strong narcissistic disposition, suppression is added to the already existing submissiveness. Narcissists often tend to plunge their partner into an emotional dependency. Through manipulative behavior, they give their partner the FeelingThey feel inferior and portray themselves as the savior in need. They want to be dominant at all costs and can lead their partner to self-abandonment.

reasons for emotional dependence

Probably the most common reason why emotional dependency develops is the low self-esteem already mentioned. Thoughts like: "Without a partner I am not lovable and therefore not worth anything" regularly buzz through the head.

Guilt can also be strong Fear of loss be. They are often past experiences for example from childhood or previous relationships. For example, anyone who was suddenly abandoned by a parent in childhood or by a partner in adulthood without prior notice fears that this experience will be repeated. Efforts are therefore all the greater to keep your partner with you, even if this means giving yourself up completely.

Emotional dependence can also arise when a strong Dissatisfaction with your own life exists. The partner is the only source of joy when friendships or hobbies that make you happy are scarce. And of course you don't want to be deprived of this source at any price.

emotional dependence

Emotional dependency test: How can I tell that I am emotionally dependent?

Recognizing when a strong emotional sense of belonging develops into a serious addiction is not that easy. That's why we've put together six signs for you to test whether you are emotionally dependent or not. Find out if you are showing symptoms of emotional dependence.

1. you don't know what to do without your partner

Imagine you are separated from your partner, for example because one of you has to go on a business trip. What triggers this in you? Of course you will feel sad and you will miss him, that is quite normal.

But are you panicking and don't know how to cope on your own? Do you feel completely lost and can't find a single second of peace? happy and laugh? Then this could be a sign of emotional dependence.

2. you hand over all decisions

Let's be once honest: It's really convenient to hand over decisions and just let the other person do it. Your partner takes care of everything and you don't have to worry about Worries do. However, it becomes critical when you don't make any decisions at all and really leave everything to your partner. Do you no longer express your opinion and only speak after your partner's mouth to please them? This can be a sign of emotional dependency.

Three, you're very jealous for no reason...

A healthy Jealousy is part of every relationship. After all, your partner belongs only to you and no one else. But there is a clear line to be drawn here with morbid jealousy. If you try to monitor every step of your partner, ask him about every little detail and check his phone, it has nothing to do with healthy jealousy.

4. you put all other social contacts on hold.

The partner often plays an overriding role. We usually prefer to spend the evening with him rather than with a few acquaintances. Nevertheless, social contacts outside the relationship are important, because they also represent a kind of safety net.

Do you leave all your friends behind and devote yourself solely to your partner? Then no one will be there for you if your relationship goes to pieces. You are well aware of this and your Fear from rejection increases. Thus, your emotional dependence grows more and more.

5. you are permanently looking for reassurance from your partner

Emotional dependence is often accompanied by the feeling of never being good enough for your partner. That's why you're always looking for recognition. It should give you your Uncertainty and compensate for your low self-esteem.

6. you alone keep the relationship alive and your partner withdraws more and more

You're doing everything you can to maintain your relationship and that's a good thing. But the question is, from which Motivation out of it? Is it because you love each other and want to stay together forever? Or is it rather because you don't know how to go on without your partner?

If you are emotionally dependent on your partner, this can be a huge burden for him. He knows that he is the center of your life and therefore responsible for your happiness. This comes with a lot of responsibility, which can lead to him withdrawing more and more. This in turn makes you feel insecure and you try all the harder to gain his affection. In doing so, you may be constricting him, which will only make him more distant.

Ways out of emotional dependence

Emotional dependence often gives sufferers the feeling of being in a specially created bubble of Security and to be sure of happiness. But what you have actually created for yourself is a prison. You lock yourself up and close yourself off from all that life has to offer by focusing exclusively on your partner.

It's time for you to finally break free and get back to a self-determined life find. This doesn't mean you should give up on your relationship. Find a healthy balance. The following nine steps will help you navigate your way out of emotional dependency.

1. honestly question the current situation

Go inside yourself and think about whether you are really happy. Is your partner really good for you? Are you destroying yourself with your emotional dependence and losing yourself completely? Admitting this to yourself can be painful. But this realization is crucial for your further path.

2. visualize your wishes and needs

So far, you have completely sacrificed yourself to your partner. But what about you? What desires do you want to fulfill for yourself and what makes you - besides your partner - really happy? Reflect on your own Needs and what is good for you.

3. have the courage to change something

You have now exactly in front of your eyes what you want from life and how you would like to shape it. Now you have to take the first active step and break out of your self-created prison. Gather all your courage and free yourself from your rut.

4. take your life in your hands and become active

You are determined to break out of the emotional dependency, but you don't really know how? Reflect on your strengths. Find out what they are and how you can best develop them, for example, with the help of our personality test.

5. work on your mindset

The will to change something is unfortunately not much use to you in the long run if you keep telling yourself that you are not worth anything without your partner. Your thoughts strongly influence your actions. A negative attitude mindset will prevent you from your development. Positive thinking is one of the most important points to increase your self-esteem.

You can do this by using all the negative thoughts into something positive. Keep reminding yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Regularly remind yourself that you are worth something, with or without a partner.

6. accept yourself

To see yourself like this acceptIt is not easy for many people to accept who they are. Yet this is precisely the key to a happy and healthy life. satisfied Life. If you are at peace with yourself, this increases your Self-confidence enormous, because you have finally recognized your own value. You are no longer dependent on the recognition of others and have learned to be proud of yourself and your achievements.

7. create your own social environment

Until now, your partner was the center of your life and you let social contacts gradually fall asleep. But having your own circle of friends is important so that you have someone to talk to besides your partner. In addition, your friends offer you support if, for example, you have had a fight with your partner or you have even broken up.

8. admit to yourself when you need help

Are you afraid that your emotional dependency is the result of a personality disorder or trauma? Then it can be very difficult to free yourself from this situation. Don't be afraid to tell yourself professional help for example with a therapist. Together you can get to the bottom of the cause and work through it.

Your partner will also offer you support if you confide in him. The basis of a good relationship is communication. So don't keep your problems to yourself, but try to talk about them. Your partner will understand you.

9. take the time you need

There are things that you can't fix overnight. One of them is to break an emotional dependency. In the process, you go through a process in which you also develop personally. You can't do it by force. Be patiently with yourself, the better the results will be.

Personality Development

Emotional dependence and narcissism

Emotional dependence and narcissism are two different psychological concepts, but they can be linked in relationships. Emotional dependence refers to an excessive emotional attachment to another person, while narcissism is a personality trait characterized by excessive self-love and a need for admiration. In relationships, people with emotional dependency can often be attracted to narcissistic partners because they can satisfy their needs, but this can lead to an unhealthy dynamic.

Difference between love and emotional dependence

Love is usually characterized by care, respect and mutual support, while emotional dependence is based on a strong need for the partner's approval and attention. In healthy relationships, there is a balance between independence and connection. Emotional dependence can lead to an unbalanced dynamic in which one person is overly dependent on the emotional approval of their partner.

Solving emotional dependency without separation? That is possible. However, the basis for this is that you become aware of why you have brought this situation into your life. You can resolve and heal this with coaching, for example. In the session, you focus on the topic of "dependence on your partner".

Impact of emotional dependency on relationships

Emotional dependency can lead to a variety of problems in relationships, including imbalance, insecurity, jealousy and a need for control. The dependent partner can make their own happiness highly dependent on their partner's approval, which can lead to emotional instability. It is important that both partners are able to fulfill their own needs while finding support in the relationship.

Emotional dependence - most frequently asked questions:

  • How do I recognize emotional dependency in my relationship?
  • What steps can be taken to overcome emotional dependency?
  • Are there warning signs that indicate an unbalanced dynamic?
  • How can you set healthy boundaries in a relationship to prevent emotional dependency?

What are the consequences of emotional dependency?

The consequences of emotional dependency can be manifold, including

  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Loss of control in the relationship
  • Jealousy and mistrust
  • Neglecting your own needs
  • Possible impairment of mental health, such as anxiety or depression

Breaking emotional dependency with personal development: strengthen your self-worth

Overcoming an emotional dependency takes time. It requires a Further development of your personalitywhich is not completed overnight. The first step in the right direction is to recognize that you are emotionally dependent on your partner.

Are you really living each day the way you want from the bottom of your heart? Or do invisible forces seem to keep you from making your goals a reality? And do you perhaps frequently encounter difficulties with your fellow human beings who always show the same patterns?

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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