Emotional Dependency vs. Emotional Freedom

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What is Emotional Dependency?

Lydia consulted with me because her relationship with her husband, Andrew, was falling apart. Andrew had moved out, stating that he could no longer tolerate Lydia’s neediness and constant pull on him to make her feel loved and secure.

Now that they were separated, Lydia’s emotional dependency was getting even worse. She was deeply addicted to Andrew making her feel better, if only through a brief text message.

Lydia believed that her feelings of safety, worth, and lovability had to come from someone else. She took no emotional responsibility – no responsibility for what she was telling herself and how she was treating herself that were causing her pain and panic.

As we worked with the Inner Bonding process, it became clear to Lydia that her panic was being caused by her own self-abandonment, not by Andrew abandoning her. She was constantly abandoning her inner child by judging herself, ignoring the feelings resulting from her self-judgments, and then handing her inner child to Andrew to take care of. When she couldn’t reach Andrew, she would collapse into tears and sooth herself with TV and food. She constantly felt panicked, not because Andrew was not there for her, but because she had never developed an inner loving adult capable of taking loving care of herself.

As a result of her self-abandonment, Lydia was constantly emotionally needy and pulled on Andrew with her tears and anger. While she said she loved Andrew, her primary intent was to get love rather than to give and share love. Lydia was emotionally dependent.

What is Emotional Freedom?

We are emotionally free when:

    1. We do not make others, the past, or circumstances responsible for our feelings – we do not see ourselves as victims. Instead, we take responsibility for causing our own suffering by noticing how we treat ourselves and what we tell ourselves, and we nurture ourselves through the grief, sorrow, and loneliness that come from painful life events, such as the death of a loved one.
    1. We are not governed by our feelings. Our feelings guide us, but we are not led around by them. We recognize that our positive feelings of love, peace, and joy are letting us know that we are taking loving care of ourselves, and that our negative feelings of anger, fear, hurt, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and so on are letting us know that we are abandoning ourselves.
  1. We do not collapse into our feelings, becoming our feelings. Instead, we are a witness of our feelings and learn from them and/or nurture them.

We are emotionally free when we learn from our feelings and take loving action in our own behalf to take responsibility for our painful feelings, and for our feelings of worth, lovability, safety and security.

relationships and Emotional Responsibility

relationships flounder when one or both partners are emotionally dependent on the other partner for their feelings of worth, lovability, safety, and security. When you abandon yourself and make your partner responsible for your pain and your self-worth, then you are stuck trying to have control over your partner taking care of you – doing for you what you need to be doing for yourself.

When you are not loving and valuing yourself, you do not have love to share with your partner. You are constantly trying to get love rather than share love. Trying to have control over getting the love that you need to be giving to yourself is what creates most relationship problems.

When each person in a relationship decides to learn how to take responsibility for their own feelings, they can then come together to learn, grow, play, and share love. This is much more fun than trying to get love!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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