Characteristic #5 of a Healthy Relationship

5. Each person can live without the other.

I think that this should be rephrased to, “each person can survive without the other.”

I know I’ve harped on this time and again, but I am a firm believer in each person, especially women, depending on absolutely no one else for their happiness or survival. Each person should be able to live without the other financially, emotionally, and physically. Depending on a person for your very own life and survival is not only co-dependent, but it’s not healthy. If you’re depending on another person to provide everything to you, then you start to lose a little bit of yourself. Slowly you lose your own identity, to the point of defining yourself by the other person’s existance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a full believer that biblically, a man should be the head of the household and the provider, but I also have adopted some feminist views that women should be able to earn their portion of the income and provide as well. As a woman, having that financial stability, that feeling of, “I made this money, I’m contributing to this household,” is a feeling of security within yourself. As long as I’m living on this earth, really, I am all I can depend on for my financial and even physical survival.

Depending on another person for our survival is dangerous. We’re all human. There is a time to be born and a time to die. And if, God forbid, you’re so dependent on someone and something were to happen to them, what would you have? How would you live? This is not to say that “you better provide a living in case your spouse dies,” but it’s definitely been something that has gone through my head. I think, “If I were not have this person tomorrow, for whatever reason, could I survive?” If the answer is no, then there’s a problem.

I’ve explained earlier that I used to be extremely emotionally unhealthy. I was a constant worrier. I was always anxious about the smallest things. I never thought things would work out for me. And I was convinced that if I ever got serious with someone, that one of two things would happen: they would leave me or they would die. I know, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, doesn’t it?! I had justified that in my mind to the point of living and breathing by that philosophy, no matter how crazy of an idea it sounds. (You can laugh, because I am while I’m typing this!) I guess essentially those two things have the possibility of happening, but they’re not likely. And that’s certainly no reason to not be in a relationship in case, at some point, the person dies or leaves. But, let’s say that is true. Which it could be, because all things are possible. If it is true, and I’m left without this person, could I live without them?

Saying, “I can’t live without you,” is something I hear a lot of people say when they’re in love. I totally and completely agree with that statement, that when you’re really in love that’s how you feel, but I feel like at the same time, it is a hyperbole. I’d like it to mean more of, “I can physically survive without you, but I’m miserable without you in my life.” I did it for seven months–lived my life without my boyfriend who I was so, so in love with. It hurt so bad. I was miserable. I could physically “live” without him, sure, but my heart literally hurt. I was an absolute wreck without him in my life. Not talking to, seeing, texting, or anything with him for seven whole months was absolute torture. But, congratulations to us, within that separation we realized how much we love each other and couldn’t be without the other.

So, now, I’m focusing on getting to that point where I’m able to provide for myself, comfortably. That point where I’m in a stable career, making decent money enough to live off of, and I have my own insurance policies and brokerage accounts. Once I feel like I’ve made it on my own, then I can think about merging what I have created for myself with the person I love. That way, I’ve proved that I can make it on my own. I can live without him. I can survive on my own. But I sure as hell can’t be without his love.

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