Do you know of anyone who is in a rescue relationship? Sometimes people want to save the proverbial damsel in distress and seek the role of knight in shiny armor. Their intended purpose is to help that person through a difficult time or a dysfunctional past. However, their underlying motive may be a need for control, avoidance of their own problems, and/or purpose and meaning in helping others. There are those individuals who need to be needed. Maybe you’re one of them. I call them codependent types. Often marriages start out this way, both with good intentions and positive motives. Another good example of this are husbands who are good providers but who have not matured or developed emotionally. Their wives decide to take on the project of growing their husbands’ emotional capacity and functioning. Both of these scenarios end up going up in flames over time, since we can’t change or control others’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviors nor can a relationship based on codependency last. If you can identify with any of these examples, either as the rescuee or rescuer, than it’s time to make a change. The first step is to acknowledge your role in this unhealthy dynamic and agree to make changes in yourself. Rescuing someone you love may be appealing at first, if over time that person continues to need you in order to get through life’s challenges without developing their own skills, then the appeal turns to resentment and disrespect. Now is the time to step up and own your feelings and actions without blame or justification. Emotionally healthy individuals attract emotionally healthy individuals.
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