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co-de·pen·dent or co·de·pen·dent (kō'dĭ-pěn'dənt) adj.
1. Mutually dependent.
2. Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent in an unhealthy way on someone who is addicted to a drug or self-destructive behavior, such as chronic gambling.
n. One who is co-dependent or in a co-dependent relationship.
You know, society puts a negative connotation on the word “co-dependent”. When we hear that word, we automatically think of weakness, not being able to take care of oneself. And I guess if you fall into the “Of or relating to a relationship in which one person is psychologically dependent in an unhealthy way on someone who is addicted to a drug or self-destructive behavior, such as chronic gambling. “ portion of the definition it is a negative thing.
But what about the first one? The “mutually dependent” one? Is that such a bad thing?
With Alvin gone, and with both of us missing each other so badly right now, I’ve been thinking about this word because, truly, I have discovered that I am co-dependant regarding my husband. It bothered me for a while. It made me feel weak and made me wonder when I lost my independence.
Then it hit me. I don’t need emotional independence. I’m married to my soul mate, the love of my life, the one person on this planet that I trust implicitly and without question. Why shouldn’t I be dependent on him? And shouldn’t he be dependent on me?
I’m not talking about an unhealthy dependency of not being able to function without the other. But I am talking about needing him. Needing to tell him about my day, feel his arms around me, give me support when it feels like the world is falling apart, making me laugh. I need to support him during his times of trial, to hear about his day, to lie on his chest as we fall asleep, to be silly and tease him.
At the heart of it, it’s intimacy. It’s the intimate part of “us” that I’m so heart sick for. Hearing his voice throughout the day is great, and I look forward to it, but it doesn’t take the place of looking in his eyes as he’s talking to me, or holding his hand while we walk, or even just sitting next to him at our dinner table while our family says Grace and shares stories from our day.
I miss it all.
If that makes me co-dependent, so be it. Because I’m certainly not alone. Everyday my husband tells me that he misses me and needs me, that he loves me more than he can tell me and that I am his whole world.
Being co-dependent isn’t such a bad gig.