Co-Dependency / Interdependency
These topic definitely needs some airtime. Some of the posts linked up, however, will have content warnings because the topics of abuse and gaslighting can be very triggering to anyone who has suffered them to even the smallest degree.
Initially I didn’t think I could join in with this, as I have been fortunate enough to avoid relationships where there was abuse of power. However, reading missy’s post clearly illustrated that even healthy relationships hit bumps in the road which tilt the power dynamic, and that resonated with me.
When I got married, my dream was to be a homemaker in quite a traditional sense. I planned to stop work once we had children, to become the primary carer until they reached an independent age. Within the first year, I was made redundant, so fate seemed to be playing along. My OH had the bigger job anyway which he loved, so we started our family.
About 10 years later, it was my OH’s turn to be made redundant and fate didn’t seem so kind. As an interim measure, I went back to work. While doing the school-run and taking the lead role with the children was great for my man (neither of us regret that) the other aspects of running the house didn’t sit well with him. He felt stir crazy without enough to stimulate his mind – although he tackled shopping and mopping like an Olympic sport!
Even though we’re interdependent, it didn’t suit our relationship when I was the one working for and he was the stay-at-home parent. I felt tired at the end of long days and did less to help round the house. He felt guilty that he’d lowered our income, punishing himself by wearing the same old clothes and his mood become low. He needed more opportunities to socialise and a hobby which felt like work, until he found a new job.
Fast-forward to the present, our work/home dynamic has changed several times and the wrinkles have ironed out, but reading missy’s words has reminded me to keep watching and listening to ensure we keep the balance right.
I wrote Jack Off, a piece of fiction featuring a girl in an unhealthy relationship. Inspiration came from watching a girl turn herself inside out to please a guy. He was only happy pulling her down and hiding her away from the world, but thank goodness she’s found a good man now. CW: controlling behaviour.
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