Unconditional love is at the heart of movies, books, songs, and everyone everyday language. Everyone wants to be loved unconditionally and it just a sexy notion. I believe a lot of people heard of a story of the wife that stands by her husband after he had a crash and now his permanently disabled or the reverse. A couple meets each other online and keeps an online relationship and someone moves to the other person state that they live together and get married. Lastly, the age-old story of a soldier going away to war, and their partner stay at home waiting for their wife/husband/lover to return. We look at those stories and say those are stories of unconditional love. There is a problem I have been noticing when people use this term. It seems like no one knows what the word unconditional means. I looked up the plain old definition of unconditional which is “not subject to any conditions”. This can be a dangerous mindset to be it. Unconditional love it the mindset of a codependent mind.
What am I talking about how can believing in unconditional is a mindset of a codependent? Well, let’s take a small look into what is codependency. The definition of codependency is “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction”. Well, my partner doesn’t have an illness or is in an addiction so how can you tell me I have a codependent mindset because I believe in unconditional love? The definition does say typically and unfortunately, there are many more ways to be codependent. You are in a long-term relationship and her partner keeps on cheating on you and you take them back. You family member always need to “borrow” money from you for a bill they do not have to money to pay, and if you do not let them “borrow” the money they will be out on the street. Your child is always getting into trouble and you always have to save them from the consequences of their actions. There are many more examples of what codependency looks like. So how does this tie into an unconditional love? Unconditional means without conditions. It does not matter what you do to me and our relationship because I unconditional love you I will be there to support (enable) you. So you can cheat, lie and steal it does not matter because my love does not have conditions, and I do not have boundaries. Unfortunately to have any boundaries means to have conditions. Unsexy I know.
So if you find yourself putting other people “needs” before your own in any capacity 9 times out of 10 your most likely have codependent issues. Luckily for you, there are ways for you to learn how to have a tough love (conditional love) mindset. Learn to walk out of your relationship with your partner is not being the person you need (or they promised) to be. Learn to say no to that family member who cannot seem to learn to live off the income they earn. Learn to let your child suffer the consequences of their actions so they will learn not to do them again. As the people around you learn to be responsible people, because you are not saving them from themselves you can learn to do a little self-care. You do not have to worry so much about other people in their lives. You can get a message, go for a hike, and just start living your life. Being in love with someone does not mean everything going to be sunshine and rose; however being in love with someone does not mean you lose yourself. Learning to have boundaries, to practice self-care, to live with self-respected, and have a more peace of mind life means being less codependent and being more interdependent. Going to therapy, counseling or going to your local codependency anonymous meeting may be a place you want to start to help with these codependent habits.