Can t live with you

I can’t live, with or without you | Codependent Relationships

U2’s famous song appears to strike a chord with many of the couples that I have worked with in therapy. The saying ‘I can’t live, with or without you’ is a struggle faced by many couples.

You can’t help who you fall in love with, but when does a relationship become more than an intense emotional and physical connection and borders into the zone co-dependency? Do you know when that line is crossed?

It can be hard to distinguish between a person who is ‘clingy’ and a person who is co-dependant. If you suspect that you, your partner, or somebody you know is displaying traits of being co-dependent or that you or they may be in a co-dependent relationship, here are some ways which you can look out for which may help you.

You don’t need all of them to determine whether you or your partner is co-dependant or whether

You or your partner may exercise the need for control

Control helps co-dependents feel safe and secure; and to be honest, this is not specific to them. We all want to feel like we are in control of situations but there is a difference between being in control of situations and being a dictator of somebody else’s life which is a violation of somebody else’s boundary.

Sometimes you may not feel like you have control and that can make you feel like you are being controlled. Co-dependents also need to control those close to them, because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay.

There may be addiction issues

This is not true for all co-dependents, but there may be some form of addiction which generally acts as a means to help them relax or to add a sense of order or purpose to their lives. Whether that be substances, alcohol, cigarettes, working or cleaning, this can help them not feel out of control.

You may love the person, but don’t like them.

This may feel like a contradiction in terms, but it is possible to feel love for somebody but not like the things they are doing or how they behave towards you. This can lead to a sense of feeling trapped or unable to.

You need to think about whether the positives outweigh the negative. Work on what isn’t going well and decide how you can work on this. Sometimes it will work out and other times, it won’t.

What you risk doing when staying with a person whom you love but don’t want to be with, is resenting that person which is not a feeling with is felt lightly.

You or your partner may experience low self-esteem

If you or your partner are experiencing heightened feelings of low self-esteem or feel like you’re are comparing yourself to others, then you may find yourself trying to be comforted or comforting your partner.

Underneath this veil of low esteem, there may be an underlying issue that is causing this feeling. If everything is going well, you won’t feel bad about yourself and the self-esteem issues should not be there.

There are poor boundaries in place or a lack of boundaries.

Imagine boundaries as being invisible lines that exist between you and your partner. Having boundaries is important to establish the values of relationship but this also included your feelings, thoughts, and needs.

This is where co-dependents can get into trouble as they tend to blur the boundary lines and may expect their boundaries not to be crossed meanwhile overstepping other people’s boundaries.

Sometimes, co-dependants can become defensive as a result of having poor boundaries.

There is a lot of ‘people pleasing’ going on

Saying ‘No’ causes anxiety to co-dependants and they will go out of their way to sacrifice their own needs to accommodate others.

If you find yourself finding it difficult to say no to situations and people and feel responsible for others’ unhappiness or turmoil, then this is only going to cause issues down the line when eventually it will become too much to handle on your own.

You need to focus on yourself and if it is impacting your happiness, then you may need to revaluate the situation and not compromise yourself.

You may also find little or no satisfaction or happiness in life outside of doing things for the other person.

There feels like a constant push and pull when communicating and interacting with each other

At times, co-dependants have trouble when it comes to communicating their own thoughts, feelings, or needs to others. This can leave the other person trying to guess what is going on, and it will come as no shock that we are not mind readers.

Often you may be afraid to be truthful because as the old saying goes, ‘The truth hurts.’  You might find yourself pretending to be okay with something to appease the other person or find yourself compromising your own beliefs so that it does not cause upset.

You or your partner may threaten to leave but then change your mind. Communication can become confusing and dishonest when you try to manipulate emotions or feel like you are being manipulated out of fear.

There may be anxiety, obsessive or paranoid behaviour within the relationship

You or your partner may experience thoughts about the relationship or believe that things are happening within the confines of the relationship without any evidence.

This is caused to anxieties, fears, and dependency on what the relationship means and how it could be destroyed.

There may be fears about infidelity or being hurt by the other. You or your partner may find yourselves questioning whether the relationship is a mistake and may find yourself lapsing into a fantasy about how you would like things to be as opposed to what they are. 

This is to avoid the pain you may feel in the present and keeps you in a state of denial. They won’t reach out and have trouble receiving. They are in denial of their vulnerability and need for love and intimacy.

There may be fears of rejection, abandonment and emotional unavailability

Co-dependants need people to like them and want to be around them. They fear that they will be rejected or abandoned by people close to them, and this may stem from childhood attachments styles and previous experience in relationships.

Because of the weak boundaries, you might fear that you’ll be judged, rejected, or left.

On the other hand, you may fear being smothered in a relationship and losing your autonomy. You might deny your need for closeness and feel that your partner wants too much of your time; your partner complains that you’re unavailable.

Some people find it hard to be by themselves for long periods of time and require that constant reassurance.

This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even if that relationship is abusive. There is a real risk of co-dependants feeling trapped or potentially making the other person feel that too.

You feel burnout or like you do not do anything you used to enjoy doing

It is natural in a relationship to compromise as long as both parties agree to this. You may feel like you or your partner tend to get their own way with decision making (whether that be music or films to watch).

You may find that you don’t do any of the hobbies or things you enjoyed doing before you got into the relationship or feel that you can’t do them anymore.

You may feel obligated to spend all your free time with your partner. You may start to feel worn down or exhausted with the relationship and might tend to agree just so there are no arguments.

You may start to neglect other important relationships. This can impact your sense of personal identity and might make you question who you are if you enable this behaviour to continue.

How to change a co-dependent relationship

It is important to reassure you that anyone can become co-dependent and you are not abnormal if this happens to you. It is important that you do not punish yourself or your partner but seek support to get the relationship back on track if you feel that this is the right thing to do moving forward.

If you decide to part ways, that is also okay and you should not feel guilty if this is what you decide.

Breaking up isn’t necessarily the best or only solution. To repair a co-dependent relationship, it’s important to set boundaries and find happiness as an individual.

A few things can help with forming a positive, balanced relationship:

  • People in co-dependent relationships may need to take small steps toward some separation in the relationship. They may need to find a hobby or activity they enjoy outside of the relationship.
  • A co-dependent person should try to spend time with supportive family members or friends.
  • The enabler must decide that they are not helping their co-dependent partner by allowing them to make extreme sacrifices.

If you feel like you are or have been in a co-dependent relationship (I can’t live, with or without you) and feel like you may benefit from some support moving forward, then get in touch with My Family Psychologist. We offer different individual therapies as well as relationships and couples therapies.

This could be the first step towards a healthier relationship with yourself and your partner.

I Can't Live Without You

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  • Daily I gotta give thanks
    With a song and a raise of my hands
    For all the things you've done for me
    You were there to help me grow
    And was there through the highs and the lows
    Right there at the point of my need
    Thats why I gotta say
    With your love Im so amazed
    Nothing in this world can compare
    Thats why I love you so
    And I want the whole world to know
    That your love is the best love
    Life that Ive ever know

    I cant live without you
    Dont know what Id do
    If were not here within my life
    I cant live without you
    Dont know what Id do
    If were not here within my life

    Youre the one I can always call
    You pick me up everytime that i fall
    Because your right there by my side
    Like a flower needs the rain
    For your love I need it the same
    Without it how would I survive
    Thats why I gotta say
    With your love Im so amazed
    Nothing in this world can compare
    Thats why I love you so
    And I want the whole world to know
    That your love is the best love
    Life that Ive ever know

    I cant live without you
    Dont know what Id do
    If were not here within my life
    I cant live without you
    Dont know what Id do
    If were not here within my life

    Oh where would I be
    If you hadnt rescued me
    With your love
    Thats what you did yeah

    When life was such a strain
    Oh you came to heal the pain with your love
    Id be lost without your love
    So lost without your love
    Id be lost without your love
    And I am so grateful

    I cant live without you
    Dont know what Id do
    If were not here within my life
    I cant live without you
    Dont know what Id do
    If were not here within my life

    Cant live without you
    Cant live without you
    Cant live without you

    from Best Is Yet To Come, released April 26, 2019
    T. Momrelle / S. Grey
    Three Wise Men Songs c/o Bug Music/BMG / Budde Music

    Produced by Simon Grey and Tony Momrelle
    Lead Vocals by Tony Momrelle
    Backing Vocals by Tony Momrelle and Vula Malinga
    Rhodes, Moog, Arp, Organ and Synth Programming by Simon Grey
    Guitar by Luca Faraone
    Drums by Alessio Barelli
    Tambourine by Tony Momrelle
    Trombone by Trevor Mires
    Saxophone by Paul Booth
    Trumpet by Pablo Mendlesohhn

    I can't live without you

    Smart books say that love is like a disease, that “chemistry”, instincts and other boring things are to blame for everything ...

    But when it, LOVE, happens, and out of thousands of others you meet HIM, and between you feelings erupt like fireworks, so high and surprisingly pure, you forget to think about everything in the world. One desire takes possession of you - to dissolve completely in the only FAVORITE: to give him all the tenderness and devotion. And let the whole world wait ... Work and friends, entertainment and responsibilities will wait. From now on, only HE is your work and duty, passion and care. And it seems that everything pales before the main purpose - to love and be loved. nine0003

    Even the shortest separation is unbearable - you lose peace and sleep, waiting for a meeting becomes excruciating, indeed, painful suffering...

    A person in such a state is unlikely to hear and understand the voice of reason. Therefore, let's sort it out on the shore, until a wave of passion has swept over your consciousness. What is justified in such behavior? Is this love good?

    Love to the point of self-denial and self-sacrifice is a huge burden for the beloved. “I want to be with you,” our egoism screams, without thinking about how to make not ourselves, but HIM happier. We bind the beloved with the chains of our affection. And where there are chains, there will inevitably arise a need on his part to break them. nine0003

    Living the life of your lover is a path to a series of disappointments. There is jealousy, and a belated feeling of lost time that could have been spent on self-development. And there will be indignation about: "I gave him my life, and he ...". Did he ask you about it?

    Especially since a person who lives only in the interests of a loved one, when service becomes the meaning of life, eventually becomes uninteresting to him. He doesn't have his own values, thoughts, aspirations... He gets bored with this...

    You cannot allow the loss of your "I" even in the name of universal LOVE. You can't lose dignity and respect by demanding "I can't live without you!" That's an ultimatum.

    Wouldn't it be better to remain the same interesting person for him as at the moment when you became his chosen one, to improve and not get hung up on the relationship "only you and me, but we are with you"? Because the time will surely come and you will have to ask yourself the question: “What do I mean without him? And what will I do if we suddenly part? nine0003

    Love is the joyful flight of a FREE soul. And if there is an addiction that brings suffering and pain, then this is something completely different, and it is unlikely to have anything to do with love ...

    Rating: 7.8/ 10 (4 votes cast) from 6 votes)

    I can't live without you, 7.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

    Posted on Author LarisaCategories Aspects of relationships, Love, Family. What is it for you? nine0000 how to recognize dependence in a relationship and deal with it

    “I can’t live without you”, “you are everything to me”, “when you are not around, I go crazy” - such phrases are nice to hear in candy-bouquet period of relationship, but they can cause a lot of difficult experiences in a year, two, five, when the relationship is already established and the period of falling in love is over. Moreover, it is often difficult not only to need a partner like in the air, but also to be the whole world for someone. Being addicted and being addicted is equally painful. Why do we fall into this trap, and what keeps us there? nine0003

    You have to start from afar. From the moment we were born. Man is born extremely helpless. The baby will not survive without care and care and a couple of days. We need someone to warm us, feed us, protect us. And nature took care that normally every woman who gave birth had a powerful maternal instinct. In the first year of life, mother and child are in a symbiotic relationship, or, in other words, in merger. There is no border between them, they do not feel separate from each other. For a woman who has recently become a mother, the following phrases are typical: “We ate porridge”, “We have a stomach ache”, “We are already 5 months old”. There is no “I + I”, but there is “we”. This is the most important period in the life of the baby, such a merger provides the child not only with physical security, but also with a sense of security and trust in the world. nine0003

    But the merger shouldn't last forever, no matter how good it is. Time passes, and the child discovers his "separation" from the mother. The separation stage begins. The child must learn to console himself, using a teddy bear instead of his mother, a neighbor Grishka, an interesting book. Mom is still very much needed, but she should gradually fade into the background and allow the child to somehow settle down in the world on his own.

    We need all this talk about the mother-child relationship in order to understand the roots of emotional dependence. The absence or premature breakdown of the merger in these very first intimate relationships for us leads to psychological trauma. An addict-prone adult is often in the past the same small child who experienced the horror of his loneliness in this world full of dangers. Such a person, naturally, will try by all means to prevent the recurrence of this trauma and the loss of a significant object. There are two main strategies here: "cling" to a partner, which means becoming dependent, and "self-sufficiency" - constantly watching how not to become attached to someone. nine0003

    Absence or premature rupture of fusion in our very first close relationships leads to psychological trauma.

    By the way, if a mother prevents the child from separating when he is ready for this, this is also a trauma. Mom’s words “We entered the legal school” are a sure sign of an unfinished department. The strategies here are, in general, the same: either helplessness and the desire to merge with someone (replace your mother), or alienation and avoidance of intimacy (one mother is enough "through the roof"). nine0003

    So, we have dealt with the "roots" of the problem, which, as usual, lie in deep childhood. Let us now discuss what can grow from these "roots". By analogy with childhood, the very beginning of a romantic relationship is also a merger: we strive to be together every minute, we go crazy if we don’t receive a “good morning” sms, we fit each other perfectly, we are one. In the period of falling in love, this is the norm. But further on, we will inevitably find differences in views, tastes, needs, habits. And it's not possible any other way. There are no two identical people in the world, even identical twins have differences. nine0003

    In really close relationships, two people recognize each other's boundaries, they are interested in each other by these differences, or at least able to respect them. “I don't live in this world to live up to your expectations. And you don't live in this world to live up to my expectations" - this is the position in a mature relationship.

    In merger, a person is not aware of his needs and desires or agrees to renounce them, if only to preserve the soothing symbiosis. For the same purpose, he may demand self-denial from a partner and be deeply offended if this does not happen. nine0003

    In dependent relationships, partners seek to maintain the merger at all costs. If suddenly one decides to show his individuality and isolation (want, for example, to go to the sea and take a walk alone), then for the other it can be a disaster. “I can’t live without you”, “I don’t exist without you” - these are not figures of speech and not excessive dramatization. For the addict, the rupture of fusion is a return to the powerlessness and despair of a small child who is left alone with the whole world.

    In a really close relationship, two people recognize each other's boundaries, they are interested in each other's differences, or at least able to respect them

    In conclusion, let's see what variants of dependent relations can be. It would seem most favorable if both partners strive to always be one, to be "we" and forget about "I". Everything is fine, only in this case there is no real intimacy, since there is also no opportunity to see the individuality of the one who is nearby. This is life with closed eyes.

    If only one of the partners is dependent, then, as a rule, the other also suffers. Firstly, from a sense of guilt, because it constantly hurts a loved one by not agreeing to renounce oneself. Secondly, there is no feeling that this is it, such a wonderful and unique one is loved and appreciated. There is a feeling that it is necessary as a kind of function, it is needed in order to feel secure. nine0003

    It is also possible that one of the partners is addicted, while the other easily and naturally maintains its separateness, calmly observing the torment of the “beloved” person. It is clear that in this case we are talking more about slave-owning relations, and not about love.

    And finally, what to do if you "can't live without someone" and you don't like it.

    To get out of addiction, you need to restore the boundaries, understand what you want for yourself personally, and not for everything to be fine with you. You need to find some other values ​​for yourself that bring you pleasure. Not just out of desperation to go in for sports, embroidery or go to yoga, but to look for something that sincerely fascinates. nine0003

    To build a relationship based on true intimacy, you have to give up romantic notions of ideal love or an ideal family. The reality is that all of us will periodically feel anger, resentment, disappointment, we will conflict and meet with difficulties.

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