Dependency is a weird phenomena. No matter how independent you think you are, no matter what type of person you believe yourself to be, in a long term relationship dependency always becomes an issue. It slowly crawls into your life as a comfort you think you’re happy to feel, a security you think you’re happy to have. But then, in the middle of the night when no one is watching, it devours you. And it brings your relationship down with you.Y You think you’re doing well… Handling things decently. And then the insecurities come in. That’s when you’re really fucked.
I hate dependency. I hate feeling dependent on someone. Anyone. I hate that your natural ability to handle situations somehow disintegrates at the touch of a frequent helping hand.
My husband and I don’t do everything together, nor do we want to, but something about our relationship has caused us to feel extremely dependent on one another for one reason or another. Mainly, I think it’s the kids.
Something about having little tiny people to take care of makes you feel just generally overwhelmed and unsure of yourself. However, when you’re doing it alone you feel these things and are still able to push yourself. Because you know you have to. You have no other option. But when you’re parenting tandem you tend to rely on the other person far more frequently than you regularly would. And definitely more than you should. Kids put quite the strain on any relationship.
Further than simply taking care of the kids, though, their presence still causes depency issues. At least in some situations. Perhaps more so in low-income families.
We have 1 car, which in and of itself is difficult and annoying (especially during the snowy months). Who gets to use it? When? Why? Well…my husband works and I’m currently staying home with the kids, so naturally he gets the car so he can get to and from work. I’d drive him but he has to leave for work at 4:30 in the morning. Waking myself up is one thing, but waking up two children (one 4 years and one 8 months) and getting them ready to go just so I can quickly drive my husband to work in the morning is something I dread and don’t want to deal with doing.
So how do I get out during the day? How do I get myself and the kids around town? Am I supposed to carry them and any bags we may need all over town all day long? I suppose if I really needed to I could. But there isn’t a huge need for us to be anywhere, thus we end up spending a lot of time inside the house on days that my husband works.
All of that considered, now I’ll move onto my husband and I as individuals. We’re both exhausted from our responsibilities. Rarely we are able to get time together without the kids — which is absolutely vital to our relationship. But what about our time alone?
Since I breastfeed the baby I’m often stuck with the kids even during times my husband isn’t working. So he gets some time to himself. Not a ton, but a decent amount. What about me?
I want to have a life outside being a mother, outside being a wife. I want time to work on hobbies, and develop skills. I want to have time working towards becoming financially independent (because feeling financially dependent, even just to your husband, is a terrible feeling). I want some time to relax, some time to explore, some time to just be. And I would LOVE some time with friends (unfortunately I currently live in a small town that I don’t know many people in).
Stay-at-home moms have a whole other set of problems that people just aren’t aware of. I feel like I’m completely losing my identity. I’m constantly exhausted mentally and physically. I feel like I have absolutely No control. Talk about dependency.
Now I can’t talk about the issues other people face, because I’m not facing them. I can’t assume one form of dependency is worse than another. All I know is that it is extremely important to take care of yourself, and make sure you have your own life (outside of the life you share with your loved ones). Dependency can be a big problem, and a big relationship killer. It can lead to insecurities, depression, anger, etc.
Don’t let your relationship deteriorate. Talk to your partner(s) now about how to manage dependency issues. And, most importantly, find time for yourself!