dependencia emocional

Emotional Partner Dependence: How to identify it and Treatment

Make no mistake! Emotional dependence is not the same as love or consideration and sympathy with the couple. On the contrary, emotional dependence is associated with a toxic relationship, not at all positive, so if you feel that you are living in something like this, it is best to detect it and get out of there.

What is emotional dependency?

If you feel that you cannot live without your partner (or vice versa: that he/she cannot live without you), that there is nothing more important and that if the relationship were to end you would literally die, it is possible that you are in a dependency . emotional.

To be more specific, keep in mind that emotional dependence defines a permanent and excessive affective bond with another person, to such an extent that life is not conceived being apart. This exaggerated need for the other is related to low self-esteem and a constant need to reaffirm that one is important.

An emotional dependence in the long run leads to behaviors that are harmful to oneself or to one's partner.

Types of emotional dependency

It is important to highlight that emotional dependence not only has to do with the couple, but that there are other types that involve other relationships. These are the main ones:

  • Emotional dependence on the family: When children are educated with fear of living, of the unknown, of the whole world, the family environment is seen as a refuge; this is not bad in itself, unless it is seen as the only refuge and everything outside of it is called bad or harmful. If you do not leave the family environment due to physical fear, you may have an emotional dependency of this type.
  • Dependence on the social environment: It occurs when you feel the excessive need to be recognized or approved in a social environment and that if it is not, that rejection generates frustration for you.
  • Partner dependency: This type of emotional dependency is the focus of this article and is the best known, words more, words less, this dependency is like an addiction to the couple. In general, the person who depends on their partner loses their identity, becomes a reflection of the other, feels excessive jealousy and wants to control the other, which leads to a toxic relationship.

How does emotional dependence affect the couple?

First of all, keep in mind that emotional dependence produces several negative consequences for those who suffer from it, including symptoms of anxiety and depression, obsession, lack of sleep and self-abandonment. All this affects the couple, because while one of the two is in a dependency loop, the other wants to run away, they can feel overwhelmed, confused and not wanting to continue with the relationship.

An emotional dependent, usually generates laziness and tiredness in his environment, which ultimately causes the relationship to end.

Causes of emotional dependence in a couple

There are several possible causes of emotional dependence on a partner , these are some of the most common:

  • Romantic love: When you have grown up with the belief in romantic love, where the couple is idealized and impossible expectations are nurtured, but even so they are fed in the mind as possible. It is the typical fairy tale love: unreal, non-existent.
  • Overprotection of parents: When parents or caregivers are overly protective of their children, emotional dependency can occur, since children do not manage to develop their autonomy, this can detonate in adulthood in the relationship and cause dependency. not knowing how to manage the relationship.
  • Vulnerability: When there are conditions that favor attachment. The couple begins to fill emotional gaps or needs, which can develop dependency.
  • Negligence: When in the infant stage there is negligent care, marked by abandonment, mistreatment, apathy. A person who grows up in these conditions can cause emotional dependence when they enter into a relationship in their adult stage.

Symptoms of emotional dependence in a couple

Don't know if you are emotionally dependent? These are the main symptoms of emotional dependence in a couple:

  • First the couple: That you think about your partner is fine, but that you put them before yourself, that you fulfill all your wishes and that you only enjoy being in their company, it is not positive at all and it is a first symptom of emotional dependence .
  • Idealization of another: We already mentioned it, if you overestimate your partner and believe that he is a perfect person, without any mistakes and that you have to do whatever it takes to be with you, it is not healthy.
  • Avoid conflict: When you don't agree with something, but you still keep it quiet, you never disagree with your partner and you always say yes just for not going against it, it's another symptom of emotional dependence.
  • Exaggerated fear of separation: When you only think about how horrible it would be to separate from your partner and this generates exaggerated fear in you, it is also a symptom of emotional dependence.
  • Low self-esteem: If you are a dependent or live in a relationship like this, you will see how the self-esteem of the dependent will always go to the ground.
  • Control of the other: Dependents need to control the life of their partner, they want to access their mobile, social networks, groups of friends, with the intention of monitoring, knowing what the other is doing, with whom and why.
  • Break with friends and family: The social dependent isolates himself socially from his environment and neglects his things to dedicate himself entirely to his partner.
  • Exaggerated fear of loneliness: Emotionally dependent people prefer to suffer in a relationship and with a partner that is not for them, than to be alone, because they are terrified of loneliness. Being without your partner causes pictures of depression and anguish.

  • What happens if you have emotional dependence on your partner?

    As we mentioned, if you have an emotional dependence on your partner , in addition to affecting the relationship in a negative way, you can in a few words stop living your life, to live for another person. You will always wait for their approval, you will not be able to show your true self, nor your point of view, because it will lead to problems and that is exactly what you want to avoid at all times.

    For this reason, the best thing to do is that if you feel that you are emotionally dependent, seek professional help and if you see that your relationship is not really what you want, cut it at the root.

    How to overcome emotional dependence in the couple?

    If you feel identified with this article, you suffer from anxiety or you see that your partner is suffering for you, you feel that your self-esteem has collapsed and that your relationship has become a real burden, do not wait any longer and go to a psychological treatment , sometimes, the mere fact of speaking releases burdens and improves your way of seeing life and therefore of assuming and managing your relationship.

    Emotional dependency test: How to know if they are emotionally dependent?

    If you want to know if you are emotionally dependent, you can start by answering these simple questions.

    • Do you feel exaggerated fear if you end up with your partner?
    • Do you feel that the most important thing in the world is your partner?
    • Do you not express your point of view for fear of upsetting your partner?
    • Would you do anything for your partner even if you disagree?
    • Would you forgive your partner mistreating you as long as they don't leave your side?
    • Do you need to know everything about your partner, social network passwords, number of their friends?

    If you have answered most of these questions in the affirmative, unfortunately they are clear symptoms of emotional dependence. So be careful. This is an alert.


    A relationship as a couple should be a support, a way to live life together and to be happy. If you see that this is not being fulfilled on one side or the other, it is time to evaluate what is happening. If it scares you and you think you are emotionally dependent or that you have a partner like that, it is best to talk about it and prioritize mental health, seeking help is always an option. Learning to manage feelings helps to have a healthier and more lasting relationship.

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