Codependency, as defined by my Google search this evening, is "excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction." However, when I think of interdependence, which is another type of dependency, I get a warm fuzzy feeling. Interdependency is two-sided. Two people depending on each other. Tonight my husband and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage. How does this relate to diabetes? Let me explain.
This interdependence in our relationship is not equal all the time. There are times one of us has to lean on the other. When my husband had surgery several years ago, he depended on me to prepare foods he could eat and help him keep on top of his medication. Likewise, when I am having issues managing my diabetes, he helps encourage me, without nagging, to make the right choices. When I'm down because my numbers are off even when I am trying, he reminds me that this is just one of many bumps in the road.
Some people need more encouragement and support than others. I know I am one that thrives on it. My husband doesn't need the outward support as much as the internal support. When you find your support system, it can be tempting to become codependent on that person. However, since we all need a boost now and then, developing interdependence is healthier and more beneficial to both people. The joy in giving is usually stronger than taking - but take when you need to so you're able to give again!