Maintaining Independence and Self Confidence in a Relationship?

Man and woman in a difficult relationship
Relationships are about two people joining together to form a complementary unit. However, it can be difficult to retain a sense of self in some relationships, especially if one of the partners is too dominant or overbearing. This is a page about maintaining independence and self confidence in a relationship.


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 9, 2010

How can I minimise the effects of a loving and caring person who is making me dependent and helpless?

By Taherabu from Asia


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April 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Is this person just incredibly happy to have you in their life? Or is this longer term, of many years standing.
If it's relatively new, don't worry, the new will wear off and you will wonder where it went. If it's long standing, just make sure you know how to do the basics should this person ever die and you have to function for yourself, like know how to drive, manage finances, know the status and whereabouts of major concerns of your life [how much do you owe, etc].


Keep fit, exercise is a good way to feel your own energy, have some area you become increasingly proficient at, like cooking, art, gardening, something you might make a living at, should you need to. Plan something every day, even if it's at home, and try to carry out your plans. Maybe plan something with this person that you both develop to a higher level, rather than passively waiting for them to suggest, as I suppose it's become habit. Small steps.

April 9, 20100 found this helpful

You'll only become dependent and helpless if you let it happen. You need to take a hard look if this is a "kill with kindness" means to becoming controlling in everything you do.


Maybe not now but is it heading in that direction?


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April 9, 20100 found this helpful

I can't imagine what's going on so this may not fit. I don't work well with hints and don't like them so I go direct. When I'm feeling "pushed out of shape" I give myself a couple of days to see if how I feel is REALLY what's happening. If I still feel the same way after 72 hours I just have an honest sit down talk with the person. I TRY not to start my sentences with, "You do so and so..." but rather, "I feel so and so...". It seems to me this makes me look a little touchy rather than making them feel bad. I truly believe in being as independent as possible but sometimes a person needs to have somebody to care for and needs to feel useful. A good talk about your feelings is how I'd handle it.


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April 9, 20100 found this helpful

Get this book at library. I f they have it,ask them to get it if they don't have it-How Not to Lose Your Personal Identity in a Romantic Relationship. Do not become helpless! Good luck.


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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

If a person is making you feel dependent and helpless in a relationship, they are not truly a loving and caring individual, but a manipulative and controlling one. Step back and take a long, honest look at your relationship.

April 10, 20100 found this helpful

Make sure you schedule time alone with yourself. It may feel uncomfortable when it could be just as fun with your significant other, but it will be good for the both of you in the long haul.


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April 11, 20100 found this helpful

I've had this problem with my hubby these past 7 years, since I was nearly killed by a drunk driver. I'm almost totally blind now, so I do require sighted assistance at times, and no longer drive. I know my hubby loves me. I also know he's a very dominant personality, whereas I'm much less assertive. My hospital and rehab experiences taught me I have to speak up for myself.


The most important thing I do is choose my battles. If it doesn't matter who makes the coffee, I don't bother fussing about it. I do make sure to take a turn making the coffee, though, so I don't forget how. Sometimes I'll chase hubby out of the kitchen and cook something myself, even if it's only scrambled eggs and bacon. (He's afraid I'll burn or cut myself, but I'm safer and neater in the kitchen than he is, lol!) My appliances are marked so they're accessible to me, so when the inevitable happens (hubby is much older than I am,) I can still cook.

I've always taken an interest in where the money goes. That's a very important point. Make sure you know how to write a check, pay with a debit or credit card, or otherwise handle money. If your life partner resists, find someone you trust who is willing to back you up. Thank goodness for more assertive friends!


Also, I've cultivated at least one or two areas of interest hubby doesn't share. I'm a lifelong bookworm; hubby can read well, but prefers TV. I'm a total computer geek and always have been, but hubby barely knows how to turn one on. I also belong to one group into which hubby is not invited. The lady who now runs the group has already arranged to pick me up for our next meeting, so I'll have time away from hubby's sometimes smothering influence, over and above enjoying my friends' society and our group's meeting.

I hope my words have been of some help. JustPlainJo, Ohio (USA)

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