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I had the same situation. A non sustainable life. With her all changed. I go to the gym so she does not have a skinny boyfriend. When I find something good at netflix I wait until she is home and we can watch it together. When I find a nice place, I remmember it so I can show her the nice bench under that tree in my hometown.

I always have flashback about the time I moved to another city without family bondings. Then I smiley because it's over.

That sounds great! Just be careful not too become too dependent on someone else.

Becoming dependent is part of the deal. It keeps people together through the difficult times.

A life with your significant other shouldn’t be about “dependence” once you start basing your self worth and happiness on your SO, it gets a lot harder when you are upset with each other (it will happen) or even when you want to do something that they don’t - or vice versa.

Either one of you can also start feeling rejected when the other person just wants some alone time.

You’re quibbling about language I think. It sounds like to you, depenence means an incessant need. Like a chemical dependency.

But that’s not implied by dependence. It just means you depend on that person for that thing sometimes. It means life would be tough if they stopped providing it. It doesn’t mean you would fall apart or become unable to function.

Certainly there are things people want to depend on their partner for and things they don’t. But none of it is universal. It’s totally individual. Someone might want to be financially self sufficient. Another person would feel totally safe bringing $0 to the relationship. Neither is a bad choice, it depends on whether that’s something you’re comfortable depending on your partner for, and whether they’re comfortable dependably providing it.

I’m definitely no relationship expert, but the “experts” often talk about the difference between “dependence”, “interdependence” and “codependence”.

Edit: Just in case it wasn’t obvious, “interdependence” is the only one that is considered healthy.

I think it’s more in relation to loneliness.

My wife and I have our own lives that we happen to share with each other, but at least from my perspective, if she were to somehow vanish one day, my life would be immeasurably worse for it.

I really don’t want to imagine coming home to a big empty house.

I agree completely. But, it is too easy to lose yourself in your relationship and forget who you are. Lately, I’ve had to make a concerted effort to increase my social circle from basically zero since I got married.

It just “happens”. I moved across town (metro area - across town is literally over an hour away with traffic), my friends and I all became busy with our own lives and i woke up one morning and realize that my family had become my whole life (not in a good way). Between that and my career I had no friendship circle and I stopped just doing things by myself to recharge. It didn’t help that most of friends were female. Of course that doesn’t work out too well when you’re married.

I had to actually start purposefully keeping in touch with friends and former coworkers as I changed jobs every couple of years and when I saw an old high school classmate (from over 20 years ago) that I was “friends” with on Facebook, I made an effort to reach out to him and another classmate to meet for drinks.

No, dependency breeds contempt. If he values the relationship he needs to remain independent, i.e. have his own mission in life and not just live for his partner.

Yeah, I think the term is really "integrate". While I'm not dependent on my wife, there are things that I trust her to do and things she trust me to do, and we don't even think about them anymore because my partner is handling them. You give up stuff because your partner has got them. You sort of sag into each-other as people.

"And the two shall become one flesh."

I thought that was a reference to the joining of the DNA in the progeny.

Like many things, it can probably be read multiple ways.

Yours is an interesting reading, and I must confess it had not occurred to me before.

Stephen Covey used[0] the term "interdependent", which I rather like.

[0] 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

That was my mistake in my last relationship. Everything I did alone and loved it absolutely - sometimes even more, I started doing pretty much "only with her" and after we parted ways that has been the most difficult part - I kind of forgot how I was happy, active, engaged with just being myself and not with anyone else necessarily.

Co-dependency is not 'part of the deal'. It's something toxic to a relationship.

This. Remember to love and invest in yourself for your own sake -- it will make you a better partner too.

Excellent advice. Also, you have to do it for yourself, because you want to be the best version of yourself possible, not because you think it's what someone else wants.

not because you think it's what someone else wants.

But you appreciate the work you went through to attain those heights that much more when you have someone to see the view with, who appreciates it as much as you do.

Which IMO is the best part of "working on yourself", and "improving yourself". Doing it for yourself is absolutely great and can make for a wonderful lived experience. But having someone to share it delivers great sense of validation--as creatures who like to procreate, we're always going to desire that.

100% agree. And sharing that view with someone who has walked (much of) the path with you is infinitely more fulfilling. It makes it real. Otherwise it's just a tree falling in the woods.

Having that kind of deep relationship is so rare these days, to anyone who has the pleasure of experiencing it.. cherish it forever!

Based on my own experience of being with someone for 10+ years, I can attest it takes a lot of patience, compromise, trust and hard work (from both parties).

But it can be incredibly fulfilling.

Otherwise it's just a tree falling in the woods.

That's a GREAT metaphor!

Chances are good that people will become dependent on each other at some point in their lives anyway, especially with those you plan to grow old with. And that is completely fine. Doesn't mean that you need to identify yourself through your partner or friends. I do think this get interpreted wrongly too often, since a fundamental part of a relationship or friendship is having someone you can depend on in times of need.

Of course you're right. Nevertheless I think it's healthy to pursue interests that don't necessarily involve your partner and, perhaps more importantly, not to neglect other friends - otherwise a potentially failing relationship might feel like losing everything, because it actually is.

Then when she develops more serious health or mental problems, and you have nobody to help look after your children, relationship therapy has burned through a couple therapists, and you're telling each other how lonely you each are but avoid real conversations because they inevitably lead to more loneliness, then you will again have a new perspective. Good luck.

Please don't do this here. You're welcome to share your own experience, if that's what you're alluding to here, but not to rhetorically put it onto someone else.

I guess I am going to be the only person to defend this statement. I see where you are coming from and I’m willing to give you the benefit of a doubt that you meant the “hypothetical you”.

But to use the old cliché- it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Having the childcare load shift due to a partner's health issue is something that will happen. I have been there and it isn't easy. But personally I was happy to step up and am proud of how I acted in that moment. Sorry to hear about what sounds like your more negative experience.

At least he/she would have lived and dared to love. What a shitty and cynical comment.

I may be wrong, but it sounds like an allusion to some other story, which is probably quite painful.

I hope you can see the light in the world again, some day.

Damn, isn't there enough negativity in the world? You gotta bring that in here?

Well, this entire thread is about loneliness. If we want to understand it and help it then we probably should be talking about it.

> I go to the gym so she does not have a skinny boyfriend.

PSA, there's nothing wrong with being skinny, and some people prefer a skinny partner.

PSA: People happily burbling about what works for them and their partner in their relationship are not judging nor body policing anyone else and should not be treated like they are.

My read on that comment:

"I can't be arsed to go to the gym regularly for my own benefit, but I'm happy to do so to please her and I'm all the healthier for it. win-win!"

There's no need to read aggression in my comment or to reply like that. I was simply stating this for readers who might feel self-conscious about being skinny, as I did when I read the comment. Western culture very much shames skinny, healthy men so I thought it was a useful reminder.

There's no need to read aggression in my comment or to reply like that.

I mirrored the framing of your comment. If it feels ugly to you for me to reply in that manner, maybe think about that. Because that's the crux of my point.

There are good ways to promote body positivity. Making comments that look like a personal attack on someone else for simply being happy about their current choices isn't really one of them.

American culture very much shames thin, healthy men because they're not fat like everyone else. I've been told many times "you need to eat more!" (and they weren't talking about healthy food either), even though my weight is right where it should be. As you might expect, the people saying this are all overweight.

Being fat is normal now in American society, and anyone who isn't is seen as a deviant.

When we met I was skinny AF. I started gym and now I no more feel awkward when I see pictures with me and her. But the main profit of gym is in my mind. I'm more tolerant about everything. When people do shit I can act with a clear mind and without mental agression.

It can be surprising what exercise can do for your head. It seems to be something purely physical, but it has certainly made me more active in other ways. It's easier to say "yes" to activities when you have more energy, and that's what exercise does to you.

While there's nothing wrong with being skinny, if his partner is encouraging him to go to the gym to take care of himself, that's A-OK.

I think of skinny and fat as opposites, backed up by word uses like the "Fattypuffs and Thinifers" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fattypuffs_and_Thinifers - it's amusing that people go to the gym because they don't want to be fat, and people go to the gym because they don't want to be thin.

Are there other things in life where people go to the same place for, at a glance, opposite reasons?

Technically they’re both at the gym, but they’re probably doing mostly non-overlapping activities in separate spaces. (Which is a shame because building muscle mass is an often overlooked way to lose weight)

There are different things you can do at the gym, but more than that, with many things, the best/healthiest place to be is between two extremes rather than on either end.

Not just with weight, but with nearly everything in life: try to find a balance. Between time for yourself and spending time with others, between socialism and capitalism, almost every -ism, belief or drive taken to extremes becomes harmful, but can be a useful contribution to a balance between different concerns.

Some people go to the gym to get skinnier.

In any case, I used to hate working out, and always had terrible posture. I've been doing crossfit for half a year now and improvements are visible to a lot of people around me. I don't want to bulk up, but better posture is good for anyone.

It's all subjective what is what, but "skinny" can easily veer into unhealthy, especially for adults.

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