“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.” Mt 5:37 NIV
When does “a good thing” become “too much?” Can I help you, without hurting me? Can we share our lives, without me giving up mine? When do you truly need my help? When do I need to let go, and let you and God handle it? Finding the balance between “enough” and “too much” in relationships is a constant challenge and isn’t easy. Especially when your role tends to be, “all things, at all times, to all people,” and theirs is, “I’m helpless, you owe me, take care of me”; when you have no “no” and they have no “yes.” Needing to be needed by needy people who always want someone to take care of them, puts the needy person in the driver’s seat—and puts you over the edge. They are never happy, whatever you do. So you do more to make them feel happier and yourself feel less guilty, and you end up in a double bind. They resent you for not giving enough, and you resent them for not appreciating what you give. Yet neither of you knows how to break the cycle. So the relationship becomes what counselors call a “more-of-the-same” tangle where both parties resent and devalue the other, feeling stuck in a life-dominating trap you both fear to jettison. Marriages, families, friendships, workplaces, churches and social groups get trapped in this “victim-rescuer” pattern where needy people and fixers become lock-stepped in a mutual dance they both “love to hate,” but won’t stop doing! Recognize yourself? If so, you’re moving toward a healthier, less toxic relationship.
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