Enmeshment, Codependency, Over or Under-Functioning Within a Relationship

by Jul 7, 2021Uncategorized

If we draw from the issues of balance (or imbalance) within ourselves, what if two people (each with their own idiosyncratic imbalances) get together?

 If we take two individuals, each in their own “imperfectness,” out of balance in their own unique ways (we are each our own “unique snowflake” of strengths and weaknesses) than how do these dynamics match up? Is one of us over-functioning, in ways that collude with the other one under-functioning? How do we find “right balance” between TWO individuals??

In this (arbitrary) model, certain areas are more pronounced in one person, perhaps less pronounced in the other, or perhaps equally pronounced in the other. Will there be competition? Filling in for one another’s deficits?

Sometimes we are in one another’s “spaces” more than optimally – one person performing more of a needed function for the other person – rather than each person “holding their own” (relatively evenly shared) portions of personal responsibility.

One person may be failing to own their own responsibility (lines too short in the picture below); another person may be overstepping into the other person’s self-regulation responsibilities (colored lines too long).

In this picture, I am to convey more of a two-dimensional representation of where two individuals “meet” one another on various issues, one can see where the pink lines extend into the blue space, or where the blue lines are too short, or conversely where the blue lines are extending into the pink space and the pink lines are too short (use of colors arbitrary, not meant to characterize one gender or another).

What needs to happen, here, in my opinion, is that each person needs to work on their own intrapersonal balance, being their own 100%, and from there the relationship balance can be better.

The “ideal,” as I conceptualize it, was drawn in representative form by a friend of mine, to capture certain elements:


  • each person being securely centered in his or her own self,
  • each person taking responsibility to maintain their own balance,
  • the connection between the two being “touching,” but connecting without pulling the other person off their separate “right balance.”

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The David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation, founded in 1990, (https://davidsuzuki.org/) has as its guiding principles:

One nature. We are nature. All people, and all species.

We are interconnected with nature, and with each other.

What we do to the planet and its living creatures, we do to ourselves.