You love me so much; you want to put me in your pocket. And I should die there smothered.
--D. H. Lawrence
Adult children often try to control people to keep them from moving away. To ensure that we won't be left alone, we might smother-love them with everything we have.
Of course, we become obsessed with the person we're trying to control. But even worse, this caretaking behavior eventually leads us to become more addicted to the problem than to the person. We become good at solving other people's problems and wiping away their tears; that's our skill. And that's why we so often end up attracting and being attracted to people who have monumental personal problems.
Oftentimes, our very hanging on guarantees the relationship will fail. When we try to control those we love we stand the chance of crippling our loved ones and ourselves. We must first aim for being healthy ourselves - only then can we learn to be part of a healthy relationship.
Today, I will let my loved ones face their own problems. I can love these people without fixing them.
You are reading from the book:
Days of Healing, Days of Joy by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty. Copyright 1987, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the Hazelden.