The Curse Of Dependent Relationships


Ever since the Fall of man, our inner security has been thwarted by sin and

separation from God. The resultant guilt and alienation continues to

undermine us today in our inability to develop proper relationships.

An underlying motive for developing relationships with others, male and

female, gay and straight, can be a desire to maintain inner security, a

basis which makes the relationships shaky. This desire for security stems

from our need for approval and acceptance, plus the need to be a free

individual. We enter into dependent relationships hoping they will supply

the needed self-worth and self-acceptance. (I'm not suggesting we become

independent loners. In Christ we are one and interdependent.) The problem

I'm talking about here is one of focusing on another person to be our


Selfish Motives Are The Basis.

In essence, when we make another person responsible for our security, we

are saying, "I want your life so I can live." This handicaps relationships

in that the result can only be possessiveness which cancels the freedom

that is the basis for true godly love. We put our expectations on the

other party in the relationship, only to discover that the other person is

doing the same thing. It's like two drowning people trying to use another

to climb to the surface. It is an on-going circle marked by continual

conflict. The destructive elements in these relationships are the

bitterness, anger and hatred that come when that deep need for security is

not met. The situation is resolved when we let go of the dependent

relationship as we find something truly secure: the real Saviour, Jesus


Dependence In Gay Relationships

Dependence is the very thing that causes gay relationships to break down.

People will argue that some homosexual relationships do work, but I say

that gay lovers remain together not as a result of fulfilment, but rather

out of a mutual fear of being alone. This is a characteristic of all

dependent relationships, not just gay ones. Another characteristic is that

we settle for second best: we compromise our personal values and force the

other person to compromise, all for the maintenance of personal security.

In my relationship with my ex-lover, I compromised my moral values and

personal expression to maintain my security. I was shallow and passive in

the way I related to him, failing to express my true feelings. I was not

real. Every time I would strive to be real, the relationship would begin

to quaver. I would feel guilty and fearful, second-rate and dominated. I

felt alone, as I wasn't secure within myself. Depressed and anxious, I

knew that I had to run, but I was afraid to let go of my reasonable

facsimile of security.

Within this pseudo-secure relationship, I felt frustrated. I tried to get

this other person to open up, but nothing he did was ever enough for me.

When we became sexually involved, I can't say it provided anything for me

and it only created greater lust. I could never get enough hugs or

compliments. I wanted more, the more the better. I could never accept

what was there already, I became angry and bitter towards my ex-lover, but

hid my feelings deep inside. On the outside, I was all smiles and

platitudes. Near the end of our relationship, my disappointment and

resentment began to take its toll on my emotional health. I began facing

the fact that I was gong to be empty for the rest of my life. No matter

who I was with, they were going to sap me of my life, and I would do the

same thing for them.

The Death Grip.

This kind of relationship is commonly known as the "death grip." What it

does is destroy the personalities of those involved because each is placing

conditions on the other. If either party fails to keep the conditions, the

relationship is at stake. Dependent relationships put people in boxes.

There is no freedom to grow or to be unique. Personal identity becomes

increasingly hazy. These are love-hate relationships in which the

participants are mutually oppressed and suppressed. Each sets standards

over the other which are never quite met, or which are moved higher when

they are met. Each sees himself as better than the other.

Slavery To Self.

The more I progressed into dependent relationships, the more I became a

slave to my own needs. I was losing myself through my efforts to preserve

my own life. I could never escape the fact that my insecurity began with

my sinfulness and separation from God. The first thing a person will do

when separated from God is to seek a substitute, which I found in gay

relationships. The futility experienced in placing my hopes for security

in another person showed me the hopelessness of trying to fill my inner

void with anything other than God. Since I have been back with the Lord

and learning to have my security needs met in God, I've been gaining

victory over my dependent behaviour.

Steps In Overcoming,

In leaving my ex-lover to come back to the Lord, I learned some steps in

resolving dependent relationships. The first step is to determine if your

self-worth and self-acceptance are based on another's attitudes toward you.

If this is true, you will be feeling both guilt and condemnation for

failure to measure up to another's expectations. There may also be

frustration and feelings of anger and bitterness directed toward the other

person because the need for security has not been met.

The next step is to examine yourself and the way you relate to others.

Sometimes we fail to be honest about what we are feeling, lacking firmness

and giving in to passivity. We need to realise that passivity is often a

cover-up for negative feelings, and can be considered a form of lying,

deception, and manipulation. If we can face the fact that our deepest

security needs will not be met through any human means repentance and

commitment to Christ will bring the solution to the security problems. He

is the only one that can save us from our loneliness and separation.

If we have Christ to rely upon, we find that letting go of another person,

while painful, will be anointed by God's strength and grace. Our ability

to be honest and "up-front" with another will not be dependent on their

reaction, but on God's love and acceptance. Wrong relationships will come

to a halt and strained ones will experience reconciliation. Our

relationships with others will become creative rather than destructive as

we pass along the love and forgiveness we've received from God "We love

because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) The destructive element in a

dependent relationship is making another person responsible for the way we

feel about ourselves. Only Jesus willingly accepted the penalty for our

sinfulness, alleviating our insecurity. He alone is the path to absolute

and profound security in the Father.


"And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by

Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

-- by Bill Hernandez


For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual

brokenness, please contact:


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Phone (08) 371 0446

This article is reprinted by permission from:

Love In Action

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San Rafael California 94912



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