Fusion and Relationship Dependency from “Psychology for Dummies” Page
A high degree of fusion or togetherness is reflected when two people have a hyper-sensitivity to each other. This intensity takes one of two forms: “I can’t do without you” or “I can’t stand to be around you.” Regardless of the external form fusions takes, and it can be very positive or very negative, it reflects a state of “we-ness” in that people believe, to some extent, that they must feel alike, think alike, and behave alike.
Such relationships, to varying degrees, create a dependency between people that can seriously interfere with people’s development of self and consequently with their functioning. Too many decisions become based on each other’s emotional state rather than on each person’s best thinking. It is important to remember that fusion and relationship dependency are normal, biological components of humans. Fusion is necessary for establishing relationships between individuals and every relationship creates a relationship dependency. The important question about relationship fusion is “How intense?”
How critical to the balance of the relationship is the “we-ness?” Does thinking differently threaten the relationship?
Hal DeShong, Ph.D. Second in command of the dogs.