Relationship Help

Are you dating a person who has the Savior Complex?

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Are you dating a person who always needs to be needed? Are they constantly asking what they can do for you, or fix for you? Are they unhappy when there is nothing you need them to do? Let me tell you from personal experience, it is SO annoying and draining to deal with.

I am a strong, independent woman, and have no problem doing things for myself or on my own. I surely don’t NEED someone to do much for me. This tends to create a problem in a relationship with someone who has this complex.

The Savior Complex

Experts say that the reason people have to be the saviors/martyrs:” it’s a form of control. The fact that someone needs you so much gives you a sense of control over their life. Instead of letting that person take care of their affairs/baggage you swoop in to bear their problems”.

People who have this savior complex usually come from a home where a parent constantly told them they are worthless, good for nothing, and will never amount to anything. So, they spend the rest of their lives trying to prove their worthiness by “helping” and “fixing” things for people, to the point of it being a nuisance to the other person in the relationship.

These people are often frustrated in their relationships and exhausted from the amount of effort they are making, trying to fill a void. They often sacrifice his/her own needs, to help others, then end up feeling bitter and resentful, ignored and unappreciated. They rarely obtain the love, recognition and approval they are seeking, because nobody can possibly give enough, or let them do enough to meet their deepest needs.

Rejection and Control

This type of person has an extreme fear of rejection! They choose partners who need them, so they are less likely to leave them. But, unless a woman is truly a damsel in distress, an addict of some sort, or has codependency issues, they will not be comfortable in a relationship like this, so they leave them anyway. You will also notice that they have control issues in other areas of their lives.

Here are some responses from people after they read articles on the topic of the savior complex::

  • “I find it odd that u as a man want to be needed, but as a woman I’m seeing it as being needy instead of needed.”
  • “I know it can ruin a relationship; some people are too needy and insecure. They need constant reassurance or it’s a problem.”
  • “I dated a guy with that complex and it didn’t work out. Ultimately he told me he didn’t feel needed, that he felt like I was strong and I could do things on my own and thus where did that leave him? I guess unwanted.”
  • “I have control issues in my own life, like I am extremely claustrophobic in situations where I don’t think I can escape”.

If you sit down and look back on the patterns in your relationships, are you the one with the complex, or have you dated someone with this complex?
To do this may give you some important insight either way.

People who are overly helpful, are not doing so because they are caring for the other person on a normal, healthy level. They go to a level of extreme, not to meet your needs, but because of their own.

To overcome this dysfunction, it will take awareness, time, and healing, but it will be worth it!

A healthy relationship is not based upon NEEDING the other person, or having someone NEED you.

And, you really need to love yourself before you can truly love another.