Caregiver Syndrome

Some of the nicest people I have ever meet are caregivers.  You know the ones, always doing for others, typically putting their own needs aside.  When a caregiver chooses a career it tends to be one in something like social work, teaching, nursing etc.  They choose these career paths because it makes them feel good about themselves.  It gives them purpose.  When they fulfill that “need to be needed” in their career choice great things can be achieved.

Yet some caregivers carry that need to be needed into dating and relationships.  This is never a wise decision but it is their nature.  It helps them feel good about them self…and then, they end up feeling bad.

I could take a caregiver and place them in a room with 100 other people and the caregiver will automatically gravitate toward the one person in the room who is screwed up!  It is almost magnetic at times.    A caregiver is always is attracted to defective people and situations.  This is why they end up in bad or even abusive relationships.  Most of the time caregivers don’t even realize how much pain they have caused them self in their choices.

I see about 5 or 6 caregivers walk through my front door each week.  Most of them have had bad relationships in their past and many have been abused either emotionally or physically.  They are hesitant to make any decisions, move forward or try something new because they don’t even trust their own judgment anymore.

The reasons why caregivers come into my office is to break that vicious cycle, give themselves a chance at true love and being loved but most importantly, to stop the pain.  This however, is a hard thing for a caregiver to do because it means that they are now being taken care of instead of doing the care giving them self.

The first step in fixing a problem is recognizing that the problem does exist.  Next, is accepting it and preparing to do something positive to change the current situation.  The most important step is follow through.  Don’t just say you want to make changes, actually commit to doing something about it and then stick to it.  Don’t give up so quickly…

Sometimes it is nice to let others take care of you for a change!


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17 Responses to “Caregiver Syndrome”

  1. Tina

    This is so true! I have always been a caregiver until I finally realized how bad my choices were. I love how you just spell it all out because so many people don’t even realize this is a problem until it is to late.

  2. Miss MatchMaker

    It sounds like you figured it out just in time Tina.


  3. DW

    I dated a nurse a few years ago and I remember her telling me about all the bad relationships she had been in and I always wondered why she picked such losers. We didn’t date for very long, maybe I was to normal for her?

  4. Miss MatchMaker

    Well maybe now you will have a better understanding the next time you date a woman who is a caregiver DW.


  5. Karen

    I have a few friends that are caregivers and it is really sad to watch them go through men that are just no good for them. I tried setting one of them up with a “nice guy” but she had no interest and went bad to picking the wrong ones.

  6. Miss MatchMaker

    Maybe she just wasn’t ready…


  7. Dr. Nicole Sundene

    Ummm…”no comment” lol

  8. Miss MatchMaker



  9. Daaz

    I just got out of a relationship just like that, in fact, exactly. I am an EMT, and i met my now ex at a party. She was the most broken thing on the property.

    We were together for 3 years, and i admit she is a great girl, i still love her to death. But i can admit it was defiantly a lot of work (i dont regret it, but it was hard work…)

    Taking her into the psych wing every 4 months, taking her to ECT apointments, helping with episodes… oh man.

    Now that its over i cant wait to get a motorcycle, go back to school for nursing, do all these things i put on hold for the last 3 years.

    I just hope she can learn how to fend for herself. I guess noone can hold her hand forever, and she needs time on her own to discover herself, find out she can do more then she thinks she can, and live her life for her, from her.


    Oh, and the relationship i was in before her was a horrible meeting of two care givers, it only lasted 11 months…ended because we both wanted to save each other so hard we couldnt work on each other, or our selves, and it was the worst break up of my life.

    This last one is going fine. We are living together, and its like having an awkward roomate. i move in 6 weeks.

  10. Miss MatchMaker

    Sounds like you are a classic caregiver Daaz! Hopefully recognizing it will now help you make better choices when it comes to relationships. I am glad to hear you are going into nursing. This will help to focus your caregiver mentality in a positive manner! Good luck to you!


  11. michelle

    i’m still dealing with my issues as *caregiver* , though i eventually learned to differentiate my need to give with true love, valorie has yet to make that distinction … oh well…

    [valorie is my daughter who seems to pick guys that had no relationship with their fathers and mothers who had their own agenda that didn't include being involved in their sons lives --- her husband is currently struggling with an addiction to crack]

    ps… i went into teaching and she is a nurse … talk about needing to be needed …

  12. Miss MatchMaker

    Michelle this is one of the hardest things about being a caregiver – passing it on to your children. What they see growing up for relationship role models has a tremendous effect on how they will behave in their relationships. I am glad to hear that you have figured it all out. Hopefully Valorie will as well!


  13. Amy

    If I didnt know better, I would think was written for me………

    Love ya!

  14. alli

    love you miss matchmaker. ;-)

  15. Miss MatchMaker

    I love you too sweet girl!!!


  16. Henry

    Thank you for addressing this,truly appreciated!

  17. Tiffany

    I definetly take this comment to heart. I am one of those people. The best feeling in a relationship is knowing that someone else cares and that you don’t have to go through things by yourself.

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