Codependency

The traditional definition of codependency focuses on control, nurturing, and maintenance of relationships with individuals who are chemically dependent or engaging in undesirable behaviors, such as narcissism.

A classic codependency model is an alcoholic husband and his enabling wife.

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Love & Family

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your sense of purpose involve making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner's needs?
  • Is it difficult to say no when your partner makes demands on your time and energy?
  • Do you cover your partner’s problems with drugs, alcohol, or the law?
  • Do you constantly worry about others’ opinions of you?
  • Do you feel trapped in your relationship?
  • Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?

When a child grows up in a dysfunctional home with unavailable parents, the child takes on the role of caretaker, learn to put the parents need first, and repress and disregard their own needs.

As the child becomes an adult, he or she repeats the same dynamic in their adult relationships.

Resentment builds when you don’t recognize your own needs and wants. A common behavioral tendency is to overreact or lash out when your partner lets you down.

Getting in touch with deep-rooted feelings of hurt, loss, and anger will allow you to reconstruct appropriate relationship dynamics. You will know you are on track when:

  • You nurture your own wants and desires
  • You say goodbye to abusive behavior.
  • You respond rather than react to your partner.

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Asking for approval

An early sign of a codependent relationship may be the need to get approval or permission to do basic everyday living, or if you feel you can't make a simple decision without that person.

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IDEAS

  • Interdependency requires two people capable of autonomy.
  • They share power equally and take responsibility for their own feelings, actions, and contributions to the relationship. 
  • They can manage their thoughts and feelings on their own and don’t have to control someone else to feel okay. 
  • They can allow for each other’s differences and honor each another’s separateness. 
  • There’s support for each other’s personal goals, but both are committed to the relationship.
3. Small Sacrifices Can Signal Commitment.

A healthy relationship includes two givers, who each give to each other and the relationship in small ways that matter. These small sacrifices are day-to-day indicators that a person is willing to put the partner or relationship first.

If you are seeing someone and considering a future together, ask yourself if you see evidence that they can put aside what they want at times for what is best for you.

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