What is codependency?
The base of codependency starts with unhealthy boundaries and a need to feel control, while many other personalities traits go along with codependency, these are the two major signs.
Most codependency problems steam from a deep-seated need to either soothe or to replicate part of our past childhood.
Either state can be provoked on a subconscious or conscious level.
Codependency exists when we have a broken sense of identity due to inner childhood wounds.
The different faces of codependency
In the past codependency was usually understood as a relationship that consisted of an addict (alcohol, drugs, etc.) and an enabler.
Today codependency has different facets that can get pretty complex if we start to dive deep into it.
Although, current trends of understanding codependency as the empath and narcissist relationship it doesn’t always have to be this outline to be defined as codependency.
It has been a topic that has been deeply researched, but yet new information is always being explored.
It is not to say that past research is irrelevant. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), the root of codependency is indeed a subject that needs a spotlight of its own.
To simplify its meaning, codependency is an unhealed situation that prevents us from having a healthy relationship with ourselves and others.
When relationships turn codependent
It is natural for us to want to feel love, acceptance, and belonging.
Individuals with a codependent personality tend to hyperfocus on these areas due to a lack or void that desperately has been longing to be filled.
No individual goes into a relationship thinking it will fail or that they want to put their friends and family in a situation as collateral damage.
When we put ourselves in codependent relationships with children involved, we potentially expose our children to have their own cycles of unhealthy relationship patterns later on.
Your children will run the risk of being in repeated cycles of codependent relationships themselves.
With codependency, nobody wins. Even if you think that relationship or that person you are so desperately trying to hold on to is helping you.
If codependency is involved, everyone is on the losing end especially the codependent and their children.
The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.Ernest Hemingway
Patterns of codependency
- No healthy sense of identity
- Tends to cling to people and relationships
- Repeated cycles of unstable or toxic relationships
- Constantly waiting for the partner to ‘’mess up’’
- A constant fear of your partner leaving you
- Emotional instability
- Needs to feel control
- Fear of rejection
- Self-sabotaging behaviors in partnerships
- Problems defining boundaries
Emotions attached to codependency
- Low self-worth/ Insecure
Patterns of codependency in relationships
Relationships with codependency traits are often intense and will go through emotional highs and lows.
Most often much of this intensity will be hidden behind closed doors, to not show flaws and to maintain the status quo to friends and family members.
Individuals in a codependent state are in extreme ‘’survival mode’’. All of their senses are heightened due to a fear-based mindset. The number one priority is ‘’safety’’.
Moods are irregular and the individuals can be easily triggered.
Intense and negative emotions for fear of rejection or loss are at an all-time high. Thier guard is always up as a means to control their relationships and situations.
Long-term behavioral patterns of codependency are very stressful on the mind, body, and soul.
Many times, codependency issues are also coupled with insomnia, addiction, mental illness, and or physical health problems for the individual.
You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm…
In a healthy relationship, love is more about compromises than sacrifices.
Codependent relationships can have either one over sacrificing their own needs or both partners making the wrong sacrifices for the wrong reasons.
Codependency and love
The question always is, can a codependent relationship turn into a healthy and loving relationship?
Patterns of codependency can be prevalent in both partners, not just one.
In any relationship, both partners will have to understand their own needs and the needs of the relationship.
As easy as that sounds, it is a very hard task.
With codependency, there could be deep wounds that will need to be uncovered, as well as past relationship wounds that will need to be healed and cleared.
Healing and self-work is not a one ”session” or one ”self-help book” type of deal.
If you are ready to explore self-healing to change your life and relationships it is a daunting task but with incredibly great rewards.
In cases of both partners being codependent. Sometimes one partner will be ready for change while the other is not.
We all have free will to choose what we feel is the best course for us. But as always, free will comes with responsibility.
Responsibility to make wise choices and responsibility to live with the results of our choices.
Healing starts with YOU!
First, healing can only truly begin when we have accepted that there is a problem and the willingness to do something to solve that problem.
Second, it is always best to try to seek the help of a professional for your healing journey. Preferably one that is specialized or has experience in codependency.
With the help of a professional, they can help you see blind spots that you might have missed.
Last, the healing journey can start anytime you are ready.
Last few words…
If you or a loved one you know has trouble with codependency, understand that it can be overcome. Just like any other obstacle out there.
You don’t have to think that there is something wrong with you, or that because of this you should give up on love and forming close relationships.
Codependency traits tend to kick in when we haven’t been taught particular social and or emotional skills to build and maintain healthy relationships.
If you have been reading this article, then you are already aware of the situation at hand. One foot is already in the door.
I understand change can be hard for those who have been living a certain way for a long time. As a matter of fact, it can be quite scary!?
But what if there was another way. Instead of being control by our fears and emotions, what if there was another way that could make life easier and happier?
What would life be like if you could just let go and enjoy happiness?