Understanding Codependency


Article by Asanti

Photography by Asanti

What is Codependency?

Codependency is typically a relationship between two people in which they become so invested in each other that they can’t function independently. Likewise, it can be a relationship between a person and an obsessive habit. This kind of relationship dictates every aspect of your life, including your happiness, will, and identity. Codependency can either be conscious or subconscious. Being affected by any one of them usually stems from the background, and/or the personality of the individual.

Subconscious Codependency

This type of codependency might emanate from a dysfunctional childhood filled with emotional neglect, or past experiences of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse and lack of intimacy that leads to induced low self esteem and feelings of unworthiness that can gradually build up to a need for approval by others’. When this happens, there’s usually a need for “succour”, in the arms of someone, or something. This creates a pattern of codependency on a subconscious level, that you are not aware of. These types of people have a hard time being alone, and without a romantic partner they experience deep sadness and feelings of loneliness, which causes them to jump from one relationship to another, or promiscuous behavior. They tend to be dysfunctionally clingy, or attached to their partners, which isn’t very healthy. 

Conscious Codependency

This is a more toxic form of codependency. The overly dependent partner is aware that he/she is dependent and that the other partner is literally taking him/her for a ride but they keep striving to please them even at their own detriment because they believe that the relationship actually defines who they are. Bringing someone to a realization of their codependency is a quick and easier way to get them to break free, but convincing someone to let go who is already aware of their dependency would definitely be an uphill task. These people tend to stay in unfulfilling relationships that bring them no contentment because of their need for financial security. There usually is an underlying fear of not being able to make it on their own. They have completely lost their sense of independence.

But the real question is, how do you decipher if you are codependent without having someone point it out to you. Here are some of the signs that characterizes a codependent relationship:

- Lack of trust in self and low self esteem

- Having a larger than life responsibility for others while neglecting yourself

- Overt dependency on your partners approval

- Difficulty in identifying and voicing your feelings

- Having fears of abandonment 

Now that you’ve seen the signs that exhibit codependent behavior you can begin making conscious efforts to break free and regain your independence, and move more into alignment with self.

Related Businesses

Preferred Care at Home of Sumner

Men's Health

Preferred Care at Home of Sumner

Gallatin, TN

Preferred Care at Home of North Nashville, Davidson, Sumner and Wilson counties is the leader in providing access to quality...

Cumberland Counseling Centers

Women's Health

Cumberland Counseling Centers

Smyrna, GA

Cumberland Counseling Center provides clinical mental health counseling as well as education and trainings to community...

Evolve Counseling & Behavioral Health Services

Men's Health

Evolve Counseling & Behavioral Health Services

Gilbert, AZ

Our mission is to help our clients break through the obstacles that seem to be holding them back in life. Life's too short to...

See More

Related Articles

See More