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.
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.
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.