Codependency is an emotional and behavioural condition that affects the ability to have a healthy relationship. A codependent relationship is a pattern of behaviour in which you or your partner is dependent on approval for your self-worth and identity. It can simply be defined as “relationship addiction”, this is because people with codependency often enter relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive, and sometimes even abusive. It is also typical that someone who suffers with an alcohol and/or drug addiction is more likely to exhibit signs of codependency in a relationship. A key sign of codependency is when your purpose in life is defined around making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your significant other’s needs. It can become a common occurrence that people find themselves repeating unhealthy behavioural patterns in relationships regardless of their intentions.
How is a Codependent Relationship Formed?
Anyone in a relationship can eventually become codependent. Those who have had emotionally abusive parents or who have been neglected in childhood into their teens are more likely to enter codependent relationships. Codependency is also likely to come from a member within a family who struggles with or has been affected by an addiction to drugs, alcohol, relationships, work, food, sex or gambling. Typically, those in codependent relationships also look externally for everything to make them feel better. They find it difficult to just “be themselves”. Some try to feel better with substances, others develop compulsions such as a high work ethic, gambling, or promiscuous behaviour. Codependents often take on a role as being the benefactors to an individual in need. Taking care of another often becomes compulsive and is unable to break away from the repetitive behaviour causing codependency.
Signs of a Codependent Person
Exaggerates a sense of responsibility for the actions of others
Often confusing love and pity
Feel hurt when efforts aren’t realized.
Dependence on relationships in an unhealthy manner
Dire need to be recognized
Guilt when the need to be assertive arises
Always trying to control others
Tendency to burst into anger
Decision making difficulty
Fear of abandonment
Problems with boundaries
How Spot Someone is in a Codependent Relationship
They are unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of your significant other
They recognize unhealthy behaviours in your partner but continue to be with them regardless of the consequences of ill-behaviour.
They provide support to your partner at the expense of your own psychological and physical health.
Treatment for Codependency
Codependency tends to be rooted in an individual’s childhood and treatment tends to involve psychotherapeutic exploration into early childhood trauma and issues. Our first relationships we form are with our parents and if there is a dysfunctional aspect to the relationship, destructive behavioural patterns tend to form. Treatment focuses on helping clients become attuned to their feelings and allow them experience the full range of human emotion.
If you would like to receive counselling or are interested to hear more about our treatment program, don’t hesitate to call us at +1 (855) 787-2424.
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