Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior.
Do you feel trapped in your relationship?
Are you the one that is constantly making sacrifices in your relationship? Then you may be in a codependent relationship. The term codependency has been around for decades.
Although it originally applied to spouses of alcoholics first called co-alcoholicsresearchers revealed that the characteristics of codependents were much more prevalent in the general population than had previously imagined. In fact, they found that if you were raised in a dysfunctional family or had an ill parent, you could also be codependent.
Researchers also found that codependent symptoms got worse if left untreated. The following is a list of symptoms of codependency and being in a codependent relationship.
There is help for recovery and change for people who are codependent. The first step is getting guidance and support. These symptoms are deeply ingrained habits and difficult to identify and change on your own. Join a Step program, such as Codependents Anonymous or seek counseling.
Work on becoming more assertive and building your self-esteem. Find out more about: Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and expert on relationships and codependency. Lancer has counseled individuals and couples for 28 years and coaches internationally.
Retrieved on November 9,from https: Find help or get online counseling now. Symptoms of Codependency The following is a list of symptoms of codependency and being in a codependent relationship.
Underneath, usually hidden from consciousness, are feelings of shame.
Guilt and perfectionism often go along with low self-esteem. They go out of their way and sacrifice their own needs to accommodate other people. Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. They have blurry or weak boundaries.
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Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive.
Another effect of poor boundaries is that if someone else has a problem, you want to help them to the point that you give up yourself. Control helps codependents feel safe and secure. Everyone needs some control over events in their life.
Codependents also need to control those close to them, because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay. In fact, people-pleasing and care-taking can be used to control and manipulate people.
Codependents have trouble when it comes to communicating their thoughts, feelings and needs. Communication becomes dishonest and confusing when you try to manipulate the other person out of fear. Codependents have a tendency to spend their time thinking about other people or relationships.
This is caused by their dependency and anxieties and fears. This is one way to stay in denial, discussed below, but it keeps you from living your life. Codependents need other people to like them to feel okay about themselves.
This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even when the relationship is painful or abusive. They end up feeling trapped. Usually they think the problem is someone else or the situation.
They either keep complaining or trying to fix the other person, or go from one relationship or job to another and never own up the fact that they have a problem. Codependents also deny their feelings and needs.
The same thing goes for their needs. They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy.
They are in denial of their vulnerability and need for love and intimacy. On the other hand, you may fear being smothered in a relationship and losing your autonomy.