Do you expend all of your energy in meeting your partner’s needs? Perhaps you feel trapped in your marriage, or maybe you feel as though you are the one making all of the sacrifices for your relationship. When a relationship is one-sided, where one person relies on the other for all of their emotional needs, or when the partnership itself enables one person to continue their irresponsible behaviors, psychologists refer to this as a codependent relationship. While the scenarios previously mentioned vary to some degree, they are essentially two sides of the same coin, and this is not a new concept at all. A greater awareness of the characteristics of codependency has revealed that it’s much more prevalent in the general population than originally perceived.
On the other hand, individuals do not have to present every symptom to be considered codependent. Often times, codependent habits are deeply ingrained and difficult to identify. They are equally difficult to change. Consider the following symptoms, provided by PsychCentral.
Feeling “not good enough,” along with comparing yourself to others is a sign of low self-esteem. Beneath the surface, there are usually feelings of shame, as well as guilt and constant striving for perfection.
For a codependent, saying “no” creates anxiety. Thus, they go out of their way, even sacrificing their own needs, to accommodate and please others.
Boundaries translate to one’s feelings, thoughts and needs, not just physical property. Codependents typically have weak or blurry boundaries, causing them to take responsibility for the feelings of others or blame their feelings on someone else.
Perhaps a result of weak boundaries, codependents react to everyone’s feelings by immediately believing them or becoming defensive.
While it’s natural to feel empathy for someone else, codependents tend to cross the line when it comes to helping someone, to the point where they give up themselves and their own rights.
With the need to feel safe and secure, codependents value control and might become addicted to something or a behavior in order to create a sense of stability. Alcoholism and workaholism are examples.
Whether they are disconnected from their own feelings, or they do not want to share them out of fear, codependents usually have trouble when communicating. As a result, they become dishonest.
Spending lots of time thinking about other people or relationships, codependent individuals obsess or fantasize about how they’d like things to be, and this is birthed out of anxiety and fear.
Simply put, codependents need others to like them in order for them to feel okay. They fear rejection and abandonment.
Denial may appear differently for each individual. For instance, some codependents appear extra needy, while others seem self-sufficient, even if they need help. They often have trouble receiving, and are in denial of their vulnerability and need for love.
Problems With Intimacy
Coupled with a denial of his or her need for closeness, codependents sometimes feel that their partner wants too much of their time. At the same time, their partner complains that they are unavailable.
Shame and low self-esteem generate stress and can lead to a host of other painful emotions such as anger, resentment, depression, hopelessness and despair. Eventually, individuals feel numb.
Codependency Can Be Reversed. Healing Is Possible.
At Triune Therapy Group, we know that codependency can be reversed, and that healing is possible. Designed especially for men and women, we offer a 5 day Healing from Codependence Workshop Intensive that help individuals identify and understand the root sources of their unique codependent tendencies. Using multiple treatment modalities, our program delivers specific, trauma-focused care to accelerate one’s recovery.
To register, call Triune Therapy Group today.
Posted on behalf of Triune Therapy Group