Codependency is when someone relies excessively on someone else, usually a family member. In turn, the involved individual may feel a desire to be needed by that person. These individuals rely on each other to fulfill their wants and needs, therefore making them codependent. Parents can unwittingly pass this behavior to their children, which makes an effective family therapy program crucial.
People with this condition typically take responsibility for others’ actions, especially if they are close to them. They also confuse pity and love, seeking out people they feel they can rescue. Because of these two qualities, they also tend to do far more than they need to, becoming offended or hurt when their efforts go unnoticed. Their need for approval and recognition is extreme, causing them to rely on their relationships to an unhealthy degree for validation. Even so, they feel guilty when they assert themselves, making them much less likely to.
Paradoxically, they often have a strong need to control others because they fear abandonment and isolation. Despite their self-perceived empathy with others, they rarely trust those same people they form relationships with – or even themselves. This also leads to dishonesty on their part, as well as difficulty dealing with change, chronic anger, difficulty making decisions and poor communication skills.
What Codependency Looks Like
Both men and women can become codependent. How do you know if you are in a codependent relationship? There are a number of warning signs to look out for, such as:
- Your happiness revolves around a specific person
- You recognize unhealthy behavior in others, but still choose to stay with them
- You promote these unhealthy behaviors
- You’re in a caretaking/rescuing relationship with someone who avoids responsibility or positive personal change
- You support someone else at the cost of your own well-being
In this type of relationship, the give-and-take aspect of the relationship is heavily weighted in one person’s favor. One person gives affection, support, and love, while the other accepts it, often returning it with mistreatment. Why would someone accept a relationship like this? There are several reasons why on the giver side of the relationship. On the taker side of the relationship, their actions may be due to selfishness, but may also be due to lack of good life skills.
How to Address Codependency
Just because you have a codependent relationship doesn’t mean you need to break it off completely. There are still steps you and your partner can take to create a healthier relationship. Self-help and therapy are some ways you and your partner can address your relationship. If you choose to go the therapy route, finding a well-qualified therapist is essential.
Pillars Recovery is a treatment center that specializes in treating addiction, codependent behavior, and much more. With their individualized approach to care, they can help you overcome your troubles at your own pace with services such as:
If you or someone you love is codependent, don’t let it rule your life. Take control with the help of a top-notch treatment center. Call 866-782-0247 today to learn more about how you can get your life back.