Do you feel your partner is more important than you? You can’t live without them and you feel you would be worthless without them? Or is your partner clingy? It could be a sign you are in a codependent relationship.
“Codependent relationships” signify a degree of unhealthy clinginess, where one person doesn’t have self-sufficiency or autonomy,” says Scott Wetzler, PhD, psychology division chief at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The healthiest way we can interact with those close to us is by being truly ‘interdependent’. This is where two people, both strong individuals, are involved with each other, but without sacrificing themselves or compromising their values. What they have is a balanced relationship. It is attainable with just a little awareness and understanding. Therapy will certainly help you gain the necessary insight.
Often we can find ourselves jumping into a relationship, as a way to run from ourselves, but maybe the best thing for us, is to delve deeper into why we get trapped in codependence. If we rely on codependent relationships, it will show up in our friendships and relationships with family members. It can even be ‘because’ of our childhood dynamics with parents that it becomes a problem in adulthood. Only by analyzing and unravelling why you find yourself in codependent relationships, can you move forward into a more autonomous way of living.
Signs you are in a Codependent Relationship
• Difficulty identifying your feelings
• Difficulty making decisions without the input of another
• Difficulty communicating in a relationship
• Valuing the approval of others more than valuing yourself
• Lacking trust in yourself and having poor self-esteem
• Fears of abandonment or an obsessive need for approval
• Unhealthy dependence on relationships, even at your own cost
• Feeling you have a sense of responsibility for the actions of others
Codependency can begin to get rooted into a child’s psyche when they experience attachment traumas (trauma/abuse) and grow up feeling emotionally, and psychologically invisible to those they love. When children are not mirrored back a positive sense of self, they are denied the safety of familial bonds that allow them to feel wanted, needed, loved and like they belong to those they love. When these crucial bonds to others are corrupted or denied, the brains of children go into survival mode. And can, instead, get stuck in a state of ‘fight’ or ‘flight.’
This often produces children who learn, that to get their real needs met, they must give up important parts of themselves and conform to parental/societal expectations. The child learns the behaviors that will get these needs met. These behaviors may become patterned into codependency based personality roles.
The greatest gift you can give yourself, is to get to know who you are. That will always be your superpower and what gets you through life….because if you know who you are, you are free to live moment to moment….. and if you live in the ‘present moment’, you are equipped to not just survive life, but it arms you with the willpower and tenacity to achieve your goals and dreams.