Can Codependent Relationships Manifest Healthy? By Lori English
If your significant other is not around you all the time do you feel empty? If you answered yes ,then you may be in a codependent relationship. Codependency affects your spouse, friends, parents, living with people, and just about anyone. If you feel that you are taking care of others and sacrificing your own needs for another it’s time to look at your relationship.
What is Codependency?
Codependent relationships are described as setting aside your wants and needs for the other person. Many that are in codependent relationships sacrifice everyday to please their partner instead of what is important to them.
Codependency is usually found on one side of a relationship one partner is usually the one that is codependent to their significant other. Relationships can bring us joy and a lot of happiness if we are healthy and establish boundaries.
What Does It mean To Be Codependent?
The characteristics of a codependent relationship may differ according to the person or family, but the main traits are low self esteem, not believing others can take care of themselves. Codependency can take shape in many ways in a relationship by controlling others, taking care of an addict, or being too needy.
A person is trying to help the other who has an addiction by making excuses for their lack of participation in getting help, or covers up the addiction by making excuses to family members.
The codependent is usually the one that is making all the decisions, and appears to have it all together, but truly they are anxious, have low self -esteem, and are afraid to be alone.
• have difficulty identifying what they are feeling.
• minimize, alter, or deny how they truly feel.
• perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
• lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
• label others with their negative traits.
• think they can take care of themselves without any help from others.
• mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
• express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
• do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom they are attracted.
Express Your Emotions healthy?
Expressing emotions in a healthy relationship is crucial for the to work and be able to have a relationship that is give and take. In the codependent person he/she is not able to get in touch with the deeper feelings that are surfaced with all the helping, assisting, and covering up the behavior of his significant other.
A co-dependent person’s personality is usually a helper type person, low self -esteem, people pleaser.
Control is a large trait that is experienced in many co dependent relationships because their is a fear of losing another person.
If you are suffering from having low self-esteem and most of your childhood was not stable wouldn’t it make sense that when you grew up you would try to hold on to another person you loved?
Codependency has changed over the years, but still holds the same symbolic features clinically. What the heck does that mean to you?
It means that it mostly is derived from the same consequences of how you are treated as a child. If you were not stimulated as a child or your specific needs werent addressed you are going to try to work them in out in your personal adult relationships. This was part of Freudian’s work and is still part of how we look at our childhood.
Relationships and Codependency
If you are codependent most of your life you have stayed quiet and tried to please the other person . Many codependent people are always trying to please the person and forgets about his/her needs. The inner child was probably not validated or came from a dysfunctional family.
According to a research study that was done with a woman in her thirties in a codependent relationship. She was in a relationship with her boyfriend who was an addict . In this case I will call her Maria was a very quiet girl, reserved, and her whole life was revolved around taking care of her boyfriend who was an alcoholic.
The point of this case study is to show that the children learn survival skills because the parent wasn’t there for them emotionally and later may develop patterns of codependency.
Being able to express your feelings as a child is important to the later part of your life as an adult. The “inner child” is discussed as having feelings negative things about yourself that were said to you. I don’t belong, and I am not good enough.
Recovery Of Codependence
We teach people how to treat us , and in fact most codependent people say I am such a nice person, and in fact they are trying to protect themselves from being hurt. By learning how to turn around the way we allow others to treat us whether they are parents friends, colleagues this is our responsibility to be assertive with other people and learn to establish boundaries.
When you are in a codependent relationship with an addict you can recover by finding you soul for whom you are and what makes you important. Your life is what is important and when you learn the correct skills you can learn what makes your life without living with an addict. It definitely is not healthy to be in a relationship and cover up an addict’s behavior.
Treatment of codependency is different but most attend a 12 step meetings and may have counseling for personal goals. The treatment depends on the severity , but overall there are many people that recover from codependency and lead a healthy lifestyle.