What is codependency?
Codependency signifies an unhealthy attachment in a relationship. Therapy for codependency is often the only way to change the unhealthy patterns. Often, one person is clingy and needy and wants to merge with their partner. Low self esteem and insecurity is at the heart of this type of attachment and leads to people-pleasing and attempts to rescue others in order to be wanted and needed. Therapy for codependency can help you uncover your unhealthy patterns and live a life free of fear and dependency on another.
How codependency works
The focus in the relationship is always on the other person and the codependent partner sacrifices their needs and wants in favour of their partner.
When it comes to communication, codependents lack assertiveness and will often agree to things that they don’t particularly want or enjoy.
Emotional blackmail is a way to manipulate and control what they want in the relationship rather than open and direct communication.
This is incredibly unhealthy for any relationship.
Codependents are often drawn to narcissists – the perfect fit. One is selfish and everything is all about them and the other is happy to sacrifice and put their needs second, behind that of their partners.
Codependents and narcissists can live out their ideals in a dysfunctional relationship. This another reason why therapy for codependency is so vital.
Codependents need others to feel okay about themselves and this can lead to them staying too long in unsuitable relationships as they would rather be unhappy with someone than alone. Therapy for codependency can help you to reprogramme your typical patterns in relationships.
Intimacy is affected in this type of relationship – fear of rejection can lead to lack of intimacy out of fear of abandonment or rejection or it can lead to being smothered by a clingy, obsessed person. Neither is ideal.
Codependency creates stress and tension and leads to high emotions in a relationship. There can be very little peace and stability in these relationships.
Codependency stems from a fear of abandonment
Sadly, many codependents are reacting to childhood emotional wounds and keep repeating the patterns in adulthood. They repeatedly become involved with unavailable people. People who will never give them the love and attention they crave. They inadvertently set themselves up to be abandoned, betrayed, and rejected – the very things they fear the most. Therapy for codependency helped me to change my patterns and recognise the trauma within. I still have to work at it but it has made a huge difference to my awareness and subsequent behaviour.
In order to break away from codependency, it is important to:
1) Focus on yourself. Who are you and what makes you happy? Develop a strong inner sense of yourself and define boundaries for yourself that stay in place when in a relationship.
2) Practise self-acceptance. Understanding that you are okay on your own and don’t need someone else to be happy in life is a major step to recovery.
3) Develop strategies to help promote self-confidence and self-esteem. When we like ourselves we will accept someone into our lives for the right reason, not because we need them.
4) Gain perspective on relationships – many codependents have unrealistic ideas about relationships and think that being in a relationship will solve all their emotional problems. In fact, it can create further issues as jealousy and insecurity can ruin a relationship if we are codependent and unable to stand on our own two feet in an emotional sense.
5) Consider therapy for codependency – it might just change your life for the better. What have you got to lose?
Being aware of the concept of codependency can save a lot of heartache in relationships. Take steps to be independent. This will empower you and will undoubtedly strengthen future relationships.
If you think you are codependent, get in touch, and let’s work together to help you free yourself from this unhelpful relationship style.