A relationship is all about comfortable coexistence. But, with time, it can go astray if one starts to feel like they are completely incapable of being happy or even taking a small decision without prioritizing the needs of the other one. This can be a sign of a codependent relationship, where one partner’s self-worth is solely determined by the other partner needing them. Here’s everything you should know and worry about in a codependent relationship.
What Is Codependency?
There’s a thin line between unhealthy codependency and healthy interdependence. A codependent person allows the feelings and behavior of their partners to influence their own. While interdependence allows and emphasizes mutual growth and respect, a codependent relationship is focused on one person’s intense need to rescue or fix their partner, regardless of the compromises or emotional cost the relationship is demanding. A false sense of fulfillment prevents them from seeing the unhealthy pattern.
Process of Being Codependent
Codependency is actually a learned behavior. Though each relationship is inherently different, the process of building up a codependent relationship often ties with the struggle with long-running issues like depression or addiction of one partner. It eventually rises to the level where the other one feels the need to devote all of their time to helping the struggling partner. And they sacrifice their own well-being and happiness in the process, making the relationship unhealthy. Relentless effort to fix one’s self-destructive behavior without any result is the truth here.
Characteristics of a Codependent Person
The codependent partners generally try to fix and control the behaviors of their loved ones, while reacting with unhealthy emotions. Their entire identity and purpose turn to be focused on being needed. Loving and helping anyone in crisis is not wrong until your personal identity ceases to exist beyond the needs of your struggling partner. But, in reality, this does more harm than good, preventing the struggling partner’s ability to grow for themselves. A codependent person can’t ideally empower their partner to overcome self-destructiveness.
Getting Detached From a Codependent Relationship
Treating codependency is not different from handling other addictive disorders. The first step is to realize the fact that there is a problem in the pattern of the relationship. You need to recognize and accept the problem. You need to overcome the ongoing denial of an irrational sense of responsibility and the savior complex. The second step is to seek out support from others or specialized professional help to treat such intense psychological and emotional attachments. It’s essential to understand that relationships work better when wanted, but not needed.
Avoiding Codependent Relationships in Future
The very inherent nature of a codependent relationship is to neglect one’s own needs and happiness to prioritize the struggling partner’s, making it very hard to break the cycle of self-destruction. Proactive thought and effort are highly needed to avoid such a relationship. Remind yourself of all the reasons why codependency is destructive for both you and your partner in the end. The best way you can help and be a good influence on the other person is by modeling self-care and making it a priority.