It is no secret that addiction has a profound impact on family dynamics, friendships, and romantic relationships. Watching your loved one struggle with drugs or alcohol is difficult, and while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy, you may end up accidentally falling into the dangerous cycle of codependency.
Codependency is when a person is in an unhealthy and often one-sided relationship. In a healthy relationship, both partners “meet in the middle” to sustain the relationship. In codependent relationships, however, one partner is always initiating behaviors to keep the relationship alive; paradoxically, they’re primarily dependent on the other person’s dependence on them (Psychology Today: Codependent or Simply Dependent: What’s the Big Difference?). Codependent partners often are looking exclusively to meet all their emotional needs from a single relationship, and engage in unhealthy behaviors to perpetuate a relationship, behaviors which often support irresponsibility, addictive lifestyles, or underachievement in their partners (PsychCentral).
Symptoms of Codependent People
Problems with Intimacy
Using action methods you will learn:
How codependency is a dysfunctional way of relating to ourselves and others. How it repeats the dysfunctional patterns of how we related with our caregivers growing up and all of our relationships since, including the way we relate to ourselves, and how to change to roles that no longer serve us.
How codependency means that our thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs depend on and are influenced by others’ thoughts, feelings, wants, needs. How codependency is a symptom or warning that the things you are doing in your life are harmful to you and can ultimately harm you emotionally, spiritually, and/or physically.
Codependents are usually in relationships that are painful, abusive, controlling, and fear-based. The primary fear that all codependents face is the fear of being abandoned and left alone. Once alone, they will feel all of the painful emotions they avoided while in these relationships. They use relationships to avoid their pain, much like an addict uses substances to avoid theirs. Codependents find their worth and esteem from being in a relationship with another human being, so to lose that relationship means a loss of self. We will look at how examining early childhood trauma can help recover those lost parts of ourselves.