Co-dependency is when, in a relationship, someone makes that relationship more important to them than they are to themselves. Trying to make a relationship work when the other person does not is one of the classic signs of co-dependency.
The term co-dependency was originally coined to describe the behaviours people may develop when they are in a relationship with someone with an addicted to alcohol or drugs. Over time, this has evolved to encompass a broader spectrum characterised by a dysfunctional living patterns. These could be caused mental health issues other addictions or a general lack of interest in the partnership. The other, the co-dependent partner will make all of the effort to try and fix all the problems in the relationship.
In relationships were substance abuse is involved, the co-dependent partner may find that having someone to “take care of,” and look after, through fields some sort of psychological need. They may find reward from the sense of control they have. By being the “sensible” one they may find it easier to excuse flaws in their own behaviour. Someone who is co-dependent may get trapped into a cycle of trying to save their partner from addiction or the relationship itself time and time again.
The co-dependent partner to find themselves as the “stronger” or “better” member of the relationship. By putting on a brave face and being strong enough to cope with such a stressful situation they should and need to realise that they should take more care of themselves rather than trying to constantly “prove” their worth to other people.
When co-dependency happens in relationship where the other partner does not shield great deal of interest, the co-dependent member of the partnership will do all the running. They may always be the one to initiate contact, from in the beginning, meeting up, or further into the relationship often be the only one to initiate sex.
A co-dependent may be scared of being single and have low self-esteem. Fearing rejection and worrying that no one else would want them means that they may put up with behaviours and situations that other people would find unacceptable and simply walk away from. Someone who has co-dependent tendencies may stay in a relationship that is detrimental to them, rather than be alone A relationship based on code dependency can be very one sided.
To overcome co-dependency, the cycle must be broken. The co-dependent partner must regain their sense of self-worth and start putting their own needs fast. They may have lost a sense of who they really are and become so use to pandering to someone else’s needs that they neglect their own. Counselling and therapy is key to treating co-dependency. Destructive behaviours such as this normally originate in childhood or adolescence and have to be addressed to overcome them. Psychotherapy has shown to be very effective in treating co-dependency, helping sufferers to recognise and manage negative behavioural patterns
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