5 Signs You May Be in a Co-Dependent Relationship
Co-dependency is a term that has been around for quite some time now, initially it was used to describe the person in relationship with an addicted person. However, therapists now use this term loosely to describe traits observed in any dysfunctional relationship where both parties are not actively engaged in the health of the relationship. To get an idea if you are co-dependent ask yourself these five questions:
1. Does he/she reciprocate? Does your husband/wife, significant other or family member put as much energy into the relationship as you do? This is a key question to consider in any relationship as to whether it is beneficial or not. If you find yourself putting more energy into a relationship than the other person it is likely unhealthy. In healthy relationships there is an exchange that is beneficial to both parties.
2. Do you find yourself making excuses for the other person as to why they don’t show up in your life? More importantly, do you find yourself making excuses as to why You are not showing up for your life? Do you put off pursuing a career, enjoying hobbies or spending time with friends because the person you are with is more important?
3. Do you find you need to take care of the other person? Co-dependents are trained from an early age, often from dysfunctional (sometimes addicted or narcisstic) parents, that we need to give up our needs to be in relationship with others. This pattern was a natural defense mechanism when we were little to survive the chaos of an addicted or unhealthy parent but now as an adult it is unhealthy and leaves us with little room to experience the joys of a reciprocal love relationship.
4. Do you struggle with low self-esteem or self-worth? Do you think you are not worthy of a loving relationship where your needs and interests are just as important? Maybe at this point, you are not even sure what your needs are?
5. Do you have a hard time expressing feelings? In a codependent or unhealthy family there are often unspoken rigid rules including not expressing your feelings or unsetting the status quo. Do you feel you have to walk on egg shells or you can’t express what is really going on inside in fear that it will create conflict? In healthy relationships, both parties really want to know what is going on inside the other person. Emotions and feelings are expressed in a way that actually creates more intimacy!
If you find yourself dealing with any of these issues marriage counseling or individual therapy can help. The healing of a co-dependent person starts by making a commitment to oneself. In therapy you will learn to identify thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are no longer serving your adult self. In this process of discovery, you will attract either new love relationships or your current one will be transformed to experience more love and satisfaction.
To hear more about marriage therapy for co-dependency please contact Stephanie DeLatorre, LMFT at: 818-623-6625 or: https://stephaniedelatorre.com/contact.aspx