Codependency can be defined as a person who experiences “excessive or psychological reliance on a significant other, and is unable to find a sense of peace and happiness without him/her.” In extreme cases, a codependent person will be unable to live or curate a fulfilling life without their significant other. In other words, the more a person depends on their partner for their happiness, the more codependent they are.
Very often, this phenomenon is something that often shows up later on down the line in a relationship. A person might feel perfectly happy in their own life at the beginning of the relationship, only to find that little by little, elements of codependency start to surface. When this happens, you start to feel uneasy and needy. The issue is that it’s making you unhappy, needy and dissatisfied, but at the same time, it also has an effect on the dynamic between you and your significant other.
You stop being yourself, you need more attention and more reassurance, and you can start to exhibit behavior that makes your partner feel suffocated. Without meaning to do so, you end up pushing your partner further away. This creates a negative spiral where you need more reassurance, and they need more space. Many people in this situation don’t realize that they’re acting like this and they don’t try to find solutions to help them figure out how to stop being codependent.
Then it becomes very challenging for them to understand why the dynamic has changed so much in their relationship, it makes them panic even more because their significant other keeps pulling away, and it makes them act out in ways that make them appear needy and clingy – which of course makes their partner want to pull even further away. As you can see, It turns into a downward spiral.
So let’s cut right to the chase. What are the biggest signs that you are codependent?
– You feel like you need your significant other’s help and presence in almost every aspect of your life
– You rely on him or her for completely basic/daily tasks?
– You are anxious whenever you are not together, even if they have given you no reason to be uneasy
– You tend to wait around for your significant other to live your life
– You feel anxious when your partner is doing something that doesn’t involve you
We need to make sure that your relationship is protected from these types of elements because they can undermine the foundation very quickly. Your partner can get fed up, things can become very unbalanced, and you can end up damaging your bond without even realizing it. Your partner can wind up feeling smothered and unable to please you, they could end up seeking space from you, and they could end up losing interest because things begin to feel heavy and draining.
A lot of people ask me if it’s possible to overcome codependency because it had become such a common theme in their lives. Many people also feel that once they’ve fallen into codependency, that there is no way that they’ll ever get out. After working with tens of thousands of men and women all over the world who were struggling with codependency,
I can confidently tell you that you CAN conquer it. It all just depends on the work you’re willing to put in. It is not the type of thing that you can magically fix from one day to the next, but if you give it some time and effort, you will be able to develop a new way of operating. You’ll be able to free yourself from codependency and allow your relationship with yourself, with your current partner, or the one that you want to be with again thrive!
Let’s look at my client Laurie’s story. He was deeply codependent on her boyfriend, and she depended on him for everything. As their relationship developed, he did everything for her, and they wound up creating an unhealthy dynamic. She did not do the work to maintain her personal life, and he operated in a way that made it easy for her to lose track of her own life.
This case was interesting because the codependency was fueled by both parties, and it caused problems in the relationship. She depended on her boyfriend for literally everything. She would wait around at home for him, doing nothing, feeling anxious that he wasn’t around. She wouldn’t go out of the house and explore the city they moved to unless he was doing it with her. She needed him to check in every hour… Long story short, Laurie didn’t have anything going on in her own life and everything revolved around her relationship with her boyfriend, Jonathan.
All of her happiness depended on it, so as you can imagine, it created a pretty big shift in their dynamic. Fortunately, she recognized the problem and came to us for some help. As we worked together, we were able to dive deeper into the root of the problem. Yes, Jonathan was someone who bent over backward to provide support and attention to his partner, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but there was also the fact that Laurie came from a family dynamic in which she was not taught independence. As her relationship with Jonathan developed, on a subconscious level, it felt perfectly natural for her to lose sight of her personal life and begin to depend on him for all of her happiness.
Unfortunately, it created tension and a general sense of unease in the relationship. After working together for about three months, we started to see a huge shift in the dynamic between her and Jonathan. I’ll go over the tools I taught her with you in a moment, but what I want you to realize is that you are in control of more than you might realize.
Laurie’s relationship with her boyfriend is more solid than ever before, and she told me that she’s so happy she made the choice to reach out for some help. An objective, third party can help put things into perspective and offer solutions that can have a longterm effect. If you are also interested in working with me or a member of my team, all you have to do is click here.