Codependency in relationships comes from learned behaviors in childhood. In fact, lots of issues we have as adults come from the messages we got about who we are and what is okay in childhood.
Codependency is an addiction to looking elsewhere for fulfillment and happiness while neglecting your inner life. In our society most of us are on the spectrum of codependency. Codependency can take many forms, one being the kind of relationships you have with other people.
A person who struggles with codependency in relationships becomes so preoccupied with other's needs that they neglect who they truly are. In fact, people who have been practicing codependency in relationships often don't know who they are! For women, in particular, this can be reinforced by the accepted societal expectation that we should put others first, with our desires and needs always being last.
This codependency dynamic is commonly seen in children who grew up in families where there is an alcoholic parent. However, other issues in families can produce codependency as well. Any environment where children are taught to disregard their needs and feelings, where emotional expression is discouraged, or where children are encouraged to take responsibility for parent's behaviors, parent's feelings, or parent's thoughts.
As an adult, codependent patterns can lead to poor relationship choices, chronic unhappiness, and illness and stress.
What are some signs that you may be struggling with codependency in relationships?
You may have codependency issues in your relationships if you tend to display these symptoms in your personality:
What do you need help with in therapy as person who has codependency in relationships?
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