We hear the term “codependency” in a lot in recovery circles. It refers to an intense psychological and emotional dependence on someone else (usually, but not always, a romantic partner). The term was originally used in AA to refer to the spouses of alcoholics. However, we now understand that codependency can happen in many scenarios. In relationships, a codependent personal usually feels as if their partner’s needs are more important than their own. Oftentimes, a history of abuse or past trauma can result in codependent behavior in relationships. The codependent person seeks validation from their partner, rather than from themselves. It can be a painful cycle of control, manipulation, and sadness and results in difficulties being in a healthy and stable relationship with self and others.
Signs of Codependency
There are many signs and symptoms of codependency and they can manifest differently depending on circumstances. Some common ones include low self-esteem, feeling as if you’re not good enough, and feeling the need to people-please. Other common signs include unstable interpersonal relationships and fear of being alone. The tendency is to avoid being alone at all costs, even remaining in unhealthy or abusive relationships.
The important thing to remember about codependency is that it inhibits your ability to live a healthy and happy life. If you feel a sense of heartache, overall uneasiness, or feelings of intense control around relationships with yourself and others, it’s time to reach out for help. Codependents Anonymous helps people come together in a group to share their experiences with destructive relationships and unhealthy thought patterns. There are also numerous books and educational resources available on this subject. The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with codependency in a healthy manner.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474