Codependency Part #4

As we have talked about this week, codependency not only has a negative impact on the individual, but also the relationship.  Here are the most common ways that we see codependency affect relationships: -Codependents often struggle with excessive care-taking in their relationships.  They may take responsibility for other’s choices, actions, feelings, and well-being.  Because of this, they may end up pushing people that they love away.  When someone feels like their codependent loved one is invasive or becoming overly involved in their life, they may become resentful and try to avoid being controlled.  They may not see the codependent’s actions as caring, but rather overwhelming and controlling.  The codependent may then feel isolated and alone because they don’t feel needed.  Since codependents are so busy taking care of others, they don’t anticipate or verbalize their own needs.  They may end up wondering why no one takes care of them or their needs, and this can lead to feeling unfulfilled.

-Codependents can often struggle with low self-esteem.  This can have a very negative impact on their relationships.  The codependent may place ownership of their self-esteem on others around them, which also leaves them feeling alone and unfulfilled.

-Codependents are often in denial about their choices and how they may impact their life.  It’s not uncommon for a codependent individual to bury their head in the sand.  They may stay busy to avoid confronting their feelings.  They may also minimize, ignore, or rationalize the behaviors of those around them, which can cause the relationship problems to get worse.

-Codependents have a fear of anger and confrontation, which can cause them to avoid any type of confrontation.  There is such a thing as healthy confrontation, and it exists to create intimacy in a relationship.  If a codependent avoids relationship issues like the plague, there is never a chance for issues to get resolved.

-Codependency can cause a lot of physical and health issues.  The stress of remaining in a codependent relationship can cause headaches, asthma, ulcers, high blood pressure, and a host of other medical issues.

-Codependents will often try to deal with the emotional pain by self-medicating.  It is not uncommon for a codependent to turn to addictive behaviors, such as: food, alcohol, drugs, and spending money.  By focusing on the addictive behaviors, they can continue to avoid their own feelings.  Of course, this only continues to cause further relationship problems, decrease in intimacy, and often financial problems.

Do you see yourself in a codependent role?  If so, get help!  Your relationships can improve and YOU can get healther!  Thanks for reading!

Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.