“Codependency, the True Ball and Chain.” First, what really is codependency? If you Google codependency you get the following definition:
noun: codependency; noun: co-dependency
- excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.
How does a relationship go from healthy to codependent? Like all things that are unhealthy, it starts small.
Many of you might remember the Julia Robert’s movie, “Runaway Bride.” In the movie, Julia Robert’s character is asked by the reporter, played by Richard Gere, how she likes her eggs. As the storyline progresses it is clear she has no idea how she likes her eggs. In each of her previous relationships she ate her eggs exactly as her husband-to-be enjoyed THEIR eggs.
This is a Hollywood example, but it rings true, a relationship that is healthy is made up of two people, with unifying goals, not two people who stay together out of fear, low self esteem, caretaking responsibilities, addiction, etc..
Julia Robert’s character went from one relationship to the next because she was scared to pursue her own dreams, and found it easier to morph into the woman each man wanted her to be. People in codependent relationships experience a lot of dissatisfaction and anxiety because their relationship doesn’t bring joy, it is a constant tightrope of fear and bargaining.
A person married to an addict might stay because they fear that without them, the person they love might overdose, the addict stays because they feel guilty about what they are doing but can’t or won’t stop.
A few questions to ask yourself:
Are you with your partner because you want to be, or because you feel stuck?
Are you or your partner engaging in healthy behaviors or do you stay out of fear or pity because of addictions?
Is staying in this relationship negatively affecting your mental or physical health?
If you feel that you are part of a codependent relationship, being on the site is a great step in the right direction, it is your chance to branch out from your partner, to find support, to give yourself a break and reassess. Find your own interests and passions; find you again. Of course this doesn’t erase the core issues that drove you to create this codependent relationship, but it will give you the space for clarity and in that space you have the ability to make changes.
All the best-