Despite your best efforts, you always find yourself enmeshed in unhealthy relationships. You have a tendency to try to rescue toxic people, and it’s a struggle for you to say no.
Sound familiar? If so, you may struggle with codependency.
In the 1950’s, the word “codependent” was a term therapists started to use to describe the spouse of someone with a drug or alcohol addiction. These days, however, codependency means more. It can involve enabling someone who struggles with any number of addictions or dysfunctional behaviors.
For example, let’s say your spouse struggles with watching porn. Instead of requiring that they get help, you excuse their behavior by saying it’s okay for them to watch porn because their job is stressful. Not only that, but you might even pay their credit card bill with all of the charges.
Want to have healthier relationships? Here are some of the signs of codependency:
- Your validation or sense of self-worth comes from other people.
- You feel extremely responsible for someone you’re in a relationship with and for their feelings and actions.
- You need to solve other people’s problems.
- You have a strong desire to control people, thinking you are being ‘helpful’.
- You make excuses or try to cover up for your partner’s bad behavior.
- You lose your own identity, interests, and sense of self.
- You give more than you get in return.
- You feel responsible for other people’s happiness.
Does this list describe you? If so, there is help! The first step in recovery is to admit we were powerless and our lives had become unmanageable. Discovering that we are behaving in codependent ways is not the end but the beginning of healing!
To begin your process of healing and recovery, connect in a group: Life Recovery Group, Al-Anon, or a Codependency recovery group. Read “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Connect with someone today to begin the New Life you have been seeking!