Is Codependency Affecting Your Mental Wellbeing?

Posted By: on January 02, 2020
codependant couple

Caring for someone that you love can be a beautiful thing, and when practiced in a healthy, rational manner, it can be celebrated and appreciated between both parties. However, if the level of care you’re bestowing on another is causing you to neglect your own needs or the needs of others around you, then it may be that you’re caught in a codependent cycle.

What is codependency?

The term codependency has its roots in addiction and recovery, although it’s often used simply to refer to a level of neediness within a relationship. The individual who assumes the role of codependent often ends up merely perpetuating the addicts’ behavior instead of helping them to overcome it, either consciously or unconsciously.

Are you acting out of love or codependency?

The line between love and codependency is often blurred, and in our desire to help someone in whatever way we can, we are often acting out of both. In a healthy relationship, there is usually an equal balance of give and take, but codependent relationships center around an imbalance of power that favors the needs of a “taker”. It’s not always easy for the giver to recognize or accept that they are getting less out of the relationship than the other, and while it may have been formed out of love, that emotion can quickly become warped until it develops into an unhealthy state of codependency.

Signs that your relationship may be a co-dependent one:

One of the strongest indicators that you might be in a codependent relationship is if one of you is unintentionally supporting the negative behaviors of the other by (1) enabling the other to continue with whatever addiction is currently in their life and (2) avoiding the caring dialogue or a gentle confrontation. One of you may also accept the other’s excuses, or even invent your own to cover up for their misgivings.

In trying to ‘fix’ someone that you love who is troubled, addicted or under-functioning — without ever engaging them in a caring manner — you may inadvertently foster a dependence upon you, taking the focus away from their life and where they need to be to overcome their problems.

Codependency can take a huge toll on your mental wellbeing, and if you feel that you are in a codependent relationship and need help to better cope with the situation, then counseling is often one of your most effective tools. Your counselor will guide you through your emotions and help you to recognize the reasons behind your actions or behavior, enabling you to see a brighter future in which you can take care of your own needs, while still caring for others in a meaningful way.

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