5 Signs You May be Codependent

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Abusive Relationships, Addiction, Alcohol, Codependent Relationship, Relationships |

5 Signs You May be Codependent

It can be really difficult for people to accept that they are codependent. Accepting codependency is a lot like someone accepting that they are an addict except the addiction is with a person. People can become addicted to a number of things such as gambling, sex and food and also people or relationships and that addiction is called codependency. Codependency can happen in any type of relationship where there is one spouse totally enmeshed with the other. Since enmeshment is the only way they know how to be in a relationship, few people recognize their own codependent patterns, instead labeling themselves selfless. Here are 5 signs you may be codependent:

  1. You may be codependent if you feel a heightened sense of responsibility for the thoughts, needs and decisions of others, as well as their ultimate satisfaction in life. Often in a controlling or manipulative way, you may try to solve other people’s problems and offer unsolicited advice, doing far more than your share to ensure their individual happiness. Your efforts may seem and feel noble at first but they are actually driven by your need to feel needed. Serving others, often to the point of excluding your own needs and desires is the only way for you to feel value and loved. A lot of the times your self-sacrificing will leave you feeling resentful and angry which shows up in other ways such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
  2. You may be codependent if you put someone else’s feelings about your own. Codependent people tend to have little sense of self. To sustain some sort of interpersonal connection, they focus on how their partner feels, how they think and what they believe rather than paying attention to their own feelings, values and beliefs. Is this you? They become consumed by the other person and lose themselves in the process.
  3. You may be codependent if you go to extremes to hold onto a relationship. A codependent relationship is based on fear. Fears of abandonment, being alone or being rejected lead to an extreme need for acceptance and approval which in turn leads to desperate attempts to please others. If you are the codependent partner you may resent your partner. You may give up hobbies, friends, change your clothing and go to other extremes to maintain your relationship.
  4. You may be codependent if you have difficult recognizing and communicating emotions. In a codependent person there is disconnect between who the codependent partner thinks they are and who they actually are. Because your identity is so wrapped up in your partner your emotions just mirror theirs. If your partner is having a good day, you are having a good day. Codependency often makes it hard to make decisions and assert your own wishes. In some cases you might choose to be in a relationship with someone out of pity or a belief that you can fix them.
  5. You may be codependent if you have trouble setting and maintain boundaries. Codependent people usually struggle immensely with setting personal boundaries that protect them from harm. They say yes when they mean no and take charge of situations that others are capable of handling. Doing this supplies the codependent person with a sense of self-confidence even as they fail to protect themselves.

If you think you are codependent you can benefit from counseling, support groups, Co-dependents anonymous, and other interventions to stop depending on the neediness of others or being needy yourself. For codependents, recovery is less about their relationship with the partner and more about restoring a healthy sense of self. It is learning to love and care for oneself rather than trying to fix someone else or rely on someone else.

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