The word codependent is thrown around a lot. Most of the time people hear the word in relation with being married to an alcoholic. Although it is true that if you are married to an alcoholic you are most likely a codependent, you can absolutely be a codependent without being married to an alcoholic. There is much more to a codependent personality. Here are some traits to help you see if you may be codependent.
No is not in your vocabulary:
Ok so that is a strong statement, but codependents put others’ needs before their own. They avoid conflict like the plague. You put these two together and it makes for the “yes” person. They will always take on more and more within their household, for their extended family, for their job, for outside activities. What it creates is one tired, burnt out person eventually. There is fear that if they say no people will be mad at them, abandon them, or judge them. It is not about wanting to do more and more, it is about avoiding bad feelings that may come along with saying no!
You put significant others on a pedestal
Codependents often feel insecure in relationships. They are the bride walking down the aisle saying “I can’t believe this guy wants to marry me,” or “I feel like she is so much better than me in so many ways that I have to do whatever I can do to keep her happy.” The problem with this is you only lose more and more of yourself when you feel this way. Not having a great sense of self is generally what gets you to this place to begin with, but then changing your behavior based on what you think your partner wants only continues to make this worse. Before you know it there is none of “you” left. Your life and relationship is all about what your partner wants. In most cases, the spouse eventually falls of the pedestal (because let’s be real, they are human). It is easy to be angry at them and feel betrayed, but it is difficult to move on because there is nothing left of you to feel the strength to do this.
You are jaded
Living as a codependent is not exactly full of roses and sunshine. Unfortunately it tends to be more filled with pain and heartache. Living your life for others and about others is tiring. At some point every codependent takes a step back and says, “What about me?” They are not taking care of themselves and their spouse is not taking care of them so they are left to feel abandoned and alone, feeling that the world has done them wrong. People in their life have treated them badly and poorly.
What do I do with this information
The most important part of your recovery from codependency is to see that it is not as much about those around you changing, is it is about you changing. We teach people how to treat us. We have set up with our spouse they we will take care of everything, that we are the “yes” person, that we do not need a sense of self; and then are mad and angry when they treat us this way. The beautiful thing is that the change is within you. The happiness starts with you. You have to write a new transcript of how people should treat you. You recovery from codependency starts today.
If you are suffering from codependency and would like to learn more about how to start changing this pattern please contact me Christy@healingheartsofindy.com