Now it’s time to look at the next characteristic of codependency; being dependent and needy. Codependents tend to cling onto relationships very quickly. They meet someone and fall fast. Red flags may be waving all around them of the “dangers” or unhealthiness of the relationship, but they have a hard time letting go. They tend to want to be commited sooner than the other partner in the relationship. They go from being single to spending every waking moment with this new person in a couple of weeks. They are the friend that gets into a relationship and then you don’t see them anymore. They are lost, they are so wrapped up into their new relationship.
Codependents are needy with their partners. They tend to marry people more independent than they are. Their partner may work a lot and have a lot of friends or hobbies and a very high percentage of codependents I work with have little if any hobbies at all. They wrap their lives into their spouses and children. They are are sitting at home being sad and eventually angry because their partner is not with them. They need them to have a life. They tend to join them in their hobbies and what they have fun doing. They need constant reassure that their partner loves them. They want them to say it. Their actions may not say “I love you and am here for you,” but hearing the words can be like crack for a codependent. It calms down the feelings that they could ever not be in this relationship.
The biggest problem with this dependency and neediness is what was mentioned earlier. The partners of codependents are not able to meet this neediness for them. The neediness is so strong, it is almost impossible to be met by anyone. Let alone the independent, and out of touch with their neediness, partners codependents marry. So what happens is codependents tend to become more independent the longer they are in relationships because their neediness is not being met. They become independent because they have to. For example, imagine a woman is married to an alcoholic. She is a needy person, but because of his drinking her husband may have lost his job, or doesn’t help much at home. So, typically this woman may work two jobs, take care of the kids, take them to their activities, volunteer in the classroom. Virtually hold the house together. To those on the outside looking in, she may seem extremely independent. But this is not who she really is! She has wants to be needy and dependent and have others take care of her. She is not happy, she is living a life that is not her. This tends to build resentment. Resentment is a marriage killer!
If you are dealing with this issue in you life, come in and let’s work on it! Next week we will look into the third quality of codependency; being other centered. Call or email if you are interested in an appointment. 317-607-8983 [email protected]