People with codependency tend to fear being single as they gain safety from their partners.
It often makes the codependent cling, pleases, or use control in fear of losing their partner.
When in partnership, they will often dislike being on their own and want their partner around as much as possible.
Someone with codependency is very fearful of losing their partner, which leads to some of the destructive behaviors we will discuss in this video.
You could be codependent if you feel anxious about being single, frequently worry about losing your partner, or feel anxious when your partner is not around.
If you spend a lot of time worrying about being left by your partner, you could have codependency.
If you seek out frequent reassurance that you are loved and that your partner will stay with you or if you experience persistent jealousy.
Do you push for compliments and get upset if you don’t get them regularly?
Do you attack your partner for having his friends and space?
These could be signs of codependency.
An almost obsessive worry about being left is common amongst codependency, and they tend to seek constant closeness and want to do everything together.
Codependent people tend to feel valued by being the caretaker and fixing others. Because they worry about being left and want to keep the relationship almost at all costs, they will try to fix their partner or try to fix the relationship.
Codependency causes a hyper-sensitivity to abandonment where they tend to believe small things like space is a sign of abandonment. So they try to create closeness which can feel controlling or “needy” for their partner.
Are you often trying to fix your partner to make the relationship work?
Are you the one putting in the effort to ensure you have more time together, become more committed, or fix relationship issues?
Suppose you can answer yes to either of these. In that case, you might have codependency as it’s a classic sign for a codependent partner to be the one trying to fix things often on their own or thinking they can change their partner to make the relationship better.
At the core of codependency is the fear of losing your partner or being on your own without a partner, and so they tend to prioritize other people’s needs at the expense of their own.
They will jump around to keep their partner happy or impress them by accommodating their needs even when neglecting their own needs or capacity.
It’s not uncommon for codependent people to feel underappreciated and exhausted as they give beyond their capacity and forget about their own.
Needs because their main priority becomes to prevent being left by accommodating the other.
Codependency makes someone give even when they don’t want to because their fear of loss is more significant than their need for self-actualization.
Resentment is also expected as the codependent suppress their own needs and keeps giving even when exhausted.
The unexpressed needs or giving more than you want to is bound to leave you feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and resentful eventually.
It’s not a sustainable relationship model and is suppressing fear short term at an excellent cost long-term.
It’s the people-pleaser and caretaker at full display.
Codependent behavior often shows up in conflict avoidance.
If someone has codependency, they will not speak up when they are violated or out offline or taking advantage of them.
They stay silent to preserve the peace because ensuring peace and not being left is their main priority because of their excessive fear of being on their own or being left.
This conflict avoidance has horrific consequences as the long-term stress of being violated, used, and not having your needs meet is resentment, high levels of stress hormone that cause damage to your mental and physical health, and a severe impact on your self-worth as you continue to reinforce the narrative that you are not worthy. It’s ok for people to step all over you.
It’s the re-enactment of a childhood story that you would only be safe if you accommodated others and let them violate you. That was how you learned you would not be abandoned or rejected.
While your circumstances have changed, and you are now an adult and can survive on your own and find new friends and family, the learned anxiety of rejection or abandonment can cause the codependency behaviors to play out in adulthood.
This comes back to the point just discussed.
To avoid conflict, you might go along with things you don’t want to or not speak up when something does not feel good for you.
You don’t say no when you don’t want to do something.
You don’t speak when someone upsets you.
You keep giving when you don’t want to give anymore instead of just saying no.
You find it very difficult to set boundaries with people, and this will again cause damage to your relationships and you.
One of the most important practices I do with my codependent clients is teaching them how to sense and assort their boundaries and feel great about it and as they do, their confidence and self-worth grow, and they feel safer and make better partner choices.
And it’s pretty easy to learn.
We talked about codependency can cause people to allow others to overstep their boundaries. Still, some codependent also tends to exceed their boundaries and not listen to their own emotional and bodily signals such as anxiety, frustration, shame, or tiredness.
This lack of regard for self means others respect the codependent less, and they are more likely to be taken advantage of as they don’t even respect their boundaries themselves.
If you keep giving when you don’t want to give anymore, you are violating yourself, and you are teaching yourself that you can’t trust yourself, which makes the world a fundamentally unsafe place.
When given a choice, the codependent choose to look out for others over themselves and to some extent even when it’s harmful to themselves.
Codependency is defined by the caretaker, fixer, and people-pleaser who constantly try to make other people like them, fix all issues, and look out for others.
Except for themselves. They don’t fix themselves; they don’t take care of themselves, and they don’t look out for themselves.
They treat everyone else great and themselves like shit.
Codependency is a learned behavior where caregivers teach you that you only have value when you please them, fix things, and care-take the supposed caregiver.
The codependent learned that they are responsible for others, have to look out for other’s and that their needs are not essential.
Often neglect, abuse, or abandonment can cause codependency.
Next week we will look at how to heal this.
That’s enough for today.
If you are in the middle of this confusing and painful place, check out the comprehensive course I did on how to heal and flourish after dating a borderline, narcissist, or socio/psychopath.
Never forget. You are worthy of love, safety, kindness & mutuality.