Codependency is described in the dictionary as a relationship, in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another. People who are codependent are mainly givers and their primary objective within a relationship is to take care of their spouse. They are also known as pleasers or fixers. Consequently, codependent people are predominantly attracted to spouses who are takers/controllers. These individuals are known as narcissists, they are self-centered and selfish. Within a romantic relationship, a narcissist leads and codependent follows.
You may be in a codependent relationship if you have a deep desire to often sacrifice things to make your partner happy, where the relationship is one sided. People enter these relationships unconsciously for many reasons, including, being dependent on and seeking approval from another for self-identity or approval, their emotions are dependent on another person. It's like losing yourself in another person's body, where you are completely detached from yourself and your whole identity.
People with codependent tendencies, cannot be on their own. They need to be in a relationship to feel complete, as result of this; they will leave one relationship to the next, without having time for self-reflection. Hence, repeating the same negative patterns in all your intimate relationships. The desire to be in a relationship is very strong for a codependent person, as they feel that they cannot identify with themselves, when they are on their own, hence, they need to be in a relationship most of the time. This behaviour can be very addictive. It's similar to being addicted to a substance. However, in this case, you’re addicted to another person, even if he or she is not good for you.
Tips on how to avoid codependent relationships:
- Take time out, get to know yourself and enjoy your own company after a break up of a relationship.
- Always have time to reflect and heal from relationships, before pursuing another, so that you don't repeat any negative patterns of behaviour that haven’t worked for you in the past.
- Relationships are a two-way process. Ensure that your needs are met.
- Avoid, men/women who are highly selfish, as the only person these individuals value and see within a relationship is himself or herself.
- Avoid trying to do things to distract yourself, as it will hinder your personal growth.
- All that you’re looking for in another person is actually inside of you.
- Take time to discover your natural gifts and talents.
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About Kate Megase
I am a counsellor, coach and motivational speaker. I specialise in issues associated with relationships, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.