By Gertrude: The Independent Vs. Codependent
Co-dependency is when you are completely invested into a relationship. And you can’t live without them.
We often devote our lives to the security, welfare to ‘the love of our life’. Our ‘One and Only’. Our romantic partners will often mirror what we grew up with. After all, better the devil you know.
1. Poor self-esteem. This stems from a basic lack of trust in yourself. As co-dependents, we will attract to us addicts, alcoholics, workaholics and abusers. These are the very people we should be avoiding. However, because we lack the ability to communicate or even identify what it is we are feeling. We get caught in a catch 22 situation.
2. Obsessive. All of your thoughts, deeds and actions revolve around the other person. This will often come out emotionally as jealousy, mistrust, dramatics and having that person at the forefront of your mind at all times. You will be over-thinking, analyzing all of your conversations, having conversations you don’t have the courage to verbalize in you head. It will be a constant loop.
3. Independence. The lack of independence that you take for your own personal interests will begin to impact of friendships and will strain other relationships. You often wait for the person to contact you. In many cases, not able to have the freedom to contact them as it pleases you. You don’t make arrangements to go out because you leave that time free to be with your partner.
4. Responsibility. You will be taking on the responsibility for everything. You will take on far more than you can chew. From bill paying, housekeeping, trying to be upbeat when you feel resentful. You also take on their problems as your problems. And then try to solve it for them.
5. Exaggeration. You have an exaggerated idea of who your partner is. Often you will make a great deal of the simplest of compliments. Things which are common courtesy. You will build their achievements, you will defend the excuses they give you. You will paint them as someone who needs a break or some understanding. Creating excuses for them.
If you are in this type of situation and want to turn your codependency into independent. There are many steps you can take for your own recovery.
Firstly, there are many great organizations like Al Anon, Samaritans, Lifeline, Red Cross, etc. All of them provide services where you can talk and meet up with like minded people.
It is also important that you re-establish connections with your friends and family. Or whoever may be your support system. These people aren’t your therapists. So take this time to rebuild friendships. Being involved in their day to day concerns. Not just your own.
If you wish to continue with the relationship, then frank communication and if possible couples therapy. So that you can reset your intentions and begin to really see if you are on the same path, share the same vision, values and that it is love that is binding you. A re-commitment from the both of you. To change the things you can, to accept the things you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.
Regain your own life. You are the captain and you call the shots. This ranges from self-care, self-interests and a work-life balance. Take yourself on mini dates. Expand your inner circle. Take up the hobbies or the things that you’ve been wanting to.
Be real with yourself, Always. This is a non negotiable core value you must have. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then you can’t be honest with anyone. You don’t have to tell another soul what your private feeling are. You do, however, have to talk to your higher self, higher power and your inner wisdom.
Change your mind. When you have become obsessive and can’t stop thinking about the person or what is going on the relationship, practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is where you literally change your thoughts when you have been dwelling on them for too long.
Remember, when you put your life’s lessons into practice you don’t repeat past mistakes. You are living in the moment. You are creating your future and your past. Your thoughts matter. Keep them positive, relevant and realistic. Make sure your expectations for yourself and for others are achievable.
All the best,