Codependency refers to a relationship where one person believes that they must take care of someone else at any cost. As a result, that person can begin to lose their sense of independence. Historically, codependency referred to partners or loved ones living with someone who suffered from alcohol abuse disorder. Nowadays, codependent relationships can show up in more scenarios than just alcohol addiction. Call Georgia Addiction Treatment Center at 833.641.0661 to learn more about our family therapy program to address codependency.
Common Themes in Codependent Relationships
Codependency is the overarching belief that you must support another person even if it comes at the expense of yourself. It often involves a person defining themselves only in relation to someone else’s needs and priorities. The following themes often mark codependent relationships:
- Self-sacrifice that goes beyond what is healthy
- A deep, constant focus on another person
- A need for control over the terms of a relationship
- Issues in recognizing or expressing emotions
Sadly, these relationships are rarely healthy for either party, but with the proper addiction treatment, you can find healing for both you and your partner.
5 Signs of Codependency
Codependency is not an officially defined mental health disorder with a set of diagnostic criteria. Nonetheless, research has found a set of behaviors and mindsets that are present in most codependent relationships. We’ve outlined the most common signs of codependency below.
1. A Need for Approval
A constant need for approval is often a driving force for a person experiencing codependency. This need can manifest in someone’s self-worth soaring or diving based on receiving approval from someone. In order to secure approval, a person might downplay relational issues, avoid conflict, or ignore their own needs in a relationship.
2. Managing a Loved One’s Mood or Behavior
This sign often looks like someone controlling their partner’s behavior out of a belief that this is what caretaking is. Another way this can become problematic is when a codependent takes on more than they can handle in a caring role, particularly in cases where health issues or addiction are present.
3. Ignoring Personal Needs
Codependent relationships result in one person ignoring their needs, often due to feeling anxiety or guilt when they do something they perceive as being only for their benefit. Part of this sign can be related to idolizing a partner, boosting their positives, and downplaying their negatives to convince yourself that the relationship is fulfilling.
4. Wanting to Always Solve Another Person’s Problems
Codependents feel that their partner needs their help and that their solutions are the only answer. Solving their partner’s problems becomes their mission in life. This regularly comes at the expense of their own health and wellbeing.
5. Trouble Setting Boundaries and Sticking to Them
Due to their tolerance of addiction in a loved one, codependents often have issues setting boundaries that they will commit to over time. They may begin by telling themselves they won’t put up with a partner’s drug abuse at all. However, they slowly relax their commitment to avoid relational conflict.
Seek Treatment at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center
Due to codependency’s relational and interpersonal issues, family therapy is generally more effective than individual therapy. Family therapists support each person in the relationship by developing more positive ways of interacting and relating with each other.
Georgia Addiction Treatment Center can provide expert counseling and resources to support you in healing from and overcoming codependency. Our family therapy program can improve interpersonal communication, address familial conflicts, and create a more positive home environment. At the same time, the healthiest outcome in a codependent relationship might be that relationship’s end. When that’s the case, we help you navigate that safely. Learn more about how family therapy can benefit you or a loved one by contacting us at 833.641.0661.