Has someone said, “You’re so co-dependent?” “I can’t take it, you’re so needy!” and you begin to wonder “Am I? What does this mean for me and my future?” Simply put, being co-dependent means the relationship you are involved in is one-sided, as you are willing to sacrifice your happiness and emotional health for the benefit of your partner or child.
Some hallmarks of co-dependency are
- No relationship with self. You do not know your own needs, wants, and desires.
- Depends on others. You only receive total fulfillment and satisfaction from your relationships with your spouse, child, etc.
- Compulsive Helper. Helping others makes you feel in control and safe.
- People Pleasing. You will honor others’ needs and wants at the cost of your own needs and wants.
Co-dependents take on 3 roles in relationships with others – the rescuer, persecutor, and victim.
The rescuer’s survived a childhood home where where their needs were not met. As an adult, they feel safe and at their best self when they are helping others. They do not know how to set limits and make their well-being a priority.
The persecutor’s family was one where mental and/or physical abusive ran rampant. They hide their pain by coming off overconfident. As an adult, they cannot tolerate vulnerable feelings. When vulnerable feelings arise, they feel weak and will develop unsafe ways to release their angry feelings.
The victim felt damaged and inadequate in their family. They will allow others to take care of them because they do not feel capable of doing so themselves.
If you find any of these to be true, seek professional help through a mental health professional and or Co-dependents Anonymous.