Co-dependency and co-dependent relationships are terms that are used quite commonly nowadays. They can mean many different things but overall they are characterised by low self-esteem, relationship issues and anxiety.
Signs of co-dependent relationships include:
- Tendency towards overly passive behaviour or excessive care taking
- Putting your own needs lower than someone else’s
- Behaviour that has a negative impact on your own well being
- An ‘addiction’ to someone
- An intense desire to be needed
- Being easily manipulated, controlled or talked into things
- Happiness that is wholly dependent on another person and their behaviour towards you
- The attempt to control interior feelings by controlling other people and relationships
If you’ve ever been described as a people pleaser, doormat, wallflower or empath you might have indications of co-dependency.
It isn’t usually until a relationship is formed where another person ‘enables’ this behaviour that things become problematic. Co-dependent relationships occur when one person gives love through giving assistance while the other person feels love by receiving the assistance.
One person’s happiness becomes completely reliant on the other. In a relationship, if you put another person’s needs consistently before your own, you are in danger of developing anxiety and depression.
If you recognise these traits in yourself or your relationship, I would suggest working on the relationship’s dynamics, your own wellbeing or ending the relationship altogether if you are unhappy or it is destructive.
Even if you end your co-dependent relationship, it’s likely that the pattern will repeat itself if you don’t address the underlying issues.
The relationship was fulfilling something for you that other things did not – perhaps a sense of purpose or a feeling of being needed? Whatever it was, you’ll have healthier relationships with others once you’ve learnt to be happy alone.
Hypnotherapy & Relationship Therapy
I talk to many couples and individuals about co-dependent relationships. We discuss past experiences, feelings and thoughts and investigate when and why the person started to put others before themselves. We build self-esteem and confidence and work on identifying helpful thought patterns and becoming aware of our own needs.
We also work on setting healthy boundaries in relationships and taking responsibility for our own happiness. Finally, we work on positive ways to love and support other people without trying to save them, control them or fix them.
If you think you might benefit from help of this nature please do get in touch and we can discuss your personal situation.