What is codependency? Every relationship is about balancing the needs and wants of both partners, including the needs for closeness and distance. Labeling a person, or a relationship, codependent is subjective. Often we identify someone as codependent when that person loses their own identity, relying too heavily on their partner, or relationship, to define who they are. Codependency is an unhealthy loss of self, in an effort to maintain a relationship. Overcoming codependency is possible, and therapy can help.
Causes of codependency There are some theories that identify codependency as occurring in the context of an addictive relationship. When one partner has an addiction, the other partner may be labeled codependent. There are times when people are considered codependent, in addition to their addiction to substances or behaviors. Other theories suggest that growing up in a home where one, or both, parents has an addiction, may lead a person to enter into a codependent relationship later in life. Really we do not know for sure how, or why, a person may become codependent. What we do know is that individual therapy is a helpful treatment for codependency.
Signs and symptoms of codependency Wanting to be close to your partner does not mean you are codependent. Prioritizing your relationship is not a bad thing. Here are some questions you may ask yourself if you are concerned that you, or your partner, are showing signs of codependency: -Do you feel like you cannot exist without your partner? -Does your mood change to match your partner’s mood? -Have you lost your own interests and adopted your partner’s? -Do you feel anxious or scared when your partner is not around? -Are you preoccupied with losing your partner? -Are you scared to make mistakes in your relationship? -Is there open and honest communication between you and your partner?
Codependency treatment - how we can help It is possible to have a fulfilling relationship. Balancing the needs for closeness and distance between two partners can be challenging, but it is possible. We are here to help. Individual therapy can provide you with the skills to manage any anxiety caused by relationship stress, enhance self-awareness, speak up for what you need and want in your relationships, and help you feel whole within yourself.