Codependency is a learned behavior of seeking love and validation based on feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. It’s an unconscious belief that if you give enough love and “yes” answers that you will earn their love. It is a fallacious thought pattern because it encourages blurry boundaries and relentless sacrifice of our own needs + desires.
When you are codependent, you forget about your own needs and desires. You shift your focus externally and instead rely on your partner for everything. When they’re hot, you’re hot. When they’re cold, you’re cold. Their emotional state determines your own. A codependent person looks to their partner to repair their self-esteem, alleviate their pain, and complete their inner world. The issue is fairly easy to see here; they neglect their needs and nothing will ever be enough because they are looking in the wrong place for fulfillment.
The root of codependency is insecurities and low self-esteem.
Often times, this codependency arises simply due to an inability to look inside one’s self for answers. It’s not intentional, but it is a mindset and behavior that must be learned. Every one of you has your own needs, wants, desires, fears, and limitations, among many others. Those things need to be acknowledged and recognized by you for psychological health. One of the main reasons we reach to things outside ourselves like drugs, alcohol, excessive exercise, eating disorders, or other common coping mechanisms—is because we are afraid to confront parts of ourselves.
So, do you put another’s needs above your own? Do you suppress your desires? Not just every once in a while, but chronically and constantly? If so, you may be latching on to codependent behaviors.
As you’re working to break free from this learned behavior it may seem as if you’re being selfish—and that’s the farthest thing from the truth. Your happiness shouldn’t depend on on whether your partner is happy or not. Arguments and disagreements are part of a healthy relationship. Understand that you cannot possibly please everyone all of the time and it is perfectly healthy and normal to disappoint your partner occasionally. It means nothing about your worth as a human. When we offer ourselves grace, our relationships strengthen due to becoming more understanding of our partners missteps. Remember our tangible actions reflect our inner world.
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