I want to take on that soul-sucking, heart-crushing, ego-bashing little monster named:
Web MD says you’re in a codependent relationship if:
1. You are unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of a specific person. Example:
When a client’s Asshat decided at the last minute not to come to her best friend’s wedding (and she was a bridesmaid!) because he’d just returned from a boys’ Vegas trip where he’d probably slept with too many hookers, she forced herself to go anyway.
But she was miserable the whole time; even whilst joining in that whimsical line dance, La Macarena.
2. You recognize unhealthy behaviors in your partner, but stay with him or her in spite of them.
When my Asshat said he was working overtimes, and was actually stepping out with different women, (and making his co-workers lie to me) I still moved in with him and tried to get him to marry me!
3. You give support to your partner at the cost of your own mental, emotional, and physical health.
When a client’s beau showed up several times unexpectedly before her work shift and begged her to type up and print out papers he had due for his college courses, she’d end up late for work, scrambling to help him out.
4. People around you have given you feedback that you are too dependent on your partner.
Whenever I inadvertently slipped and told family members all of the shenanigans my Asshat pulled; they desperately wanted to kidnap and send me to an undisclosed rehabilitation center under a mountain in Utah.
5. If you have a desire, at times, for more independence but feel an even stronger conflict when you attempt to separate in any way.
Example: Logically, I knew my treatment at the hands of my Asshat was emotionally abusive, but every time I tried to walk away, I was in excruciating emotional, mental and even physical pain. I suspect it felt much like coming off of drugs.
6. You feel anxiety more consistently than any other emotion in your relationship.
Example: A client’s beau was unpredictable. She never knew if he’d keep his plans with her, and she never knew when he might betray her with another woman. She spent much of her time stalking him and attempting to control and guard him.
7. If you spend a great deal of time and energy either trying to change your partner, or trying to conform to your partner’s wishes.
Example: I twisted myself like a pretzel in order to get my Asshat to change; even attempting to pretend I wasn’t codependent, which I could manage in a sixty second burst over the course of five years.
No need to feel ashamed; Codependency is inherited.
Mental Health America says:
“Codependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.
“It is also known as ‘relationship addiction’ because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. The disorder was first identified about ten years ago as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics.
“Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.”
Growing up, my mom modeled the codependent relationship for me with her second husband, who was exactly like my last Asshat.
I developed a codependent relationship with her, because I never knew when I would see her; depending on where she was with her addiction and the volatility it caused in her life.
I have a lot of empathy for my mom, because she experienced much the same treatment in her own childhood, with parents who divorced when she was young, and an attractive mother who had her own codependent relationships.
I’ve worked hard at breaking the generational cycle of codependency, and have been free of it for over sixteen years now.
I’m more proud of that accomplishment than any other in my life. So ask yourself if any of these symptoms ring true to you, please reach out for help.
If You’re Struggling in a Toxic Relationship:
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“I loved this book Customer 28 – Verified Purchase:
“I loved this book! It demystifies codependency and why some women have such a hard time leaving emotionally abusive relationships. Shannon offers practical, actionable tasks to overcome love addiction and doles it out with a refreshing sense of humor. I highly recommend this book to anyone preoccupied with changing or controlling their partner. I have recommended this book to my girlfriends who are struggling with their relationships. The author is inspiring and I enjoyed the book so much that I read it again soon after.”