Co-dependency is such a common theme in relationships, that it feels like a normal and natural dynamic. If you watch most Hollywood love stories or listen to many love songs, you might notice a theme that our culture is normalizing: Co-dependency is the same as true love.
Any time the lyrics or story line include someone who feels incomplete without someone else, or someone has difficulty saying no to an abusive partner, it is likely narrating a co-dependent relationship.
In real life, it can happen when someone obtains all of their self-worth from being loved by someone else. It can occur when someone tries to help or control their partner who has an addictive behavior. It can also result when someone is scared of being alone, and jumps from relationship to relationship to assuage their fears.
It can feel really nice to be needed, to have a sense that you are complete when you meet “the one” or your “soul mate.” To depend on this one person or to be depended upon can satisfy many emotional needs in the short term.
When things are going well, a co-dependent relationship can also feel euphoric. You get all of your passionate and emotional needs fulfilled quickly and with intense satisfaction. The problem is that this is not manageable for long. When the fire burns out, everything is left scorched and raw.
Co-dependency often leads to people feeling disconnected, insecure, abusive and lonely much of the time. People end up with hurt feelings, increased insecurity, and diminished or failed relationships. Although it feels good in the beginning, it feels terrible in the end.
If you find yourself in a co-dependent relationship, your dynamic can be improved for the better. You can still feel love, affection, closeness and all of the wonderful aspects of a healthy relationship, without the “hangover” that Co-dependency brings. It takes a commitment to take ownership for your own feelings, willingness to let go of controlling others (because it doesn’t work anyways), and desire to put yourself first.
If you need assistance on this journey, I can help. I have helped many individuals and couples learn how to overcome and move past their co-dependent tendencies, and build happier, more secure, genuine, and stronger relationships with themselves and others.