Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Article #234 Co-Dependency

              While it can be healthy to be dependent or connected to someone else, there comes a time when it’s also important to be independent. As an adult you need to realize your own strengths and talents separate from a friend, parent or partner. Many individuals seem to get stuck in co-dependent relationships where one person is non-functioning because of destructive behavior (rebellion, addiction, abuse, etc.) and the other person enables that misbehavior at their own expense. The goal is to be two fully functioning independent individuals.
            Co-dependency is …a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another. It often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community…and may be characterized by low self esteem. (Wikipedia)
            It’s not easy to change a co-dependent relationship, even when there is extreme emotional pain going on or physical/emotional abuse. At some point the hurting person or victim needs to take a stand to break the co-dependency cycle. i.e. Making a decision and staying with it. i.e. I will not permit you to misbehave by... You will get help or I will leave. There are groups in every community who can assist a person to escape to a better safer situation and learn coping skills.            
            Many individuals find themselves trapped in a relationship where their partner is unresponsive to the needs or family members because of an addiction (drugs, alcohol or pornography) or  acts out with uncontrolled anger. While these are extremes, it’s important to know that a healthy relationship should enable both individuals to achieve their potential, not just one person at the expense of the other.
            In our desire to help others, sometimes we rescue them from the effects of their own misbehavior-–be it an addiction, breaking a law or not being responsible. With our adult children, it’s easy to want to help just a little too much thus weakening their abilities. We rescue them at our own expense. It’s a delicate balance to just advise when asked, not jump in and solve all problems for others thereby making it a codependent relationship. It’s important to analyze your personal interactions making sure you are balancing your needs against the agency of others involved. NEXT TIME: Synergy.

1 comment:

Kay said...

These are all considerations that need to be kept in mind. It's hard though.