The codependent relationship: How to stop clinging partner

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Idea of what "codependency" or "codependent relationship," differ: some believe that the way to describe a relationship with a person with any addiction, for example alcohol, others that it is about a relationship where suffering or interpersonal boundaries are violated. We decided to find out what you understand by these terms today, and what if you learned in these situations myself.

The neurotic personality of our time[править]

A common definition of co-dependence still exists. Many people use this term to describe the behavior of a person whose partner is alcoholic, drug or gambling addiction — in this case, the mean of a dysfunctional relationship where one person supports another painful condition. However, often define this concept is much broader — as a pathological state of emotional, social, financial or even physical depending on the person. Codependent can be two adults — usually partners, friends or parents with grown children. Small children codependency does not apply — still a Junior default dependent on older. Nevertheless, dysfunctional relationships with parents can be the beginning of a future problem.

In the late 1930s was one of the first codependency (the term, however, did not yet exist) described the German psychoanalyst Karen Horney: she researched people who cling to others to deal with basic anxiety. "People of this type — Horney wrote in the book "the Neurotic personality of our time" — are particularly at risk of falling into a painful relationship from a love relationship."

Around the same time in the United States is widespread self-help group alcoholics Anonymous. The organizers drew attention to the fact that alcoholism is a form of "family dysfunction" (called dysfunctional those families who can't move on to the next stage of development, for example to let teenagers or to adapt to external changes). Thus formed the idea that parents and spouses of chemically dependent patients sometimes behave in a way that only contributing to the problem of their loved one. In 1986 appeared the first group of "co-dependents Anonymous", whose members admitted that they are "helpless in the face of others" and tend "to use other people as the only source of personal integrity, values and well-being."

One stumble — fall both[править]

"But we all in varying degrees dependent on loved ones?" — you may ask. Sure, but in the case of co-dependency more difficult. In relationships without such problems adults, figuratively speaking, go through life hand in hand, and if one suddenly stumbles, the other will support him. In codependent relationships, people, on the contrary, if shift the center of gravity of the partner. But, firstly in this position will not go away, and secondly, when one stumbles — both fall.

Codependent relationships suggest that people are so tied up in different spheres of life that cannot act autonomously. If their relationships deteriorate or are destroyed, instantly suffer and other areas of life — from professional development to physical health or material well-being. For codependent people partner (or close friend or a relative) is a "feeder" from which to replenish basic needs, from material well-being to feelings of security, which aims to heal their emotional wounds.

Codependency is primarily a extreme emotional and mental immersion in the life of another, a confusion of roles, functions, and emotions. Codependent people are very easily "infected" with the mood close and immediately accept all the manifestations of his feelings at his own expense. The thinking is roughly this: a partner who just came home from work, annoyed not because they are hungry, tired or had a bad day, but because he's not happy to see me. (S) he is sad because I said(a) that something is not right. Anger, displeasure, sadness, apathy of such people immediately become common — as if from a loved one emotional system is not separated, but constitute two communicating vessels, and feelings freely "poured" from one person to another.

For codependent people partner — this "trough" from which supplemented basic needs, from material well-being to a sense of security[править]

In a relationship without codependency the person primarily in control of its own life, health and emotional state. He realizes that he can affect the emotions and lives of loved ones (any trust relationship involves the relationship), but he has no ideas to control them. In the codependent relationship, the person a lot and often tries to control the mind, feelings and behavior of another person. Of course, that control is only an illusion, but attempts can fill almost her whole life.

Someone convinces the husband or wife to stop drinking, Smoking or taking drugs, promises to go together to the psychologist — but only in order to solve the problem of the partner. Someone wants for him or her the best positions and the best salaries and discusses with friends how to "motivate" another person's achievements. You may want to have a friend to the doctor, beginning to eat right and lost weight, because it's supposedly better for her health and personal life.

The line between a normal desire to help close and codependency lies in the regularity and persistence. If "help" becomes a separate task — we're starting to build plans, how to convince girlfriend to lose weight, and her husband to ask the boss for a raise, trying to record them for training or to the gym for hours looking and then casually slips the literature on the subject — it is about codependency. At this point we are trying to control someone else's life.

People experiencing co-dependency so afraid of the threat of breakup, they prefer to act and think for the other person instead of taking an unbiased look at his behavior

Another trait of codependency — the entanglement of roles. The codependent person tries to be close to a therapist, doctor, nutritionist, personal Manager, instead of to simply be a partner or friend, sharing life and experience. Go with a loved one to the doctor, to help him choose the therapist or create a resume you can and out of co-dependent relationships. But, in contrast to conventional care, codependency people wants to replace the desire of another her, trying forcefully to push him where he is not very eager to go.

At this place the person who thinks like co-dependents, usually objection (very reasonable in his coordinate system): "But if his (her) not to push, he (she) and do nothing! Never stop drinking, will lie on the couch and not work, continue to get sick and wither". This is, unfortunately, true: an adult can choose not to take care of your health, not to earn money or to live with chemical dependence. And then, before his partner or friend is likely to be a question about how comfortable and acceptable a close relationship with someone who threatens your life, refusing treatment, or almost never sober, or those who do not work and who need to contain. People experiencing co-dependency so afraid of the threat of breakup, they prefer to act and think for the other instead of taking an unbiased look at his behavior and decide whether they want to be with that person.

The idea is to improve someone else's life instead of his — Central for co-dependents. If you search the origins of this desire is likely to find that they wanted a good life for themselves in prosperity, calm man who is interested in something other than beer and computer games, which is not at risk of dying every week from an overdose. But they have the notion that to achieve this directly, independently is impossible — and they are trying to achieve the good life as if through another person, often someone who is absolutely not up to it. For example, instead of having to independently build your own career, "motivate" your partner to ask for a raise.

The illusion of control[править]

If the description of the codependent behavior you are partially or fully know yourself, that doesn't mean you are a bad person. Most likely, the child you were surrounded by adults that do not have built healthy boundaries in communicating with each other and with you, was unable to be responsible for your welfare and upbringing, and instead shifted it to you. So you "learned" co-dependent style of behavior.

How can this happen? For example, the mother and the grandmother sends the little boy to calm the raging drunken grandfather, because "the grandson he loves and can't touch and nobody else can handle it". So the child is led to believe a distorted picture of the world in which six-year-old could be responsible for anything that can't handle two grown women, and at the same time where love can be calming, and maybe even to heal. Or family, where the mother, unable to control their spending, asks ten year old daughter at the Mall: "See to it that I didn't buy extra". Financial responsibility as if it comes under the control girls. Actually, of course, it is not so: the mother at any time can say, "here I am older, and I decide," and then blame the daughter she "did not deter" it from unnecessary purchases.

Excellent "educate" people codependent families, where the parents make children agents in adult cases. For example, tell them about your sex life, infidelity, abortion, relationships, asking advice about important life decisions: to divorce or not, whether to change jobs. Or do the child a mediator in the conflicts of adults, "Go and tell your father that if he behaves like this with me..." In such families adults often attribute to children the responsibility for their mood or physical state: "I'm so excited for your two that I now have a migraine. Here to go to the hospital, you'll be sorry"; "my mother worried about your behavior and therefore had an argument. Our family was falling apart because of you!"

The child is led to believe a distorted picture of the world where the six-year-old could be responsible for anything that can't handle adults

Thus, the child gets used to the idea that he is in control, which he had in reality no power: for the mother divorced when she wants herself or her husband; parents will reconcile when deemed necessary; work on the Council of five girls too, no change. This illusion bears a huge concern because such liability is actually unbearable for a child: it can not and does not have to solve adult problems. And at the same time this is a great deception, because in reality each person only controls their behavior.

What to do codependent person? Great "tutorials" on the problem of codependency remain the book "freedom from codependency" Janae and Barry Weinhold and "Women who love too much", Robin Norwood. Along with other dvenadtsatistrunnye programs there are free self-help group "co-dependents Anonymous"; in Russia they operate in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and many other major cities. Do not forget about personal therapy. Codependent people often seek to send to the psychologist a partner or to go with him to a family specialist. But perhaps long individual work will be for the person who wants to learn how to make the center of his life himself and not others, the best solution.