Codependency2019-08-01T17:18:38+00:00

Christian Counseling for Codependency

Codependency is a relational dynamic in which one person puts the needs of others ahead of his or her needs in an attempt to compensate for low self-esteem and/or feelings of guilt or shame. At heart, then, codependency is a dysfunctional relationship with yourself. Codependent relationships are imbalanced, with one person trying to ‘earn’ validation by pleasing the other.

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Codependency is a relational dynamic in which one person puts the needs of others ahead of his or her needs in an attempt to compensate for low self-esteem and/or feelings of guilt or shame. At heart, then, codependency is a dysfunctional relationship with yourself. Codependent relationships are imbalanced, with one person trying to ‘earn’ validation by pleasing the other. Signs of codependency can include anything from unhealthy self-doubt to the aggressive manipulation or control of others.

People who struggle with codependency struggle to form healthy boundaries in their relationships. Codependent persons find it difficult to differentiate—that is, to separate their sense of self from the person with whom they share a relationship. This can make true intimacy extremely difficult, because the codependent person will fear losing him or herself if the relationship fails. By setting up boundaries, you can form a healthy sense of personal identity apart from others, and with those boundaries securely in place, you can discover what it means to be in true relationship.

Breaking the cycle of codependency is difficult but not impossible. Healing from codependency begins with developing a stronger sense of yourself and learning to love yourself as intrinsically valuable, apart from your relationships. This means letting go of people and things you can’t control, and learning to listen to your own inner voice. As you come to love and trust yourself, you will discover a greater sense of freedom and peace in your relationships.

The term ‘codependency’ was first used to describe persons in a relationship with an addict. Very often, people who have codependent tendencies will seek relationships with substance abusers or persons suffering from other forms of addiction. Addiction and codependency fuel one another because the addict relies on the codependent for help and validation, and the codependent becomes ‘addicted’ to caring for the addict. This is obviously a very unstable foundation for a relationship, and, unfortunately, both people suffer consequences.