Saturday, October 22, 2011

Codependent Relationships - The Love Addiction

Often termed the love addiction, Codependent relationships can be complex at the best of times. If you are the codependent, you may find yourself lavishing a great deal of time and energy on your partner, obsessively caring for them and sorting out any problems for them. In a way, you begin to control or manipulate them even if without intent. There will be a strong desire to protect, cherish and cure-all and this situation can be overwhelmingly intense for all concerned.
Codependent relationships occur when one or both partners have issues often formed and deeply rooted within their childhood. Dysfunctional families and the lessons learned within these family groups often begin to emerge throughout adulthood and can have a devastating effect on the codependent and their family unit. Sadly, this cycle of destructive emotional behavior is often passed down from generation to generation unless you make the conscious decision to stop.
There are variables within the codependency umbrella of course and your reactions or behaviors will be very much relevant to the lessons absorbed in those early days and lessons learned through previous relationships.
Typical codependent symptoms include:
  • Achieving fulfillment through being needed by others
  • Feeling hurt or resentful if you are not needed
  • Changing your behaviors if in an abusive relationship so that your actions do not cause anger or upset the abuser
  • Giving up your own interests or hobbies for the sake of your relationship
  • Manipulating your partner through an intense need to be in control
Quite often the codependent experiences an intrinsic lack of self-esteem and confidence and if this mirrors how you are feeling inside, you may well be aware that control that you seek masks a great deal of pain inside. Abandonment or rejection issues may be the pinnacle on which your codependency sits.
Essentially, any codependent relationship is an unhealthy one and often people are drawn together because instinctively they recognize familiar behavioral traits and as such, understanding why you are continuously drawn to a relationship that is likely to be unhealthy is extremely important.
Acknowledging that there is a problem is an essential part of any recovery process and it is not always easy to do because familiarity and well-worn behavioral paths offers you security of sorts. Seeking professional help is the next vital step and so is identifying a counselor who is trained in this area. Just remember that it is not an overnight process, and this is because your behaviors and feelings are potentially so deeply ingrained within your everyday thoughts and actions, that the counselor is likely to have to help you unravel many emotional knots.
A love addiction is strong even whilst it may not be healthy. It's not easy to simply walk away or to change, but with professional help you can start to open yourself up to more loving and honest associations and move away from codependent relationships permanently.
Jim Moustakas is the CEO of My Life Assistant Pty Ltd an online counseling and life coaching interactive platform. My Life Assistant provides a live 24 hour counseling or coaching service by qualified counselors, psychologists and life coaches from around the world. To get full access now please visit select whether you are a general user or a therapist and get started right away.

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