Codependent Relationship

What is a Co-dependent Relationship? Co-dependency can occur in any type of relationship, including romantic, peer, family, friendship and work. There is a clear distinction between thoughtful, caring, loving behaviour or feelings that are normal and healthy to those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree by putting other people ahead of yourselves. A healthy relationship is 'inter-dependent' – when partners take care of themselves and each other. A mutually satisfying relationship is where people give, receive and rely on each other equally. Of course, there will be times when one person will carry a bigger load but overall all parties contribute equally to the relationship. A co-dependent relationship occurs when personal boundaries between individuals are broken, unhealthy or don’t exist. Co-dependent people focus on pleasing and accommodating others instead of focusing on themselves. They have a diffuse sense of self, characterised by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance or control patterns. Co-dependent people are constantly in search of acceptance; they like to feel they are “needed”. They often find themselves in relationships where their primary role is that of a rescuer, supporter and confidante. They often depend on the other person’s poor functioning to satisfy their own emotional needs. Co-dependent relationships are fraught with resentment, anger, criticism and pain. Here are some signs of a co-dependent relationship: 1. You minimise your needs and preferences. 2. You enable the other person’s unhealthy behaviour and they enable yours. 3. You feel guilty when asserting yourself. 4. Your mood and…

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How Do You Know Your Relationship Is In Trouble?

  How Do You Know Your Relationship is in Trouble? While no relationship is perfect and couples can expect to have their fair share of conflicts, however it’s how you resolve conflicts that matters. If issues are not resolved properly, they become insurmountable and resentment can build up over time. Here are some warning signs signalling your relationship is in trouble: Arguments do not get resolved. Most couples have issues that can be resolved over time as their relationship develops, but when key issues are not resolved and they keep re-surfacing – then your relationship will struggle. Feeling like you are “walking on eggshells” around sensitive issues. When you feel the need to avoid conflicts and protect yourself from further conflict, this signals a lack of safety in your relationship. You are unable to reach out to your partner for emotional support. A romantic relationship without emotional engagement will be drained of any vitality. If you are unable to show your emotional vulnerability to your partner then it is a clear sign your relationship is at risk. You find you are spending less 'couple time' with your partner for no particular reason. When for no good reason, you both choose to spend less time together and this pattern continues over a long period, you will drift apart. Couple time is a crucial resource for sustaining intimacy and connection in a relationship. Arguments include criticism, defensiveness, and contempt. If one or both of you engage in character attacks,…

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A Loving Relationship Requires Work

How to Build a Loving Relationship? It's easy to fall in love but to keep your love alive and enduring requires work. According to John Gottman, the guru of healthy and happy relationships, we need to be aware of our negative behaviour patterns, which Dr. Gottman called the "Four Horsemen of Apocalypse": Criticism: Attacking your partner's personality or character, usually with the intent of making someone right and someone wrong i.e. "you always..." "you never...." "you're the type of person who..." "why are you so..."! Contempt: Attacking your partner's sense of self with the intention to insult or psychologically abuse him/her. Insults and name calling: "bitch, bastard, wimp, fat, stupid, ugly, slob, lazy...". Hostile humour, sarcasm or mockery. Body language & tone of voice: sneering, rolling your eyes, curling your upper lip. Defensiveness: Seeing self as the victim, warding off a perceived attack. Making excuses (external circumstances beyond your control forced you to act in a certain way) -" It's not my fault...."; "He/she made me do it..." Cross-complaining: meeting your partner's complaint, or criticism with a complaint of your own; ignoring what your partner said. Disagreeing and then cross-complaining - "that's not true, you're the one who..." "I did this because you did that..." "Yes.... but" - start off agreeing but end up disagreeing.  Repeating yourself without paying attention to what the other person is saying. Whining "it's not fair." Stonewalling: Withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid conflict.  Partners may think that they…

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