What is Codependency?

Codependency is a pervasive pattern of behavior and belief characterized by an extreme focus on the behavior of another to the neglect and detriment of the self.  The characteristics of codependency include excessive:

  • Focus on the behavior of the other, usually a spouse, child or other close family member;
  • Effort to influence and alter the behavior of others;
  • Worry about the wellbeing of others;
  • Concern with what others think or will think “about me”;
  • Susceptibility to anxiety and instability;
  • Neglect of self-care and personal development;
  • Resentment and depression when one’s efforts to “help” the other are unsuccessful or are met with a lack of appreciation or outright rejection; and
  • Difficulty identifying one’s own wants and needs and setting goals for the self.

Recovery from Codependency

When you are caught up in codependency, you may find yourself thinking phrases like, “I can’t live my life until he changes” or “I will be happy when he is happy”. Your sense of wellbeing depends on the wellbeing of another, and therefore is never secure because it is based on things outside of your control.  Recovery from codependency seeks to bring the focus of your attention back to that person over whom you actually can exercise a significant level of influence – yourself – over what you choose to think, what you choose to believe, what you choose to do. Recovery begins with understanding codependency and examining the positive and the negative impact it has had on your life, developing a worldview which is non-codependent, and taking actions consistent with that new and healthy perspective.

You can read more about codependency HERE

Contact Bill Lent

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