What is codependency

There are couples in whom dramatic scenes are played out every day, the intensity of passions is at the limit, and anguish and suffering are in the order of things. And yet they cannot live without each other! This codependency is hidden under the guise of love.

In such a relationship, one partner parasitizes on the other. The second unfortunate – although he suffers from such a relationship – is trying to save his chosen one who has gone astray and preserve the relationship to the last. At the same time, both get a strange pleasure from this game.

Examples around us:

  • the tyrant husband lives according to the principle “beats means he loves”, and the sheep wife meekly endures beatings and insults (and secretly takes pride in the halo of a martyr and tells about her sufferings to everyone);

  • or an unrecognized genius. Alone against a cruel world, drenches existential loneliness with alcohol. And his angel girl sacrifices everything for him. After all, without her, he will die!

These examples show that most often in a codependent relationship, a man shifts responsibility for his life and the whole family onto a woman. But it looks like she really needs him. And even if he breaks the connection with this man, then in his place there will immediately be another, no better than the previous one. The situation will be repeated until the “victim” finds satisfaction in other areas of life.

Where does codependency come from

Like most of our psychological problems, codependency in relationships dates back to childhood.

  • Often those relationships fall into those who, as a child, lacked unconditional love. To meet their parents over-visions, they had to constantly fulfill and overfulfill the plan.

  • If a person observed a model of codependent relationships in childhood (for example, dad played all the money at cards, and mom worked in two shifts so that the family had something to eat), he is almost 100% likely to reproduce a negative scenario in adulthood.

How codependency differs from healthy relationships


Healthy relationships

The partner constantly manipulates feelings of guilt, jealousy, reproaches

Constructive dialogue takes place, relieving tension rather than exacerbating it

A pernicious “vertical” is created: one is lifted up on a pedestal, the second serves

Equality of partners

Emotional blackmail is practiced:

“I can not live without you”,

“He will be lost without me”,

“You are my last chance”

Partners complement and develop each other.

They are happy together, but if something happens they can become happy in a new relationship.

What to do

If codependent relationships are your sad reality, I highly recommend rethinking your life.

Perhaps you are captivated by false attitudes that prevent you from realizing the importance of your own life in isolation from your partner. Understand: it s great to be close people, but at the same time you must remain separate and self-sufficient individuals. The couple are not some Siamese twins, if they separate, both will die. A mature relationship is a partnership. Only on this soil can true love flourish.

If you cannot escape the vicious circle on your own, it s time to see a psychologist!

Lyudmila Ivanovskaya,
psychologist, trainer, specialist in the field of relations
and family constellations

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