A Faith Integrated Counseling Center

Identifying Co-Dependency

on Apr 22, 2015 in Blog, News and Events, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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How do I know if I am in a codependent relationship?

Codependency is an addiction to a person and pleasing that person. In a codependent relationship, there is a loss of clear and healthy boundaries between the two people. The codependent loses a sense of self and “their voice” to speak out their unique desires and needs. The codependent is driven by a fear of losing the relationship and driven by a need to please the other person or “make them happy.” From a Christian worldview, this is actually a form of idolatry. That is, trying to find life in someone or something other than God.

To determine if you are in a codependent relationship, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Do you assume responsibility or guilt for the other person’s feelings or actions?

  1. Are you afraid to tell your partner what you want or need?
  2. Do you compromise your own values or integrity in order to avoid the rejection or anger of the other person?
  3. Do you stay in relationships because of loyalty, even though the person is abusive or harmful to you?
  4. Do you stay in an unhealthy relationship because you fear that “you could not live without this person?”

If you are in a codependent relationship, how can you change?

  1. The first step in acknowledging that you struggle with codependency.
  2. Ask God to show you the areas in which you have made idols out of codependent relationships with people.  Ask for help to change.
  3. Setting clear and healthy boundaries in a relationship is essential. You can learn more about this in the book Boundaries, by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud.
  4. Seek help from a professional counselor. A professional counselor will provide you with a safe and confidential place to work on your codependency.   They are trained in how to identify codependent relationships and how to help people create healthier ones.