Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides up what’s yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money and belongings, but also to your feelings, thoughts and needs. That’s especially where codependents get into trouble. They have blurry or weak boundaries. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems or blame their own on someone else. Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones. A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words, because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements. By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/symptoms-of-codependency/
People who violate
They steal time
that doesn’t belong to them.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders
One of the negative emotional habits that codependents develop is categorical thinking. Everything is black and white with no shades in between. This always/never way of thinking leads them to over-react in social situations. Roger, for example, heard that some of the members of his Sunday school class were dissatisfied with his teaching methods. Instead of consulting with them on how to make the class more meaningful, he resigned and joined another class. Another childlike behavior of codependents is personalization – interpreting everything that is said and done in their immediate environment as if it were directed at them. This creates a paranoid perspective, which leads to defensiveness, hostility, and isolation. At a meeting with his prayer group, Mark questioned the unwitting use of sexist language that had begun to occur. Another member of the group, realizing that he was guilty, assumed that Mark was chiding him personally. He took offense and dropped out of the group. A third habit many codependents acquire is what I call obsessive over-analyzing. The mind goes round and round in circles until the emotional system either explodes or shuts down as a result of the overwhelming anxiety that is generated. Another emotional habit typical of codependents is exaggerating or “awfulizing”. Children who have grown up in addictive or traumatized family systems learn to expect the worst. They are constantly waiting for the other shoe to fall. In adulthood, they are prone to place the worst possible interpretation on every event. They see neutral or even positive situations as negative, and they anticipate disaster. This expectation often sets off an emotional chain reaction that creates the very thing they most fear. People who are “stuck” in these immature emotional habits consider them normal. They don’t know any other way to think/believe/behave. Such individuals are not at fault! They need gentle and respectful guidance. http://www.thebridgetorecovery.com/overcoming-codependency.html
The consequences of your denial
will be with you for a lifetime
and will be passed down
to the next generations.
Break your Silence on Abuse!
Patty Rase Hopson
You criticize or micro-manage your partner. If you’re always concerned with some aspect of your partner’s personality or appearance, don’t look at them — look at yourself. People who are in love overlook minor annoyances and see the bigger picture. You compare your partner to others. When you love someone, you don’t compare him or her to others. If you find yourself doing this, you should re-evaluate your relationship. You try to change your partner. Often we fall in love with people who don’t suit us. If you find that you’re constantly trying to change your partner, it may be time to move on. You don’t laugh anymore. Humor is something that all relationships need. If you no longer find his jokes funny, or you can’t have lighthearted conversations, it may be a sign that the relationship has lost its zing. You’re doing all the giving (or all the getting). Relationships are about mutual benefit. If one partner is benefiting over the other, the relationship is unhealthy. Your friends no longer like being around you when you’re with your partner. Your friends may like your partner, but they no longer like the affect your partner has on you. Dr. Northrup says when a relationship’s not right, our friends tell us the truth and often are the first to see when a relationship turns sour. You no longer feel good about yourself. Think about how it felt when you first fell in love with your partner. If this feeling is lacking, you may want to look at your relationship. No matter how appropriate it is to leave a relationship, the loss of any significant relationship can feel like a death, says Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. You have to feel the sadness and grieve fully for what might have been, adds Dr. Northrup. You can’t skip from, or otherwise hide from the pain if you’re to emerge at the next stage free to develop. http://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/advice/when-is-it-time-to-leave-the-relationship.htm
The end of a relationship is not always a failure.
Sometimes all the love in the world is not enough
to save something. In these cases, it is not a matter
of fault from either person. Some things cannot be,
it’s as simple as that.
Most people want to help people, to be seen as helpful, and to do good things. Good intentions are not enough. We need to understand our reasons why we are helping someone and we need to understand the effect of our actions. When we help others, we need to ask ourselves—are our “helping” actions truly helping the other person? We may realize we have a Helping Addiction when despite the evidence that our “helping” is not truly helping the other person, we are compelled to continue to try to help them. Signs we have a helping addiction:
- You realize your efforts to help someone are not changing the other person’s life for the better and you continue to attempt to help.
- You feel compelled to repeated pick up the pieces for someone who calls you when they are in an emergency.
- You notice people you are attempting to help consistently are unable to manage their time, resources and energy
- You notice a person or the people you are attempting to help become increasingly demanding of your help.
- You feel guilty when you are not the person to help someone—even if they receive help from someone else who is more qualified to help.
If we are addicted to helping others, we need help ourselves. We aren’t helping anyone and we are hurting ourselves if we are “helping” someone too much. Helping ourselves is a matter of getting in touch with our thoughts and feelings associated with helping others. http://sueb.hubpages.com/hub/Helping-Too-Much
Give a man a fish
and he eats for a day
Teach a man to fish
and he eats for a life time
Every relationship needs give and take between two people to truly be a relationship. The term “give and take” is not new. It’s a simple idea that says that to have a productive and satisfying relationship you can’t just do all the taking or all the giving all the time. Unfortunately in reality many relationships are either: “You give and I’ll take” or “I’ll give and you take”. If you are doing all the planning of dates, paying all the expenses, sharing and repairing relationships you are giving too much. If a relationship feels like too much work on your part, you feel like you’re squeezing water from a stone, or the person requires a lot of nurturing to extract even a small amount of value, you’re not in a “love” relationship, you are giving too much. When your giving is taking too much out of you and threatens to destabilize your very person, then you are trying to give more than you are capable of. If you allow yourself to be drained of energy you will have less to give to a deserving man or woman and may find yourself passing up good men and women because of the experiences of your past. If you allow one or more experiences to make you cynical, then you have given more than you were capable of and it has made you less than who you were. This is giving more than you are capable of giving. To open yourself to others is often rewarding but is only as good as the value it adds to who you are. Yangki Christine Akiteng http://www.torontosnumber1datedoctor.com/NEWSLETTER%20ARTICLES/one_sided_relationships.html
It’s not anyone else’s job
to believe in you.
No one can do it better
Bishop T. D. Jakes
Gifts are a far more common cause of personal discomfort and interpersonal conflict than most people realize. Why the Conflict? There are many potential sources for discordant attitudes toward gifts. Cultural and family differences are certainly important. Gifts may have been a big deal in some families and all but ignored in others. Psychologists maintain that issues of power and vulnerability underlie many gift-related problems. Consciously or otherwise, some people try to use gifts to buy love or friendship, assert dominance or instill a sense of obligation. Others — men in particular — have difficulty accepting gifts because it makes them feel weak and vulnerable; in effect, in someone else’s power. They seem to fear the feelings of tenderness that are awakened by receiving a thoughtful gift. Among couples having interpersonal difficulties, underlying relationship problems can also show up as a conflict over gifts. One person may always be the giver and the other the receiver, with the receiver feeling helpless and dependent and the giver feeling resentful and unappreciated. Those who neither give nor receive may be too self-occupied to nurture their relationship. And those who continually give to one another may be locked in a power struggle that has many other dimensions. Jane E. Brody http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/06/health/personal-health-look-some-strains-well-delights-giving-receiving-gifts.html
Even in social life,
you will never make
a good impression
on other people
until you stop thinking
about what sort of impression
8. Our self-esteem is critically low, and deep inside we do not believe we deserve to be happy. Rather, we believe we must earn the right to enjoy life.
9. We have a desperate need to control people and our relationships, having experienced little security in childhood. We mask our efforts to control people and situations as “being helpful.”
10. In a relationship, we are much more in touch with our dream of how it could be than the reality of our situation.
11. We are addicted to people and emotional pain.
12. We may be predisposed emotionally and often bio-chemically to becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, and/or certain foods, particularly sugary ones.
13. By being drawn to people with problems that need fixing, or by being enmeshed in situations that are chaotic, uncertain, and emotionally painful, we avoid focusing on our responsibility to ourselves.
14. We may have a tendency toward episodes of depression, which we try to forestall through the excitement provided by an unstable relationship.
15. We are not attracted to people who are kind, stable, reliable and interested in us. We find such “nice” people boring. Robin Norwood http://www.theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/ish-articles/addicted-to-love/
We are addicted to our thoughts.
We cannot change anything
if we cannot change our thinking.”
1. Typically, we come from a dysfunctional home in which our emotional needs were not met.
2. Having received little real nurturing ourselves, we try to fill this unmet need vicariously by becoming a caregiver, especially to people who appear in some way needy.
3. Because we were never able to change our parent(s) into the warm, loving caretaker(s) we longed for, we respond deeply to the familiar type of emotionally unavailable people whom we can again try to change, through our love.
4. Terrified of abandonment, we will do anything to keep relationships from dissolving.
5. Almost nothing is too much trouble, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will “help” the people we are involved with.
6. Accustomed to lack of love in personal relationships, we are willing to wait, hope, and try harder to please.
7. We are willing to take far more than 50 percent of the responsibility, guilt and blame in any relationship.
Robin Norwood http://www.theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/ish-articles/addicted-to-love/
Love Addiction can become an obsession with finding the world in one lover. A person’s own growth and development has been hindered early in life, and addicted lovers attach themselves to their lover’s identity. Often, this dependency results in their drawing unearned pride from their lover’s accomplishments. Sometimes it leads to their demanding, for themselves, undeserved recognition for their lover’s achievements. Fearful of change, addictive lovers will neglect individual development of self and find the ultimate security in believing they can become indistinguishable from their partner. Sometimes the fear of change is so great all individual development of abilities, interests, and desires is suppressed. Stagnation is a common characteristic of addictive love relationships. The desperate need for security leads to emotional scheming. Addictive lovers are inclined to think that doing things for their partner will secure their love. The resulting opportunities for disappointment and resentment are sufficient to make such scheming pointless. But addictive lovers are obsessed with impossible needs and unrealistic expectations. Love demands honesty and integrity. You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
o You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
o When you fall in love, you can’t stop fantasizing—even to do important things.
o Sometimes, for companionship you lower standards and settle for less than you deserve.
o When you are in a relationship, you tend to smother your partner.
o When attracted, you will ignore all the warning signs that this person is not good for you.
o When you are in love, you trust people who are not trustworthy.
You do not need to be loved,
not at the cost of yourself.
The single relationship that is truly central
and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self.
Of all the people you will know in a lifetime,
you are the only one you will never lose.
My discovery has been that the root of my issues is called Codependency that stems from neglect, emotional abuse and trauma from my childhood. Codependency is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively controlling ways that negatively impact relationships and quality of life. Co-dependence is said to be the most common of all addictions: the addiction to looking elsewhere. It is based in a belief that something outside of self can give us happiness and fulfillment. The ‘elsewhere’ may be people, places, things, behaviors or experiences and usually we neglect our own self for it. Codependency is at its core, a dysfunctional relationship with self. With out learning different, people such as me do not know how to love the self in healthy ways because our parents did not know how to love themselves. We were raised in shame-based families that taught us that there is something wrong with being human. The messages we got often included that there is something wrong: with making mistakes; with not being perfect; with being sexual; with being emotional; with being too fat or too thin or too tall or too short or too whatever. As children we were taught to determine our worth in comparison with others. If we were smarter than, prettier than, better grades than, faster than, etc. – then we were validated and got the message that we had worth. James Browning http://goodmorninggratitude.com/2011/07/21/facing-codependence-and-finding-happiness/
We plan our lives according to a dream
that came to us in our childhood,
and we find that life alters our plans.
And yet, at the end, from a rare height,
we also see that our dream was our fate.
It’s just that providence had other ideas
as to how we would get there.
Destiny plans a different route,
or turns the dream around,
as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream
in ways we couldn’t have expected.