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Co-dependency

Support Group Summary from our Therapist (What is a support group?)

Updated on Oct 25 2010

When two people in a relationship cease to operate as healthy individuals and operate instead as overly dependent, lack trust in their partner, and manipulate situations to avoid perceived abandonment and rejection, we refer to a co dependency. What ensues from such a relationship are behaviors that limit freedom and foster enabling and enmeshment. Communication escalates to hostile and destructive levels, often separation is threatened and eventually the couple come back together without having resolved these differences. Past conflict is 'swept' under the rug! At first codependence can be confused with closeness and strong feelings of love, however the tell tale signs appear in the minor insecurities that are communicated, with jokes or sarcasm, as an effort to continually control the partner. Such vigilence consumes great levels of energy and codependency indeed can be exhausting. The need for enmeshment in a relationship often dates back to a childhood where codependency was modelled by the parents or the child was not able to experience secure attachment. As a result the child develops defenses to avoid feelings of rejection and abandonment and embarks on a path of forcing secure attachment. The cost is that partners often feel overwhelmed and emotionally stifled. Others will reciprocate with equally dependent behaviors. Either way, the relationship is limiting individual growth. There are many support groups available that address co dependency and allow members to test new more adaptive behaviors in the safety of the group!
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