Codependency: What Does How You Relate to Others Say About You?
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By Karen McMahon, Contributor - September 15, 2013 - Updated October 02, 2013


As the daughter of an alcoholic dad and a rage-a-holic mom, I learned to be quite a strong and capable codependent.  I learned about codependence in the early stages of divorce and it changed my life.

As I began divorce coaching, I became intrigued by how often codependence showed up in both my male and female clients.  Many such clients described themselves as having done everything and tried everything to save their marriage. (I could totally relate.)  They would go on to explain how they made 150% of the effort and their spouses did little in return. 

Yet when asked what their part in the breakup of the marriage was, they were often incredulous…I DID EVERTHING!!  HOW COULD YOU SUGGEST I HAD A PART IN IT??  S/HE DID NOTHING!!


Good question, let’s start with this…

What is codependency?

Excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, who requires or demands support due to an illness, addiction or a narcissistic tendency.

What are some of the symptoms of codependents?

  • Caretaking
  • poor boundaries
  • people pleasing
  • low self esteem
  • denial
  • controlling
  • dependency
  • obsessions
  • reactivity

You may have some or all of these to varying degrees.  If this sounds like you, click here and take a quick 25-question quiz to get a better sense of your level of codependence.

If you feel like you made all the effort and s/he made none, the gift is in looking at your part in the dynamic. 

  • Why did you accept so little in return?  What was/is going on with your self worth? 
  • Where else in your life do you put other’s needs before yours? 
  • How often do you feel depleted, angry or resentful because you are always giving and rarely getting? 
  • Do you find yourself thinking about his reaction before yours when something ‘bad’ happens? 
  • Do you worry about his needs and mood instead of yours?

If this sounds like you, the great news is you have the ability to change the way YOU ARE in relationships.  When you learn to love yourself, ask for what you want, set healthy boundaries and stand as an equal in your relationships, you will no longer attract the controlling, abusive, addictive, passive aggressive or narcissistic personality that you have in the past. 

When you learn to regain control of your thoughts, when the voice in your head is yours instead of his, you are on the path to becoming reacquainted with yourself and making your needs and desires a priority.  In doing so, others begin to respond in kind, making you more of a priority in their lives as well.

By focusing on your healing and personal growth you will ENERGETICALLY transform your life and begin to attract others (friends, bosses, companions) who are your emotional and energetic equals.

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