What is codependency? If you had to describe it, could you? Most people are able to describe what they think codependency is due to the laymen understanding of the phenomenon.
However, the clinical definition of codependency is a bit different. It emphasizes the fusion of two people to an unhealthy level. This unhealthy (and often abusive) fusion can lead to the same thoughts, feelings, and belief systems. In a way, codependency can look like the concept “traumatic bonding.”
This article and video will discuss this topic further.
Most people define codependency in multiple ways. I tend to define codependency as a fusion of character, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. The relationship is so unhealthy and dominated by a lack of identity (from one or both partners) that it is difficult for others to figure out who is making the major decisions and/or expressing their own thoughts and feelings.
Example case study
I once counseled a young lady who was in a very unhealthy codependent relationship. She struggled with identifying her own thoughts and feelings which led to her friends capitalizing on the fact that they could no longer trust her opinions because she had begun to think and sound like her boyfriend. Sadly, this “boyfriend” was someone she only dated for the purpose of “having someone to talk to.” There was no real connection and the relationship lacked emotional and psychological depth. The relationship had deteriorated into a sibling-like relationship. They were roommates. They were siblings. They were no longer lovers or partners in a relationship headed somewhere positive.
I talk more about this in the video below:
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So what has been your experience in your relationships during holiday time?
Sadly, commercialism has led most people to believe that the holiday season is not worth the effort unless you have friends and family. But not everyone does and we need to model being okay with that.
I encourage you to share this video with someone who may benefit from this information. Stay tuned for next week’s post as I will discuss ways to overcome codependent relationships.