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Understanding Codependency

Codependent relationships are a complex, often misunderstood, type of unhealthy relationship. There are many personality traits that a codependent person often exhibits. The good news is that it can be overcome!

For most, the term codependent relationship is one they have heard in passing, but don't know what it means. Many times, codependency is wrongly referred to as a person who is overly needy in their romantic relationships. Being overly needy can be a trait of some codependents, but there is much more to this unhealthy type of relationship than just this one trait. In reality, codependency is far more in-depth than just one or two character traits. Some needy people are not codependent at all and some codependents don't seemingly act needy. By the end of this article, the goal is that you'll have a better understanding of codependent relationships and what makes them up.

Many people don't know that the term codependent didn't even exist before the 1970's. Codependent behavior has been around a lot longer, it just wasn't diagnosed. When Alcoholics Anonymous came onto the scene to help alcoholics, some counselors began to note that many relatives of alcoholics exhibited similar traits. These counselors started noting that many relatives of alcoholics dedicated all their time to dealing with their loved one. It was as if they were addicted to the person and their problems. Initially, these family members were referred to as co-alcoholics. However, it was realized later that a person need not be in a relationship with an alcoholic in order to exhibit signs of codependent behavior.

Codependency can be confusing because it covers a lot of unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. However, some of the predominant characteristics of someone who is codependent include:

- Using relationships as a source of self-worth instead of finding it from within.

- Spending a extensive amount of time trying to fix someone else, usually someone who has no desire to be fixed

The saddest part about codependent relationships, is that those who suffer from codependency almost always end up in failing relationships until they determine to make changes to the way that they relate to others. There is good news as well! Codependency is a behavior that is learned. That means that new, healthier, behaviors can also be learned. The bad news is that the only person who can make a change is the codependent. He/she must be willing to admit that the way they relate is unhealthy and also be willing to take steps to change their behaviors.

It's important to say that codependents are not bad. The truth is, they are typically very kind-hearted, fantastic people who truly care about the other people in their lives. Sadly, they often put themselves last - after everyone else in their lives. If any of this sounds familiar to you, take the time to discover more about codependent relationships and how you can end the cycle of codependency and start having healthy relationships that make you feel content and fulfilled!

If you think that codependency is something that's affecting your relationshipsScience Articles, this is a great time to learn how you can make positive changes and stop having codependent relationships.

Article Tags: Codependent Relationships

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Kathryn Lambert is a professional writer and a recovering codependent. She shares her own journey about codependent relationships on her website, as well as resources to help others overcome codependency.

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