Are you facebook happy or are you genuinely HAPPY with your life? Do you know the difference? Take a look at your relationships with your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, children, family and friends… Do you find yourself dedicating yourself fully to their happiness, yet complaining that you never have time for yourself; and somehow it is their fault? Majority of families in the generations prior millennials lived in co-dependent relationships. The only difference is that before our time divorce was shamed, so people would tolerate dysfunctional unions. Now they just move to the next union without fixing the dysfunction.
Co-dependent people take too much responsibility, and it is NOT healthy. But how can being giving be a bad thing you might think? It is actually a major disservice to those you have a relationship with. It is such a co-dependent pattern to go along with whatever the other one wants.
Here are some hidden issues behind co-dependent behavior:
1. People pleasing / low self-esteem / need for validation
2. Fear of being rejected / alone
3. Inability to communicate your needs and set healthy boundaries
As you know, first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. If you resonated to the above statements, here is your wake up call – YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! Second step is to figure out what YOU want in any given situation. It seems quite simple, but most people have a hard time figuring it out. “Whatever you want,” was my response pattern to almost every question. This is a very dangerous habit, because all of us have wants, and we need to learn how to access them and most importantly COMMUNICATE them.
Of course we have a hard time knowing what we want. Generally we grow up conditioned by our parents, who get to decide what we eat, how much of it, what we wear, and most of us haven’t been given much choice in anything. Then you grow up get married and start catering to the needs of your family. After my divorce, I personally had a hard time answering the question: “what do you want for breakfast?” I had no idea how I liked my eggs, as I always prepared breakfast for others, and sort of ended up eating what’s available. In 10 years of committed relationship I never made a meal for myself. It took me almost 2 years after separation to start getting to know myself. That was an extensive time of self-care, traveling, trying out new things, reconnecting with the old me, old friends, revisiting places of childhood, spending time alone, meditating and reading self-help books.
The KEY out of codependency is creating a life you love and not giving up on yourself for anyone. Coexist don’t co-depend!
Yours in setting healthy boundaries,