Co-dependency can happen in any type of relationship, whether with your partner, family, friends and even your co-workers! I will address how I showed signs of co-dependency with a partner.
I used to have an overwhelming urge to be a people-pleaser, where I constantly found myself “yes-ing” everyone, not just my partner but everyone. I would feel bad, rejected and took it personally when they didn’t want to hang out with me because they had other plans. I wanted to be their priority over anything else in their life. (This particularly happened at the beginning of these relationships) Spending quality time is super important but I wanted ALL of their time on me not considering that they also have friends and family and get this….a life!
Part of the issue, was that I wasn’t actively busy with MY personal life. Even though I have kids and MOST of my time was divided between them and work, I didn’t have much else going on. I wouldn’t plan things with my friends because I wanted to always be available when they were available. Mind you, they wouldn’t budge their schedules for me. Smh…
The other symptom I displayed, was having low self-esteem. I often didn’t feel “good enough” for my partner. On the outside, I portrayed this beautiful, awesome, ambitious, fun-loving person but deep down I actually didn’t believe any of it. I had no confidence but no one would’ve ever known that at the time. After some time, I realized, I am beautiful. I’m tall, big curly hair and smile with some cute ass dimples. I am awesome! I have a dope ass personality to go with my witty humor. I can adapt to any group of people, meaning in any social event, you don’t even have to babysit me. I know how to work the room. I’m fun and down for whatever as long as I’m in good company. These are my strengths and I know that now. I actually believe in it. Now that I think about it, better reel me in cuz I’m a catch.
Another symptom of co-dependency, I struggled with, is Intimacy, not sex per say but Intimacy. The closeness. If I wanted to kiss my partner, I would think about it. If I wanted to hug, hold hands or show any type of affection, I was guaranteed to have a mini anxiety attack. It could never happen NATURALLY, at least on my part. Weird, right?! After some time, I realized what it was, the FEAR of being rejected! I feared rejection, or getting turned down! It was so bad it became crippling for me. I even overcompensated by finding partners that were overly affectionate just so I didn’t have to deal.
I wasn’t always like this, though. It stemmed from a very toxic relationship I was in. Funny thing is, NOT one partner ( except the Mr. Toxic), had ever rejected me. It was really all in my head. I still struggle with this one. Out of all the symptoms of co-dependency, this one has been the hardest to overcome. A lot of factors played a role, but now I focus on the comfort level. If my partner makes me feel comfortable. I say, eff it and go for it. I let it happen, naturally. It’s really been so liberating!
I also displayed signs of poor boundaries. I wanted to insert myself in whatever my partner had going on, in mind, I felt as I was being “supportive.” Don’t get me wrong, supporting your partner is in no way a bad thing, it’s a GREAT thing! It becomes a bad thing, when you put aside what YOU should or want to be doing, over anything and above all costs. For example, If my partner played softball, I’d want to always be at the park at their games, I felt as if I needed to constantly be with them. ALL. THE. TIME. I felt as if I did my own thing, and didn’t spend that time with him, I wasn’t being a good partner. I was quite wrong!
I know now that giving each other space and freedom to do what we please IS okay. We, sometimes think (in our warped little minds) that if you keep tabs all the time on our partners that they would cheat or whatever else. Truth is ….drum roll….they’d do it anyways, if that’s their intention. I’ve learned, that all that time, I was trying to spend with them was a form of control. I no longer need or want to do that. If you can’t trust that person then he/she is NOT the one for you. Plain and simple. The person for you would never make you feel that way. That’s why its important, you give them their space. Meet up when you both have time, moving schedules around to see each other is okay as long as you both compromise.
Moral of the Story:
Codependency is real folks. It took me a few years to break out of certain habits. It took a while for me to believe in myself and to truly be INDEPENDENT. I strive to always be the best version of ME.
Recognize the issue and work on it! Don’t let it stew. Don’t always put the blame on your partner and talk things through. I’m a firm believer that there is NOTHING you can’t talk about. (I’m not guaranteeing it will go YOUR way, but you can definitely talk about it) Seek within yourself. Believe in you. Ask yourself what makes YOU happy and do it. Keep open lines of communication and talk to each other often. Encourage and support each other. Be each others biggest fans! If he or she isn’t doing these things, abort, abort, abort!
Till next post, my Lovelies!