Dating someone who is codependent
Codependency is a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.Given its grassroots origin, the precise definition of codependency varies based on the source but can be generally characterized as a subclinical and situational or episodic behavior similar to that of dependent personality disorder.(And that’s a lot.) Codependence – which I’ll define in a moment – is one of the biggest problems people have in relationships, and it always leads to a breakup or festering resentment on both sides.The good news is that you can break free from this problem. Codependence was a term originally developed by self-help guru Melody Beattie, and she actually developed the concept to describe the dynamic that develops when a person is in a relationship with an addict.Others may leave but repeat the same or a similar self-destructive pattern in a new relationship.The adrenaline rush that they experience when they feel passionate toward someone can be addictive.
According to disability studies specialist Lennard J.Davis, historically, the concept of co-dependence "comes directly out of Alcoholics Anonymous, part of a dawning realization that the problem was not solely the addict, but also the family and friends who constitute a network for the alcoholic." The concept of codependency overlaps with, but developed in the mainstream independently from, the older psychoanalytic concept of the passive dependent personality which is attaching oneself to a stronger personality."Dependency" is well-established in psychological literature. Whereas early on psychoanalytic theory emphasized the oral character and structural basis of dependency, social learning theory considered a tendency to be acquired by learning and experience, and ethological attachment theory posited that attachment or affectional bonding is the basis for dependency.Yet codependence today refers to something broader, where a person loves another and loses himself or herself along the way in the effort to stay fused. Though many of the rules are often unspoken, both members of a codependent couple are keenly aware of what is and what is not allowed in the relationship.The codependent mindset says, ‘Let’s do everything together and be all things for each other so that we never, ever end up alone.’ High stakes, right? I see a couple in my practice who always manages to fight about the same thing: She wants to meet friends for drinks after work for happy hour, but he wants her to invite him or to hang out at home with him instead.