Portraying the victim: how to stop getting into codependent relationships

 You are always ready to sacrifice free time, friends and your own interests for the sake of your loved one. If this is repeated with every new man - be careful, this is not love, but real codependency. Can you get rid of it?

Portraying the victim: how to stop getting into codependent relationships

Classic codependency is a relationship with a person, overly addicted to alcohol or drugs... Moreover, the more a man is susceptible to his bad habits, the more the codependent woman is involved in his life. She may not share the destructive "hobby" of her chosen one, but she endlessly tries to save him, breaks down in the middle of the night to look for him in the apartments of his comrades, if he does not answer calls, provide a "safe haven" at home in rare moments of enlightenment and sacrifice in the name of this high self-interest goals ready 24/7.


By the way, for the role of those in need of a personal superheroine, and ljubilees of gambling, and sofa generals of "tanchiks", and even those who have been looking for their place in life for more than a dozen years, having changed a bunch of jobs and have not achieved a sane salary or professional authority anywhere. In a word, there would be a desire to save, and you will find where to apply your strength. Yes, that's right: it's not men who over and over again mold you into a hybrid of Mother Teresa and Wonder Woman - it's you yourself who pay attention to a certain male type and play the same scenario over and over again.


Why it happens

According to psychologists, enough a large proportion of women over 35... In the "risk zone" are primarily those who grew up in families with at least one parent who is not indifferent to alcohol or next to a person who constantly needs care and help. The role model in such families is the same: one of the family members is Peter Pan, who does not want to grow up, demanding and infantile, and everyone else adapts to him, inevitably playing the role of wise and forgiving "adults."


Very often, growing up, you make a promise to yourself never to find yourself in a similar situation - but, surprise, it is in it that you constantly find yourself, because you simply cannot do otherwise. Even worse is that you can take a long timenot even realizing that you are in a codependent relationship: the illusion is very attractive that everything is about to change, the difficult period will end, your loved one will stop relieving stress with the obligatory six cans of beer before bed or daily raids against orcs in a computer game, and you will heal like in a fairy tale.


Another surprise: This will never happen as long as you continue to behave like your exemplary codependent partner.


It is clear that, to one degree or another, each of us is sometimes ready to overshadow our desires and plans in order to help a loved one in a difficult situation. But it can go too far if you:


  • you constantly feel self-doubt and strive to be “good”;
  • you think that love must be earned;
  • afraid of loneliness ;
  • often consider your emotions "wrong" and ignore them;
  • used to not paying attention to minor ailments and carrying them on their feet so as not to cause any inconvenience to anyone;
  • by default, you consider the life and affairs of others more important than your own, and always respond to calls for help;
  • very quickly and strongly you become attached to people, dreaming of becoming an important part of their life.

Whom and why do you choose

Addiction, which interferes with living fully and building healthy relationships, is not the only negative trait that pulls you like a magnet to unsuitable men. By the way, codependent people manage to introduce a familiar model of relationships even with those people who do not suffer from any addictions. And this habit consists in the following: having found an object for heart affection, you immediately begin to try to literally live his life,ignoring him and your personal boundaries...

With people "addicted" to alcohol, substances or games, it is easier in this sense - the scope of work is immediately clear, on which you can enthusiastically direct all your energy. The most important thing for you here is the awareness of your own importance: after all, a person without you will clearly disappear! If your chosen one is not noticed in any pernicious attachments, you will still find something to do.

In your opinion, does he earn little? Great, he needs to be motivated, enrolled in courses, talk to his superiors about the possibility of promotion, and at the same time take more part-time jobs so that he knows that he can count on you. A man is not in the best physical shape - it's also okay: a pair gym membership, a visit to a nutritionist, a couple of useful apps about healthy lifestyles, which you, with the best intentions, install on his smartphone will surely save the day, in your opinion.

The second sign of a codependent relationship is emotional detachment of a partner... However, taking into account the above, it is difficult to blame him for this: any other person will get tired very quickly from the closeness bordering on complete merging, which you so need, and will try to distance himself . And for you, any attempt by your partner to take a step back and weaken your connection is a reason for panic, so you cling to him even more and do even more to become irreplaceable for him.

The third mandatory component of codependency is your constant craving for control over a partner. It is so important for you to know that he is here, with you, and will not go anywhere that you gradually take over the functions of a wife, mother and even grandmother: you buy clothes for him, collect lunch for work, follow his movements, remind him of the time of taking medications ... To make your soul calmer, you can even go into his mail, read a personal diary or correspondence in the messenger - but what, you want the best!

Probably, each of us did something of the above at least once. The line between ordinary care or desire to be liked and codependency is very clear: if you are ready to do a lot, but stop as soon as it is strongly at odds with your interests and becomes uncomfortable, then everything is fine. But if you can't stop andyou courageously continue to bring light and goodness to your own detriment - this is most likely codependency.

One of the most frequently recommended books by psychologists on codependency is Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood. In it you can find not only a detailed description of codependency and its most frequent causes, but also much more important advice - how to stop choosing men prone to addictions,and learn to love and appreciate yourself, even without saving anyone.

What to do

If you are a person from the "risk group", prone to codependency and have already fallen into it more than once, It is unlikely that you can cope with the problem on your own... However, the realization that the problem exists in principle is already an important and encouraging step. The next step is to go to a psychologist who will help you understand the root cause (low self-esteem, lack of an example of a healthy family in front of your eyes, or something else) and work it out.

Therapeutic groups, which are usually found in large cities, can also help (and if you live in a small city, you can look for an option online). If you are in a "classic" codependent relationship with a man who has bad habits , support - just for you, not for him - can be provided in a drug treatment clinic, in which psychologists usually work to help patients' relatives.

By yourself, without resorting to specialists, you can right now:

  • Spend more time with friends... As long as you are alone with your partner, the world seems to be locked in on him. But this is not so - and beyond the boundaries of your relationship there are many important and interesting things;
  • Take care of yourself.It's very difficult, especially if you've never done it before. Ask yourself what you want most right now - sleep, a chocolate bar, turn on the music, take a walk alone - and do it. Do not forget about your health - it may be time to get tested, visit a dentist or sign up for a massage;
  •  Hand over household chores to a partner, and herself - take a "vacation"... He'll do it, you'll see, and both of you will feel a little better.

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