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Newest Member: NeverhisMrs (49448)

User Topic: Poll: How many waywards identify with co-dependency?
♀ 11224
Member # 11224
Stop  Posted: 12:24 PM, January 13th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

These are some signs of codependent behavior:

- Excessive Care-taking: Codependents feel responsible for others’ actions, feelings, choices and emotional well-being. They try to anticipate loved one’s needs and feel obligated to meet them while often wondering why others do not do the same for them. They also often try to solve someone else’s problems, or try to change - or rescue - someone. Relationships are often based on need rather than mutual respect.

- Low self-esteem: Codependents are people who need to be needed. They will only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for anything that goes wrong. They also frequently don't feel "worthy" of being loved and will be "suspicious" of receiving love.

- Denial: Codependents typically ignore, minimize or rationalize problems in the relationship, believing that “things will get better when….” They stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings. They cover up to "protect others" from reaping the consquences of poor choices.

- Fear of anger: Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one’s anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.

I was (am) CODA, incredibly so. Recognizing this and reconditioning my responses to life was an essential part of healing after my A, because my CODA behaviors were a large part of the "brokenness" inside me that allowed me to make the asinine choice to have an A.

As I read in the Wayward forum, I see/hear many of the same thought processes I had years ago when I was new to the site. So many of them rooted in CODA thought processes. From struggling with NC (I recall feeling bad for the AP and wondering how he was doing... could I help him in any way... shouldn't I just ask him? See CODA tendancy #1)... to deciding whether or not to tell BS (I did confess - but not before letting each of the tendancies outlined above nearly change that decision)... to later forgiving myself (Self-esteem issues really played a role here... I simply was not worthy of being forgiven in my mind. But forgiving onself is a HUGE part of the healing process and something that took a LOOONG time for me to get to).

Heck, I always thought you had to have an alcoholic or some other sort of addict in your life to become a CODA... I had none of that. Very normal, loving, middle class upbringing with happily married parents. And a husband who is kind, respectful, nuturing and not at all needy. So how could I possibly be so co-dependent? But, in fact, I was.

Anyway, I am nowhere near as eloquent as others in this forum, but I just wanted to encourage waywards to consider if CODA plays a role in their brokenness. Looking at this aspect of myself helped me understand my interactions with other people - and my perceptions of myself - much better.

[This message edited by stroppy_wanadoo at 1:37 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

Posts: 1090 | Registered: Jul 2006
♀ 39005
Member # 39005
Default  Posted: 4:56 PM, January 13th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am codependent. I just realized it recently and have started reading a book about it, one which fits me to a tea.

Looking back on my childhood I have always been that way....I think it may be one of the reasons for my A

"I need to be redeemed to the one I've sinned against because he's all I ever knew of love"

Posts: 1149 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Massachusetts
♀ 37826
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 6:13 PM, January 13th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Absolutely. All four traits, plus others, I'm sure. My "keeping busy" morphed into full scale workaholism. I believe codependency can stem from many sources - including maybe temperament. I have a relative who is naturally a really caring person, since childhood, but as an adult is aware she needs to be alert not to over-commit to doing things for others and forget to take care of herself.

One way of looking at co-dependency is as a form of symbiosis. If we don't take care of ourselves for whatever reason, we can get to "experience" caretaking vicariously by taking care of others. Me as caretaker plus Them as care recipient is a merged fantasy person that gets to feel good. Except the hurt part of Me doesn't really feel good, and the hurt part of Them isn't being granted the respect to make their own decisions about what would feel good. At least, that's my experience. This is another way of putting words to the fact that I have to fix the broken parts of ME in order to have a REAL loving relationship with another.

Me,WW,just turned 70 - the new 50!
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling.

Posts: 101 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
♀ 41583
Member # 41583
Default  Posted: 7:34 PM, January 13th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When I think of my childhood generally my memories are happy and fond. But as I go through this journey I sadly and stupidly sent myself on, I realize where all of the cracks are.

My brother and I both have differing levels of codependent behavior with our mother. Recently I was given an unofficial diagnosis for her of Histrionic Personality Disorder, it is in the same class as NPD and many of the characteristics are quite similar. I can remember thinking, when I was about 12, that it was my job to step up to the plate to help my mom when my dad's health prevented him from doing so. I've spent my entire life trying to make her happy.

All of the nontraditional stuff that made my family different, and "cool" in my mind was really nothing more than codependent behavior. Mom wanted to do something? The whole family did it, whatever it was. I never realized how damaging that would be to my efforts to establish a longterm relationship with someone not from our family. I can't believe it took me so long to realize it, and that it took me ruining my BH's universe to do so.

I'm finally cutting her off, and I just hope it isn't too late. I love my husband, and I want to establish a proper bond with him. Only him, and no one else.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly."

Posts: 718 | Registered: Dec 2013
♂ 32590
Member # 32590
Default  Posted: 12:32 AM, January 14th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes. Please count me in as a codependent WS. I did not know what all this meant until I joined a 12 step CODA group. I have been with my support group for almost a year and it has really helped me. I feel that SI helps in the same way. I realized that as a codependent I relied on others for my decisions and opinions and also felt that I needed other people's approval. Their anger and disappointment was to be avoided. It added to my sense of being incapable. Because of this I willingly allowed myself to engage in betrayal and deceit. I am now taking responsibility for my decisions. I am in recovery with the help of my 12 step CODA fellowship, SI and most of all my BS. For this I am truly grateful.

WH 61
BS 51
No Children
Together 17 years
Married 7/21/2001

D-day#1 03/01/2011
D-day#2 7/8/2015

Posts: 337 | Registered: Jun 2011
♀ 11224
Member # 11224
Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, January 14th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm glad I am not the only one in this boat, yet at the same time, sad that others find themselves dealing with this as well.

I just offered this because it was very important to my healing and becoming a healthier person, for myself and my family.

Plainsong, you verbalized very well the way my CODA played out.

Best of luck to you all in your healing!

Posts: 1090 | Registered: Jul 2006
♂ 42017
Member # 42017
Default  Posted: 10:20 AM, January 14th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just wanted to encourage waywards to consider if CODA plays a role in their brokenness.
Good topic. I've considered the definition, and would say I'm not.

But I do have a family member struggling with co-dependency issues... and this actually fits him very well. I think this will help me be more understanding, and therefore help him more.

Has anyone here participated in "Co-Dependents Anonymous" (CoDA)? It is modeled on AA. If anyone with codependency issues can report that the "12-step approach" has been useful, I might recommend it to my family member.


Posts: 49 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: northeast US
♂ 32590
Member # 32590
Default  Posted: 9:29 PM, January 14th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I highly recommend it. I am in one right now and I find it very helpful. I will be in it for almost a year. Some of the people who attend have been in it for 25. It is a good recovery program - Co-Dependents Anonymous.

WH 61
BS 51
No Children
Together 17 years
Married 7/21/2001

D-day#1 03/01/2011
D-day#2 7/8/2015

Posts: 337 | Registered: Jun 2011
♂ 42017
Member # 42017
Default  Posted: 3:54 PM, January 15th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@grains: Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look for a group in the area. Do you know if CoDA is for "addicts" only (seems to me AA and NA are), or is it for family members, too? Or: does that vary by chapter?


Posts: 49 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: northeast US
♂ 35284
Member # 35284
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, January 15th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

definitely-- I feel like I'm not free to make my own choices sometimes because I'm responsible for everyone's happiness. Hugely affects me... I suspect everyone is a little bit codependent.

32yo WS-SA

“When we disclose the thought and intents of our hearts in surrender, we identify with one another at depth.”

Posts: 261 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: 5280'
♀ 31584
Member # 31584
Default  Posted: 9:30 PM, January 15th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Defines me to a tee. I've been codependent for a very long time. I've read one book about it.. I see it, I'm now knowledgeable but I feel completely powerless to change it. It's what I've always been. I don't know how to be different.

WW ( me) 35
BH (him) 35 (StuckOnTheFence)
2 kids (14 & 12)
D day #1 1/20/11
D day #2 1/28/11
I am seeking, I am striving
I am in it with all my heart.

Posts: 603 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: Missouri
Topic Posts: 11

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