Healing Heartache in Family Lines
Co-dependency can leave men and women feeling like the walking wounded because
in co-dependent relationships people, including couples, who struggle with codependency often try to control each other. Control is a form of force, therefore, it does not suit our natural, intuitive desires to bond and connect safely and securely with other individuals. Safe, secure bonding promotes the happiness and well-being of both of the people in the relationship. The force and control found within co-dependent relationships do not achieve that kind of safety and security. It is a false bond that can seem like true connection.
In order to heal heartache in family lines, we must first understand the cause. There can be many causes, yet in this series of three blog posts, we are continuing our discussion of one of those causes, namely, co-dependence.
John Bradshaw in his book Homecoming points out “To be co-dependent is to be out of touch with one’s feelings, needs and desires,” and “Co-dependence is fostered in unhealthy family systems.”
Co-dependence fosters the loss of self-identity.
As you explore co-dependency, you will notice that freedom from destructive, dead-end generational patterns and beliefs, like co-dependence, makes room for healthy, productive, life-changing progress. The way is not always easy, but it IS possible.
Co-dependence should be distinguished as different from the inter-dependence found in healthy relationships.
It is helpful to understand the following terms and the meaning of each.
We are dependent as babies and in
various degrees as we grow—In other words, we need others to be able to get
what we want and need. As we work toward
becoming independent, we strive for self-mastery and maturity, or in
other words, we seek to become fully responsible for our choices and
accountable for their results.
Inter-dependence is combining our efforts with the efforts of others to achieve the highest good of all. When we are inter-dependent, we work together assertively—respecting our own feelings WHILE respecting the feelings of others. (This is Not passive and not aggressive)
Independence and Inter-dependence Are Not Selfish
Self-care is a crucial part of renewing our own energy to bring the best we have to offer to the table of cooperative, synergistic effort. It’s important to note that we can take time to edify, nourish and take care of our own mind, body and spirit without it jeopardizing our ability to help and serve others. Selfishness is about the attitude and focus we have in serving ourselves in relation to others. Entirely self-focused effort while interacting with others is selfish.
Beth Gilbert, in an article for Everyday Health says, “If your mood, happiness, and identity is defined by another person, then you could be in a codependent relationship.The word “codependency” gets thrown around a lot: There are codependent couples, codependent companions, and codependent caretakers. But what does codependent actually mean — and is it really all that bad?
“Codependency is typically discussed in the context of substance use, where one person is abusing the substance, and he or she depends on the other person to supply money, food, or shelter. But codependency is much broader than that,” says Jonathan Becker, DO, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Codependency can be defined as any relationship in which two people become so invested in each other that they can’t function independently anymore,” Dr. Becker says. “Your mood, happiness, and identity are defined by the other person. In a codependent relationship, there is usually one person who is more passive and can’t make decisions for themselves, and a more dominant personality who gets some reward and satisfaction from controlling the other person and making decisions about how they will live.”
Codependency becomes problematic when one person is taking advantage of the other financially or emotionally,” Becker says.
Need help knowing what TO do instead of following co-dependent patterns?
Watch for our Healing Your Family The Walking Wounded: Co—dependence, Parts 1 and Part 3 (upcoming).
Access our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E online class trainings to view at your own pace. There is a mini-class that helps you elevate your thought, patterns, habit patterns and family patterns (just the basics), and a complete class that takes a deeper dive into tips, tools and information that can help you make sense out of life. We put generational issues and addictive or abusive family patterns, and more, under the microscope for clarity of understanding. If you’re looking for small group support as well as online coaching, so you can put an end to the isolation of feeling alone, JOIN US for our Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E Joyful Breakthrough Membership Circles. We’re waiting for YOU!
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YOU are TODAY’s ChangeMaker!
As TODAY’s ChangeMakers in our family lines, we are here to create positive change in spite of any disruptions or destructive patterns in our families of origin or in spite of what may be occurring in our family now.
Each of us can ignite the light of extraordinary family purpose in ourselves and our families. We do it by igniting the light of our own personal power to influence others for good through making principle-centered choices, in order to secure the home and stabilize society.
Check out these class offerings that can help you strengthen your ability to live beyond co-dependence. An excerpt in this blog post has been taken from the Revitalize Your Inner Worth: Get Out of the S.L.U.D.G.E. COMPLETE Class. Break free and rise above destructive thought patterns, habit patterns and family patterns, so YOU can fill your highest priorities with full purpose of heart.