They are incapable of having a healthy relationship, but when they recognize how harmful codependency is, they can rectify it and go on to have a happy, healthy life.To break free of codependency, codependents need to first understand that there is a way out, but they have to be committed to recovery and to letting go of project/problem people. There is a communication pattern that codependents and their partners engage in, and it’s important to learn new ways of communicating, especially the ability to say NO.When I was in early recovery for codependency, an in-law’s brother killed himself.I knew, from knowing them as a couple, that they were deeply enmeshed.The best definition of codependency comes from Melody Beattie, who said that the concept that you begin and end someplace and I begin and end another place is lost on codependents.In a codependent relationship, the partners are enmeshed and have no idea who owns what.They never allow anyone to face the consequences of their actions.The cycle continues until it all falls apart and someone finally gets help. Because of their chronically low self-esteem, the codependent tries to please everyone.
When I was recovering from codependency, someone told me I was a human BEING, not a human DOING. They become enmeshed with others and swept up in their problems.
They are extremely reactive, and take on other people’s feelings.
They are unable to separate someone’s opinion of them from reality. Healthy people can dismiss a negative view or criticism and understand that people are entitled to their own opinions. They try hard to change someone’s mind and can obsess about passing remarks for . They want to have control over everything and everyone. What they think of as helping is usually about controlling and enabling, not truly helping.
When I became a therapist, it seemed as if codependency was a dirty word.
Professors in graduate school and my bosses at mental health agencies and clinics would insist there is no such listing in the diagnostic manual (the DSM).