Codependency can be a development that takes place through hidden increments. At the foundation of codependent tendencies is a set of basic human fears:
I am not worthy
I am not whole
I am not loveable
Should our significant other discover these unconscionable truths, they may leave us. Forgetful that these fears are the fallacy of the human conditions, we adopt them as personalized convictions. Our relationships transform from mutual to one-sided, shifting from healthy to unbalanced.
Healthy relationships have an open communication channel for limiting what each individual is capable and not capable of doing. Saying “no” is setting a loving boundary with just two letters. Relationships are unbalanced when saying “no” becomes a point of anxiety because saying “yes” has become obligation for one or both partners. Love and service are beautiful parts of any partnership. They are not the same as indentured enslavement. Codependency is when we lose our ability to say “no” out of fear. We might notice that when our partner needs help, we run to their aid. When we are unable to attend to them, we suffer from guilt and anxiety. Unless we are validated by our partner’s need for us in their lives, we feel lost. Our sense of being is defined by how we are needed.
Detached from our inherent strength to set boundaries is the beginning of a decline in our authentic voice. Codependency in a relationship creates fear that our opinions, thoughts, and feelings might scare the other person away. As a result, we cease expressing ourselves as we are. Instead, we speak as we think our partner would prefer us to be heard. We might mimic them entirely. We feel that our being is not as good as theirs, that we are less than them. Ultimately, we are in fear of abandonment and rejection. Allowing fear to dictate how we act as a whole being extinguishes our ability to come from love.
We not only lose sight of our personal power and our voice, we disconnect from our needs entirely. Prioritizing the identity and responsibility of our partner, we forget to focus on our own needs. Friends, family, 12-Step meetings, hobbies, and interests fall to the wayside as our world closes in around our partner.
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