Codependency in a relationship is also known to be love addiction. This is when someone is going to actually look to their partners for a sense of completion and meaning. This is when someone focuses on others to alleviate pain and emptiness in their lives. And to a certain extent, it’s okay to look to your partner for these things.
But it’s always unhealthy and toxic for you to be totally dependent on your partner. The reason this is something that you should avoid is that the condition becomes cyclical in nature.
You might even become obsessive about it and when that’s the case, you risk losing all sense of reason. You might act on impulse without much regard for the consequences of your actions.
For instance, your codependence can lead you to maybe call up an ex that you shouldn’t really be in contact with. Or maybe, your codependence can trigger jealous rage within you and you start acting like a detective while simultaneously violating your partner’s privacy. Codependency is an addiction and you must always make it a point to address this condition if you have it.
Codependency is a Disease
Back in 1988, a psychiatrist named Timmen Cermak actually postulated that codependency is a disease that has some inherently addictive characteristics.
Another psychiatrist and doctor of internal medicine named Charles Whitfield said that codependence is a chronic and progressive disease of losing one’s self. However, it’s a condition that also has some very recognizable and treatable symptoms – much like a chemical sort of dependence.
Codependency is also going to be defined by certain symptoms that can be closely associated with those of drug addiction. These symptoms can be simple and unnerving while others might be a little more serious and severe.
Codependency is actually going to demand a lot of energy and attention from someone suffering from it much like a regular addiction would. It encourages obsessive-compulsive behavior that can really wreak a lot of havoc on a person’s well-being. It’s not too rare that people actually have other aspects of their lives become compromised as a result of the codependency.
Stages of Codependency
Codependency is something that can be chronic and it can become very serious if it is left untreated or unaddressed. They also have progressive symptoms which mean that they can get worse over time if they are left ignored. A lot of the times, codependency starts in childhood as a result of a very dysfunctional family dynamic.
However, children are always going to be naturally dependent. And sometimes, the codependency is something that only gets diagnosed in adulthood. It is also usually manifested in intimate romantic relationships. And if you want to know the various stages of codependency, then just continue to read on until the end of this relationship.
1. Early Stages
The early stage of codependency can be very difficult to spot. A lot of times, it can just look like two people being in a very tight and intimate relationship. There is a heightened sense of attention and care that is given to the relationship and to the partner.
However, while these symptoms might seem innocent and even romantic at first, they can develop into something that is very toxic. You can become obsessive to the point that your codependency is going to be counterproductive with your intentions. You must always make it a point to respect boundaries in your relationship. That can prevent things from getting a little too out of hand with codependency.
2. Middle Stages
In the middle stages of codependency, the level of self-esteem that a person has is going to decrease substantially and profoundly. When that’s the case, someone’s sense of self-worth becomes almost entirely dependent on the state of the relationship. And that’s always going to be difficult.
That kind of toxicity can actually make for a very angry and resentful relationship environment. And also, pride can get in the way. There will be a conscious effort to disregard the many red flags and bad aspects of the relationship and that’s only going to make things worse than they already are.
3. Late Stages
This is when the symptoms of codependency actually start to affect one’s health in a very negative manner. And that health doesn’t have to just be emotional or mental either. Physical health is also very much in play here. Ironically, one’s needs to be codependent can actually lead to a lack of self-care. And that’s always going to be dangerous in any kind of relationship.