16 thoughts on “10 Things You Need to Know About Codependency

  • July 28, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Hers a good one for you. I visit my married son in this tiny little town in Northern Virginia, his wife is away and I come to visit. We go hiking, camping, nice day. Stop to have coffee in a local coffee shop. The owner, who’s had the place for 20 years with his wife and done very well the whole time of ownership is serving us. I half joking say to him “hey why don’t you sell this to us”. He says him and wife have been thinking about retiring. I look at my son and ask, is this where you and your wife want to live? Raise kids when you have them? He says yes. I said, let’s see if we can make it happen. So, my husband and take out half our retirement, I was calling this a living inheritance. Being able to see and help my son, who is and always has been a waiter, and his wife who is intelligent, but also no formal education have a career, to be an owner. Mind you, this is a 2acre property with a 2 bedroom large apartment above and full basement. I ask as we go forward, are you sure? Yes, yes. They are sure.
    Fast forward, I now live here and run the cafe full time. They both bailed after 3 months of ( successful) opening. Not only did they say it was too hard work, they want a simpler life, but I have been put down, called lunatic, borderline personality disorder and more.
    I am bipolar, they know this, I do have ADD & PTSD, they know all this, but there is no way on this God given earth did I do, say or act in anything but a caring but firm mother who put every penny along with my husband in this. So, my husband continues to work his job and live in our home that is almost 5 hours from here. I stay here most of the time. We opened, the cafe is doing well and I am left with a sad hurt heart. My husband and I are not getting along. He also will it me down or say negativity things to me. Thing is, I feel good doing this. People, strangers are so kind here. We get great reviews which makes me feel worthy of something for the first time in my life. This never turned out the way I expected. F

    • July 29, 2017 at 8:08 am

      You needed to let your son and his wife be adults and make their own way in life. It sounds like this is something you wanted for them not something they really wanted for themselves. A bit of convincing them made them accept your offer. Taking out half of your retirement funds was also a big red flag that you were overextending your “generosity” and is actually very controlling. This is about what you wanted not about helping or lending support. You feel stuck now in a situation of your own making. Change can be painful, but its wonderful for growth.

      • August 4, 2017 at 7:51 pm

        Good replay. “Your generosity was very ‘controlling’ – something that I can identify with. I do this with my grown children.

    • July 30, 2017 at 6:37 am

      Enjoy your cafe and the friendly people. Hire the help you need. Your son and wife couldn’t handle it, but you can forgive them and rebuild a relationship. Taking the high road is usually hard but always best. Take care of yourself.

    • July 31, 2017 at 1:49 am

      I feel it was your son and daughter in laws responsibility to say no. I also feel it was your responsibility to look at things realistically as well. Business can be tough! Those who jump right into it are asking for trouble especially the restaurant business. Im going to be blunt you didnt do your research thoroughly enough or all of you would have been perfectly aware of how tough the restaurant biz actually is. The vast majority of businesses take up a good portion of your time/personal life especially if you want to succeed. Bright side is you own a wonderful business now! Surround yourself with the right people ,employee wise, and what a wonderful life experience it will be. I wouldnt blame everything on my son and daughter in law however I do agree that they are full grown adults who needed to be fully aware of what they were getting themselves into (as did you). Now its time to make the very best of it and enjoy the ride!

  • July 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Yup, sounds like I’m codependent.

  • July 31, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Thank you for this blog. I am just starting to recognise this in myself and exploring where it has come from. This is super helpful. Thank you.

  • August 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you for this well written description of codependency. I have been in recovery for 18 months and it has been a very painful journey recognising that you are and then to make the necessary changes to your behaviour. It is very difficult to explain to people the exact nature of the problem as being more than the spouse of an alcoholic. So thank you for this understanding and accurate description.

  • August 2, 2017 at 5:51 am

    I am a codependent. I take care of everything, everyone. But in my opinion, that’s a respectable quality. I am a good mom, my kids are well taken care of but also are able to care for themselves. My husband, mom and clients love that I can usually help with any problem. And sure, I take pride in how well I care for people. Do I deny my feelings in order to be a caretaker? I don’t think I do, but maybe I’ve pushed my feelings away for so long, I don’t recognize them anymore. How I find them?

  • August 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    I have just started working on my codependency traits. I too felt proud that I could take care of everyone and could shoulder the responsibility. However, I would also stuff my feelings inside and every so often “explode”. Then I would feel guilt and shame.

    I also have noticed that I don’t seek recognition for my work, which has hurt me in my job advancement over the years. This sentence is also something I have felt over the years on many occasions.
    “We come to believe that we’re not as good as everyone else and this belief is reinforced further when people mistreat, reject, or abandon us”

    Thank you for the insight. I have placed myself in DBT Group Therapy to practice Mindfulness and Communication Skills. I want to be able to express my feelings and communicate to others when they hurt my feelings or when I need some help.

    Here is to breaking the cycle!!!

    • August 3, 2017 at 4:37 am

      Thank you for introducing this term DBT. It’s new to me so i googled it, looks very interesting!

  • August 26, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Great article, very insightful. Reading this article made me realize that it described me perfectly and made me sad. Kind of a hard pill to swallow but do not want to continue being codependent. Thank you

  • January 27, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve been on the “road to recovery” for a while now. It’s not always easy when for decades you’ve been the people pleaser, never say no, keep the peace at all costs, don’t rock the boat person. I remember a few years ago when my hubby and I decided to start cruising for our holidays. For years prior we had often gone away with family but there always seemed to be issues. I’d had enough of the “silent treatment” from my mother when we wanted to do something other than being with them 24/7. I booked our first cruise and was asked by my sister “Did you ask mum and dad to go on your cruise with you?” and the offhand remarks by my mother that “You won’t want to cruise every year”. From that point on I made a commitment to myself to live my life for me and to do the things that I really wanted to do. I also made a commitment that I didn’t need their approval for my choices.

  • February 19, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I have thought of myself as a very giving and much loving person. Reading this article I realized that I own all the characteristics of being codependent.

    One thing though that I am sure of, I do not ask any favour returns and fully know that will not get any. I just want to help when I can and especially my loved ones.

    There are times that I think of life as very confusing and people complicated, Too difficult to cope with it all.

  • June 26, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    I’m married to a woman who has strong narcissistic tendencies but hasn’t been diagnosed with NPD. Things have gone too fast and I fear for the safety of my son and dog. I’m ready to leave but it scares me to be with no support. I forgot to mention that I have Trigeminal neuralgia and occipital neuralgia AND my wife and I do not live together anymore. I’m aware that the relationship is so toxic but I guess I’m struggling with codependency and some form of battered women syndrome.. Am I going crazy?? S/n: I see a therapist every Saturday and I work in mental health. Smh

  • June 30, 2020 at 6:10 am

    Dear Sharon,
    It was so encouraging to read your views about codependency, and to realise that I’m not going mad, or there’s something seriously wrong with me. But, also realising that nothing outside can give me the happiness, or fulfillment i crave for, that it has to come from within, from me, to first know how to love myself, and to try and identify my needs.
    Kind regards,


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