A lot of codependents are in toxic relationships with addicts and people with mental illness. Codependency symptoms can lead to the dysfunctional dynamics in those relationships. This in turn makes the symptoms of codependency worse. This is logical when we think about how codependency is defined, and that codependents possess a “lost self,” in their behavior and thinking are influenced by someone else.
Because of dysfunctional parenting Codependents have lost touch with their ability to interpret their internal cues. They’ve gotten used to believing that they’re unworthy and that the things they think, feel they need, desire, or think is not important. This is their secret shame. In the end, they believe that they don’t need to be loved because of who they are however, they must achieve love. This causes basic insecurity and fear of being rejected.
Codependency is a symptom of the early years of childhood, and includes primary indicators of shame (including low self-esteem, denial dependence control, including caretaking, poor communication, and unbalanced boundaries. The way these characteristics set the stage for painful relationships is explained by the author in Conquering Shame and Codependency.
The Role Codependency in Relationships
Because many codependents have been disconnected from their emotions and emotions, an intimate relation with someone addicted or mentally disordered may feel stimulating or familiar, if their early life was like theirs. In addition, people who are addicted and with narcissistic personality disorders (NPD) as well as borderline personality disorder (BPD) are often charismatic and romantic. They are seductive and lavish their partner with compliments, promises and affectionate gestures. Codependents yearn for affection and intimacy, and being desired makes them feel lovable. However, their dependence and low self-esteem makes them susceptible to seduction, and they can confuse romance with real love.
Codependents overcome fears of criticism, rejection, and abandonment, by providing empathy, being pleasing, and helping. The relationship they share with their partner is defined by them and they strive to keep it and grow it. They admire a narcissist’s boldness conviction, conviction, and power (qualities they don’t have) and love a supportive job and feeling taken care of. With people who are addicted or suffering from BPD They are often in the role of helping and caregiver. For codependents, feeling felt needed is like being loved. It increases their self-esteem and assures them that they won’t be abandoned. However, addicts and people who suffer from NPD and BPD have deep shame who project personal monsters on the person who loves them and wants to assist them.
Codependents’ reactive role amplifies their focus on their partner, while they cover up who they really are. They often try to manage the uncontrollable, give up their own needs, and work harder to please and to be accepted. While at first, they were thought of as idealistic, today they’re marginalized. A person with BPD oscillates between idealizing caring behavior and devaluing-rejecting behavior. Instead of acting as one who suffers from BPD, people with NPD appear naive and be distant and emotionally distant. Some may show friendliness toward their spouse, whereas others are continually critical and disapproving. The more that affection is stifled or not expressed the more codependents strive to win it. They fall in the trap of transferring their self-esteem as well as their sense of happiness to their spouse. They never feel good enough while revealing their hidden shame.
How Abusive Relationships Worsen Codependency
This unspoken contract is effective for a short time, as codependents offer safety and security to an unstable addict or a partner with BPD and also provide the missing warmth and connection to a person with NPD. Due to their own insecurity and weak boundaries, codependents absorb responsibility, shame, and shame heaped on them by those who abuse. They feel powerless to help and be a good partner for their partner. They feel being resentful of the “mistakes” they’re accused of and resentful that their efforts are unappreciated and ultimately fail. As the relationship declines it also affects the sense of self-worth that codependents have.
Every symptom of codependency are a part of the relationship being dysfunctional, and if untreated, worsen over time. The codependents who are dependent become more distant from themselves and move into the later stages of their health. The very characteristics that have made the relationship successful become its undoing
The dynamic of abusive relationships increase codependents’ stress and escalate their attempts to appease and help their codependent. The reality of an addicted or personality disordered person starts to infect the codependents’ self-concept and perceptions of reality, also. Their self-esteem is lowered and they feel more stressed and depleted trying to ease a crisis, avoid violence, and keep the couple together.
While trying to adapt to and control another person’s behaviour in order to feel better, codependents move away from the real solutions. They have a false belief that they’re the ones responsible for their partner’s emotions and needs, ignoring their own. Their behavior reinforces the belief of their partner that they’re the ones to blame and are responsible for his or her addiction and suffering. The longer codependents stay in this pattern and the more severe their behavior gets. They both deny their own suffering and block their partner from taking responsibility for their own behavior or needs as well as from seeking help. This is called “enabling.” Codependents ‘ denial obscures the fact that their beliefs and behaviour are a cause of their discontent and they do have the option to change.
Changing the Dynamics in Abusive Relationships
The solution is to do the complete opposite of what comes naturally to the codependent. I write from both my professional and personal experiences. It’s difficult and almost impossible to change the dynamic of unhealthy relationships without support from an outside source.
The first and most important thing is to see another perspective of reality as partners are marginalized and confused by the threats, assaults, and the distorted reality of addicts or those with BPD as well as NPD. It’s essential to understand everything you can about addiction , these disorders as well as codependency. The change process doesn’t start until partners focus on their own recoveryand not on changing the other person, over whom they’re essentially powerless. That doesn’t mean that they’re not in charge or choices, but it’s the control of their own choices and actions.
Knowing about the effects of addiction BPD as well as NPD acceptance of these truths at the deepest level allow people to let go and not respond to what others decide to say just because they’re uncomfortable in their own skin. They are able to recognize that although their words may be hurtful, they’re not the truth. It’s not necessary to leave or being aloof. It’s as if you have an invisible protecting force field. Instead of reacting and reacting, they learn to be mindful of what they require, feel, and want. They look to meet those demands from those who are supportive and safe. As they grow in confidence, they learn to be assertive. Their
The boundaries are heightened, and they demand what they want and set limits on what they don’t.
It’s not an easy task, however their courage grows in recovery. They might be sufficient strength to leave or insist on our partner getting treatment. If they don’t, they discover they live lives better, because they’ve taken charge of their own self-esteem as well as feeling of wellbeing.
Parenting a child with BPD or NPD
Since codependents aren’t able to communicate along with boundaries. As a result, the parents react to their child’s problems in negative ways. Their child has been used to getting demands met and running the show, often without any responsibility. Every child needs boundaries that are consistent in their punishment, especially those with NPD or BPD. Sometimes , parents explode out of frustration, which makes them feel guilty and shame their child. To compensate, they might be reluctant to enforce a boundary, which can make things even more difficult. The punishment and consequences must never be dealt with in anger but with a more sane tone and, ideally, should relate to the incident; e.g., “If you throw food, you must clean it up (or leave the table).”
Children need help and need their emotions are mirrored, but not embraced. They must learn empathy as well as the impact of their actions on others. It is important to show this and accept their emotions. Let them know that their actions can affect others positively or negatively in a variety of ways. For instance: “How would it feel if your friend stole your toy)? Would you be hurt or angry? What about when your friend shares a toy? When you take your friend’s toy, he won’t want to play with you.” Children with BPD need to learn self-soothing techniques and be guided to gradually progress towards the independence they desire and to be self-sufficient.
Parents aren’t aware of their influence and power must exert to ensure that your child behave, attend counsel, finish chores, or seek employment. Many times, they fear that their child with BPD might be killed or committed suicide. The fear makes them more likely to manipulate. By not reacting, children are likely to realize that manipulative strategies are no longer effective. But it requires a lot of determination for parents to remain and remain steadfast in spite of. It’s difficult to stay peace and be loving to children who are constantly unruly, intimidating, and saying cruel things. Outside help is necessary. If addiction is the cause, find an appropriate meeting for relatives of substance abusers.