The Dangers of Codependency


Codependent relationships are nothing new, and they are quite common, but are they healthy? Are they dangerous? Is there anything wrong with being codependent? Well, that depends and the answer can vary from one situation to the next. 

However, as a therapist may tell you, those persons who are in a codependent relationship are at higher risk for engaging in toxic behavior. Some persons are more susceptible to being codependent, and as such, may enter into a relationship that is based in large part on a codependent arrangement. Their partners may be emotionally unavailable, unreliable, unstable, or require a high degree of constant attention. Even if you recognize that you’re in a codependent relationship, you may be reluctant to end it. For you, seeing a therapist may be beneficial. 

As explained by an experienced Mclean VA therapist from Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, a counseling team should include therapists who specialize in various areas so that no matter what challenges you’re facing, will be able to match you with someone who can help you with matters concerning relationship codependency. 

Therapy can help you to recognize behavioral patterns that you have indulged in, and how that affects the quality of your relationships. Should it be a healthier option to end the relationship, therapy can help you make the changes you need and to make them in the best possible ways.

A Codependent Relationship Can Be Exhausting

You may be in a codependent relationship with another individual whether it is a romantic partner, family member, friend, housemate, or someone else. Typically what happens is that the person prioritizes the codependent relationship over their own needs, including their health. As a result, when being honest with yourself, you may feel unfulfilled or depressed. You may also feel physically and emotionally exhausted. This in turn can negatively affect your immune system and as a result you may be more vulnerable to developing a serious health condition. Therapy can help you determine if you are exhibiting toxic behavior.

Reversing the downward spiral of codependency, exhaustion, and sickness is crucial to live a healthy and rewarding life. In turn, the healthier you are on a mental, physical, and emotional level, the stronger your immune system is likely to be, and the less vulnerable you will be to develop a health condition. Those with healthy boundaries tend to attract other healthy people into their lives, and healthier romantic relationships. 

However, simply ending one codependent relationship does not guarantee that you will live a healthier life. It requires changes in behavior which begins with recognizing negative or toxic patterns. Engaging in therapy for a period of time can help you to reach your personal and relationship goals.

Recognizing Whether or Not You Are Codependent

If you are not sure if you are codependent, understand that this is not unusual. There are common patterns in behavior and signs in current or past relationships that can indicate codependency. With the help of a therapist you can learn to recognize codependent behaviors.

Here are some of the most common signs that a person has codependent tendencies:

  • They crave another person’s validation or approval. They may crave this from the people at-large around them or even from complete strangers.
  • They do not believe they are living a fulfilling life or reaching their life’s goals.
  • They are consistently emotionally unfulfilled in their primary relationships.