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Unhealthy Relationship Codependency

Image of two fingers joined by a heart representing unhealthy relationship codependency.

Unhealthy Relationship Codependency

Recognizing and Healing From Codependency

  Written by Randi Fine, Narcissistic Abuse Expert

Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine

Unhealthy relationship codependency is a disorder that develops over time. Dysfunctional childhood patterns that interfere with the person's ability to form healthy relationships lie dormant for many years; the problem only surfaces once the person begins to experience adult relationships.

Those suffering from relationship codependency do not recognize that their behavior is unhealthy, and so they go from one unsatisfying toxic relationship to another not believing they deserve a better relationship than the dysfunctional one they are in. These relationships always end in heartbreak without the codependent person ever recognizing the primary role he or she played in its demise.

Codependent people fear vulnerability. Feeling undeserving, unworthy of having others meet their needs, they put themselves in the role of perpetual caregiver, believing that they must earn love to get it, while at the same time feeling used and unappreciated by those they are trying to help. Whenever they try to stand up for themselves, they feel guilty for taking and needing rather than giving. The maze of heartbreaking confusion and disappointment becomes a trap they cannot see their way out of.

Those suffering from unhealthy relationship codependency fear that others will be angry with them and/or reject them for not measuring up to their expectations. This fear largely determines all their actions and reactions within their relationships.