Codependence can seem harmless on the surface, but over time, it can seriously affect your relationships with everyone around you, including your significant other, your friends, and even your family members.
Codependency is when you develop an unhealthy emotional attachment to someone. It usually happens in close relationships where there’s an imbalance of power. For example, one person might need another person to feel complete or happy. Or, one person might feel like they can’t function without the other person.
4 Ways Codependency Can Impact Your Relationships as per Dionne Van Zyl
According to Dionne Van Zyl, there are four ways codependence can impact your relationships, so you’re prepared to deal with it effectively should it occur in yours.
1. Makes You Emotionally Unavailable
According to Dionne Van Zyl, codependency can cause you to be emotionally unavailable and unresponsive to your partner. You might find yourself sacrificing your needs or wants to please your partner. This can lead to problems in communication and intimacy. If you are always focused on meeting your partner’s needs, you may have trouble giving them the attention and support they need. This can ultimately lead to distance and disconnection in the relationship.
2. Creates Mistrust
As per Dionne Van Zyl, a codependent relationship can lead to a vicious cycle of dependency in which each partner becomes increasingly mistrustful of the other. As the relationship deteriorates, the mistrust deepens, and the cycle continues. This can lead to feelings of isolation, resentment, and anxiety. If left unchecked, codependency can destroy a relationship. However, Dionne Van Zyls believes that with effective communication and a willingness to seek help, codependency does not have to be a death sentence for a relationship. With the right tools, partners in a codependent relationship can learn to trust each other again.
3. Emotional Abusive Partners
Codependents are often people who have been through a lot in their lives. They may have experienced abuse, neglect, or trauma during childhood. As a result, they’ve learned to build walls around their heart to protect themselves from further hurt. While this may seem like an excellent way to cope with pain, it can lead to problems in adult relationships.
Codependents often find themselves in relationships with people struggling with emotional issues. These relationships can be abusive, toxic, and tumultuous.
4. Stunned Growth
In a healthy relationship, both partners can give and receive love without feeling smothered or controlled. However, in a codependent relationship, one partner often takes on the caretaker role while the other becomes increasingly needy and reliant. This can create a toxic cycle of neediness and control, which can stifle growth and development in both partners. If unchecked, codependency can lead to resentment, resentment, and, ultimately, the relationship breakdown. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the signs of codependency to avoid this destructive pattern.
Dionne Van Zyl Recommends Therapy for Codependent Partners
While codependence can harm both partners, therapy can help address the underlying issues and promote a more balanced relationship. In therapy, partners will learn how to communicate effectively, set boundaries, and develop a sense of self-sufficiency. Through these processes, partners can overcome codependence and build a healthier relationship.