What Causes Codependency?

Codependent couple with trust issues

Similar to many other psychological traits, both negative and positive, codependency often is rooted from childhood experiences. Children form the basis for their relationships on what they learn due to watching others in their family interact and how others interact with them. Codependency typically comes about when someone has parents that are either not protective enough or too protective. 

Parenting Styles Can Cause Codependency

Parents who aren’t protective enough might let their child roam the streets, not ask about schoolwork, don’t care who their kids hang out with, fail to get help for their kid’s developmental issues, abuse drugs or alcohol and have other negative parenting styles. When these things happen, the child doesn’t get the support or guidance they need, so they overcompensate by becoming dependent upon other people. It makes them feel needed. 

There are also those parents who are too protective. These parents often track their child’s every movement, force them to talk about everything, control their movements, tell them what to think and believe and put so much fear into their children about the world. At some point, the children feel smothered. The natural response to this is becoming overbearingly dependent on other people. They feel like they need other people to survive. When it is just them alone, they feel lost. 

When these children become adults, in both the over-protective and under-protective parenting styles, they may abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with feelings of loneliness, despair, guilt, shame and codependency. 

If you or someone you know is codependent on others, our Better Tomorrow team has addiction and mental health treatments that can help you to work through it.

Types of Issues in Codependent Relationships 

Both the children in the above scenarios could grow up to have codependent relationships. In these relationships, many issues can form including the ones that are mentioned below. 

Boundary Problems

If you were raised in a household that was unhealthy, you might have an altered sense of boundaries. It could go many ways including:

  • Having fragile boundaries that cause you to give in easily or let people walk all over you
  • Having strong boundaries so you shut people out and don’t let anyone know how you are feeling
  • Having a combination of both these issues, usually going back and forth to each of them

If you have problems with your boundaries, there are numerous ways that you can overcome these issues. You can start by reaching out to our Better Tomorrow team today. Our team knows how to handle codependency, so we can help you begin the healing process.


Guilty Conscience 

Another primary issue when people come from unhealthy households as a child is having a guilty conscience. Even though there might not be anything for you to feel guilty about, there are certain things that trigger severe feelings of guilt. Even when good things happen in your life, you may feel guilty for them happening to you instead of someone else. 

Oftentimes, people who experience these feelings will get drunk or high to hide from or cover up the guilt. If you or someone you know is doing this, please reach out to our team to get addiction and codependency treatments right away. 

Trust Problems 

If you had a childhood that was full of let-downs, lies and deceit, you may end up with a lot of trust issues as you get older. You may question everyone’s motives which can make it difficult to form any healthy relationships. If you don’t have many great relationships, you may feel lonely or isolated. To avoid these feelings, you may cling to those around you to try to form some connections. Without treatment, though, this probably won’t help you feel any better. 

Control Problems 

If you have codependency, you may feel like you have to control or take responsibility for everything and everyone around you. Usually, this is a result of a child who had to grow up quickly. For instance, if your parent was an alcoholic and you had to take care of them when they were drunk and hungover, you lost part of your childhood. In addition, this can increase the chances of becoming a “caretaker” later in life. 

Critical of Yourself 

Generally, people who are codependent are very critical of themselves. You might feel flawed in numerous ways and that can negatively affect all your relationships. It might cause you to always question the compliments others give you or cause you to compare yourself to the other person all the time, too. Meanwhile, you are just trying to feel better.

You deserve happiness and you are a good person. There is so much about you that is unique and amazing. If you start attending treatment here at Better Tomorrow, we can help you to see the truth behind these statements. Once you can start seeing these truths, it can help you to create healthier relationships. 

Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship 

There are ways you can tell if you are in a codependent relationship. If you recognize the signs noted here today, our team is ready to assist you in healing from codependency and getting better at relationship skill-building. The signs that you should be looking for include:

  • Trouble making decisions by yourself
  • Issues identifying your feelings
  • Trouble communicating 
  • Always seeking approval from others
  • Valuing what others think of you over what you think of yourself
  • Having low self-esteem, especially when in relationships
  • Difficulty trusting your own decisions

Codependency can stop you from having mutually satisfying, healthy and wonderful relationships. Whether these relationships are with family members, friends or intimate partners, they shouldn’t be one-sided, abusive or codependent. The good news is that you can work on your codependent tendencies. 

Heal from Codependency to Develop Better Relationships

Do you recognize those signs of codependency in yourself? Maybe, it is the other person in one of your relationships that has these signs? If that is the case, you may need to talk to them about it or go to a support group for people in codependent relationships. 
Here at Better Tomorrow, we have offered treatments to thousands of codependent men and women. No matter where or why your codependency issues started, our team is here to help you. Contact us today to heal from codependency, so you can work on developing better, healthier relationships beginning right away.

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