Codependency is an unhealthy relationship, where one attempts to control situations through manipulation, focusing on the other person and anticipating others’ needs. There are two main characteristics; the caretaker and the dependent. Usually, one plays the dependent, while the other plays the caretaker. Unfortunately, these are extreme positions each is taking, which will affect your growth, the structure of their marriage, and your family.
In describing the dependent person, we see how the dependent may, for instance, run alongside your car, holding onto the window while you’re backing out of the driveway. They shout from your window, asking when you will be home and how long you will be. They follow up with frequent phone calls to check on your whereabouts ten times when you’ve only been gone for a few hours. The caretaker chimes in and comforts the dependent by telling them everything will be okay, and you’ll be home shortly. At times you may deny this is happening to no avail.
The idea of not giving attention to bad behavior does not work here. Then again, when the caretaker speaks up to ask the dependent to stop, the dependent turns it around and tells the caretaker they need to stay home or how they are not a good spouse. The caretaker may present as manipulative; however, in all actuality, they are trying to reason with a person who is afraid of being alone and or fears abandonment.
And It’s when you’re denying all this is going on and cannot communicate your feelings or act on making things different.
When you find yourself having to answer where you are at all times of the day and living up to another person’s expectations, you are being brought into a codependent relationship. Better yet, you are choosing to be in a codependent relationship. After some time, the caretaker will be trained to follow what the dependent needs to comfort them. You are one partner, depending on the other to report to you. You may be the second partner; reporting in. either way, you are making each other your idol in a codependent relationship.