Co-dependency & B.P.D., A.J. Mahari – WOMEN in RECOVERY

Co-dependence & BPD

Codependence is defined in many ways. It is also very misunderstood by a great many people. There are many traps involved in being enmeshed in codependent relational patterns. In this article I outline 5 of the most common thought traps of those exhibiting codependent issues in relationships. I have learned these 5 main traps, not only from my own past life experience, but also over the last 9 years of life coaching with people who are wanting to change the ways that they relate to themselves and to others. The first step in freeing yourself from codependent relating is to admit you are codependent. The second step is to make an active choice to change – change yourself – not someone else. Thirdly, many people find my coaching very helpful in getting unblocked and in moving forward in their lives and relationships.

Codependence is defined in many different ways.

 As a Life Coach I have many clients who are dealing with facets and aspects of either their own codependence or the codependence of their partners or a shared codependence. What is a central fact when it comes to codependence is that it is an unhealthy and out-of-balance style of relating. It offers, certainly long-term, if not short-term as well, much more pain and frustration than it offers healthy love or a peaceful co-existence.

What drives so many people toward this relational style in greater numbers now than ever before? There are many factors. However, I’m going to focus on five main factors – five main statements made to Self, if you will, by many who are codependent.

These five factors are some that I hear about most often from my clients.

  • 1) I want to make this work because it’s hard to meet people
  • 2) He or she is my soulmate
  • 3) I don’t want to be alone
  • 4) I’ve had other relationships fail – I can’t have this one fail too – what will people think?
  • 5) If he or she would just change …… I know this would be the relationship I’ve always wanted.
  • 1) Wanting a relationship to work because it is difficult to meet someone new, in many cases, for many people, is not a reason to stay in a relationship that is not healthy or that is codependent. That very rationalization is a codependent way of thinking. Ask yourself if you might be settling for something – someone – that really isn’t healthy for you – that is draining you and not creating happiness in your life, what is it I fear most? Why am I still here? What is it about this relationship that keeps me hooked in? Staying in a relationship because you want to avoid the rigors of dating or you believe it’s just too hard to meet people may mean that you have needs that you aren’t meeting for yourself in your life. Looking for someone else to meet those needs for you, is codependent.

    2) Do you believe that the person you are with, no matter how codependent or how toxic for you, is your soulmate? Do you think that there is only one soulmate for you? Do you believe that there is this one right person for everyone in life? Do you belive that even though we are living longer and longer that relationships can be sustained as often as they once were for the course of a lifetime? Have you ever examined your expectations of your relationship, of your partner, of yourself in and for the relationship? Believing that you only have one soulmate can definitely put added pressure on the way that you approach relating. It can in and of itself create an expectation that may well set you up for hanging in too long, for putting up with being treated in ways that are not respectful. It is important to be aware of what you expect from a relationship and why.

    3) What do I hear most as a life coach when people are exploring relationship issues and whether or not they are codependent? “I don’t want to be alone”. Not wanting to be alone is in and of itself common and not necessarily a sign of unmet needs or being out of balance or having mental health issues. However, not being able to tolerate being alone, not knowing how to cope with being alone, are at the heart of much of codependency. Part of what makes codependent relational dynamics so chaotic, dramatic, all-consuming and painful is that inability to soothe oneself, inability to like oneself, inability to be with oneself – to like oneself.

    4) Many people who are codependent in the ways that they relate to others are preoccupied a great deal of the time by what they think other people will think about them. This is self-defeating. It is not self-esteeming or coming from a place of self-love. It is an individual being self-critical and judgmental of self in ways and to extents that mean that one either does not know Self very well or that one does not like who he or she is. There’s nothing that can distract you from you, if you don’t like you, like the chaos and emotional roller-coaster turmoil of a codependent – essentially toxic – relationship. Many people do worry more about what others will think if they leave a relationship than being concerned about their own safety, well-being, and/or mental health. Many people stay in relationships that are not only codependent but that are abusive because they don’t want to be seen (as they imagine others will see them) as failures.

    5) The old, if he or she would just change this or that, I know everything would be great illusion. This is like the codependent toxic relational dynamic treadmill-from-hell with a motor on over-drive that cannot be turned off and that you can’t even fall off of. It’s such an energy-sucking trap that it is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. You are running and running as fast as you can but you are aren’t really getting anywhere. Nothing is changing. However, no matter how exhausting it is people feel compelled to run as fast as they can on this treadmill-from-hell that is stuck in high gear. The thought that often accompanies this is, what choice do I have? If you’ve ever asked yourself, what choice do you have, you might want to stop and think about that. what does that question imply? How disempowered must you really be to feel that way – to believe that? The more one feels that a relationship working out or finding happiness resides in someone else changing something or you getting them to change something the more codependence and toxicity there is in a relational dynamic. What you will benefit from accepting is that if someone isn’t who you want to be with, you can’t change them. You need to find someone to be with who is who you want them to be in their own right. If someone is wanting you to change for them, you will benefit from realizing that people only change for themselves when they choose to based upon their own needs and wants. Even attempted change for someone else cannot be sustained.

    Change needs to come from within.

    Not every relationship is meant to work out. Not every relationships can work out. 

      

    BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER, and their LOVED ONES-FAMILY

     

    Take Action!

    If you can relate to the five central statements that many who are involved in codependent relating and relationships often identify to me in coaching them, you will benefit from asking yourself what is it about yourself that you aren’t wanting to face, maybe aren’t sure about knowing in a very aware way right now, and/or what has you believing that settling, or fighting, and riding the roller coaster of a chaotic and turmoil-filled way of relating is healthy for you?

    How do you justify this to yourself and why?

    Toxic Relationships – Coping With Difficult Toxic and/or Abusive People Audio Program © A.J. Mahari

    Wait – The Lessons of The Traps of Toxic Relationships

    The Legacy of Toxic Relationships

    Toxic People – Instincts and Knowing

    © A.J. Mahari, July 11, 2010 – All rights reserved.

    A.J. Mahari, Linked IN Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ajmahari

     

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