The word codependent is often used casually as pop psychology jargon. It is, however, a complex psychological issue that is real and treatable. You may experience the pain of codependency as a pattern of enmeshed or abusive relationships, preoccupation with the needs of others, or anxiety and obsessive thinking about relationships.
This type of behavior typically develops in people who care deeply about someone who suffers from an addiction, illness, or mental illness such as the partner of an alcoholic or a child raised in a family affected by alcoholism. A pattern of interaction emerges where the main focus in the relationship is on the addiction or illness. Whether you’re the partner, caretaker, relative, or child your needs get sidelined and you may begin to believe those needs are less important. This lowers self-esteem. You become resentful but feel intense fear or guilt about standing up for yourself. In these situations, therapy can help you regain a sense of self.
Codependency often manifests as self-neglect in relationships. This is not something that goes away by itself or if the other person gets better. But you don’t have to handle it alone. Through treatment, you’ll learn ways to disrupt patterns of self-neglect that can improve your self-esteem as well as the quality and functioning of your relationships.
CODEPENDENCY AND FINANCIAL STRESS
Codependency impacts your relationship with yourself and others. You might be surprised to know it can also affect your relationship with money. I had the chance recently to speak on the Agent of Wealth podcast about financial stress and the pandemic.
The two most difficult things for human beings to experience are loss and the unknown. Collectively we’ve had to cope with a lot of that in the past two years. So the combination of the pandemic and financial hardships has exacerbated stress for many people. If this is the case for you, working together to locate the emotional roots of your relationship with money can help.