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Look Under the Lid

Edna had reached her limit. She had done everything she could think of to help Charles overcome his drinking problem. He would frequently call her from the pub in emotional distress because he had wrecked his car again. She took care of all the arrangements to have it repaired. On several occasions, he asked her to tell his boss that he was too ill to come to the phone when the boss called, wondering why Charles hadn't shown up for his shift. She also took on extra hours to make up for the money he lost on his way home from visiting his sick aunt. Edna believed that he would change his ways by showing him how to be responsible and selfless. However, he never did, and she never stopped trying. Anger was building up inside her, but she suppressed it, thinking, "What kind of person would be angry when she is supposed to serve her husband?" She also stopped caring for her appearance, couldn't sleep at night as she thought of ways to 'fix' Charles, and spent most of her free time picking up the slack for Charles' irresponsibility at home.

Does this situation sound familiar to you or someone you love? This behavior is known as codependency. It is defined as giving up your identity, ideas, and emotions in order to please other people because you desperately want to be loved. Edna's actions were not a rescue mission at all! While it may seem on the surface that the codependent person is loving and kind, in reality, the motive is to protect oneself. The codependent lacks a sense of self-worth and finds their value in 'helping'. Instead of genuinely helping, they are actually hindering the other person's growth. Their actions prevent others from developing responsibility. Once Edna realized that her actions were not helpful for Charles or herself, she sought help. 

Dr. Anita J Arrunategui/ Canva Pro/ “Untangling Relationships” by Pat Springle

The content published is for informational purposes. The content included in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. 

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