When it comes to healthy relationships, co-dependency is one of the unhealthy traits that hurt both partners.
Codependency is when two people in a relationship have an over-reliance or dependence on one another - and that makes the relationship unhealthy.
It can stop you and your partner from having a mutually satisfying healthy relationship and also sabotage your capacity to function independently.
A healthy relationship should allow the coupled to recognize both their joint and individual identity.
The relationship between a co-dependent and a narcissist is often rooted in low self-worth, low self-esteem, and lack of identity.
When you are co-dependent, you push your needs aside for the needs of other people. You inhabit a mindset that, in order to be acknowledged by others, you have to ignore the "self."
You feel you need to worry about other people more than you worry about yourself. You see yourself as the rescuer.
You are a people pleaser. The one who suffers in silence. You say 'yes' when you should say 'no'. You feel it's your responsibility to save and fix other people at the expense of yourself.
Although, these are nice qualities, however, the problem is being co-dependent can cost you your life. You end up believing your identity is wrapped around being needed by other people.
So you attract people who need you. People like a narcissist who needs a constant supply of admiration, respect, desirability, and attention.
Narcissistic nature is to take, and since your is to give, you easily become the narcissist supply. You attract energy vampires, who only care about what they get from you.
Signs you are an enabler in a toxic relationship
Most times the co-dependent do not realize they are being abused. They may get the feeling that something isn't right, but they can't point out exactly what.
In the initial stage of the relationship, the narcissist treats you great, but when they get tired of you, their attitude turns horrible. The narcissist manipulates and controls you like a puppet.
As the co-dependent gets comfortable in the relationship, the narcissist does something to stir up trouble. By doing so, the co-dependent goes on overdrive to keep the narcissistic partner happy.
It's a game for the narcissist and as a co-dependent, you are a pawn in his chess game.
Codependency psychological stress stems from a lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth, lack of identity, and knowing who they are.
Co-dependents work overtime to prove their lovable. They believe their lovability depends on the happiness, ease, and pleasure that they create for those around them.
On the flip side, when a co-dependent displeases or makes someone unhappy, they believe they are unlovable. A co-dependent's self-worth hinges on the mood and actions of their partner.
Because a co-dependent's self-worth is wrapped around their partner (in the case a narcissist), it keeps them chasing approval from the narcissist.
This control in the relationship is what the narcissist feeds off. It is his pleasure and his power.
The narcissist will isolate you from your friends and family. And strip you of your identity, which was already in jeopardy before you met him.
Since the co-dependent don't know who they are or what they are worth, the narcissist partner will tell you that "you are not good enough" to keep you chasing his approval in hopes to find yourself in his opinion of you.
In other words, the co-dependent accepts any abuse thrown at them because they do not feel worthy of more. And because the narcissist says 'you are worthless without him,' you fear becoming a nobody if you leave him.
The co-dependent and the narcissist do not break up until the co-dependent is aware of what is happening and stop relying on their partner for love, self-esteem, and identity recognition.
So until a co-dependent looks inward and becomes their own greatest source of joy and happiness instead of their partner's, and discovers their identity, they will forever be controlled by their narcissistic partner.
Jessey Anthony is a motivational speaker, fitness coach and relationship expert who helps people become confident in themselves in any challenges they face in life. Sign up to my newsletter & more cool stuff.
This article appeared here.