Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

(206) 219-0145

What is Codependency in a Relationship

Dr David B Hawkins, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Best-Selling author of “When Pleasing Others is Hurting You” shares how codependency is really the loss of a healthy relationship with yourself. Taking good care of yourself leads to taking good care of others.

What is Codependency in a Relationship

Codependency is a term often used in psychology and self-help literature to describe a dysfunctional pattern of relating to others. It refers to a relationship dynamic where one person excessively relies on another for their emotional needs, self-worth, and overall well-being. In this article, we will explore the concept of codependency and its impact on relationships, emphasizing the importance of establishing a healthy relationship with oneself.

Understanding Codependency

Codependency is characterized by a loss of connection with one’s own identity and needs, resulting in an excessive focus on meeting the needs and expectations of others. It often stems from early childhood experiences, such as growing up in a dysfunctional family or experiencing neglect or abuse. These experiences can shape an individual’s belief system and self-perception, leading to codependent behaviors later in life.

The Importance of Self-Relationship

The foundation of any healthy relationship lies in having a strong and nurturing relationship with oneself. Codependency arises when this fundamental connection is compromised or neglected. To illustrate this point, let’s consider an example.

Imagine a person who neglects their own well-being, disregarding aspects such as physical health, emotional balance, and spiritual growth. They may prioritize pleasing others above taking care of themselves, often leading to exhaustion and neglect of their own needs. In this scenario, it becomes challenging for them to establish healthy and fulfilling relationships with others because they lack the inner resources and self-awareness necessary for genuine connection.

Caring for Yourself and Others

Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not a selfish act but an essential component of maintaining overall well-being. When we prioritize self-care, we ensure that our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met, allowing us to show up fully and authentically in our relationships.

Taking care of oneself involves setting healthy boundaries, practicing self-compassion, and engaging in activities that promote personal growth and fulfillment. By nurturing our own well-being, we become better equipped to care for others genuinely and effectively. When we love and care for ourselves, we have more to give to those around us.

Aligning with Your Core Values

Another crucial aspect of building a healthy relationship with oneself is aligning our lives with our core values. Core values represent our deeply held beliefs and principles that guide our choices and actions. When our lives are consistent with our core values, we experience a sense of authenticity, purpose, and fulfillment.

Reflect on your values and assess whether your current lifestyle and relationships align with them. Are you living in a way that supports your well-being and fosters personal growth? Are you investing time and energy in activities and relationships that bring you joy and fulfillment? By consciously aligning with your core values, you create a solid foundation for a healthy relationship with yourself and others.

Overcoming Codependency

Overcoming codependency requires self-reflection, self-compassion, and a commitment to personal growth. By focusing on nurturing oneself and establishing a healthy relationship with oneself, the grip of codependency can gradually loosen.

It is important to cultivate self-awareness, identify codependent patterns and behaviors, and seek professional help or support groups if needed. With time and effort, individuals can rediscover their true selves, develop stronger boundaries, and learn to prioritize their well-being while engaging in healthy and fulfilling relationships.

Living a Healthy and Happy Life

As we recover and rediscover our authentic selves, the issues of codependency begin to dissipate. With a strong self-relationship, we become individuals with clear boundaries, emotional resilience, and a capacity to love and care for ourselves and others in a healthy manner.

Remember that prioritizing self-care and establishing a healthy relationship with yourself is not selfish but essential for overall well-being and the foundation of fulfilling relationships. By tending to your needs, aligning with your values, and fostering self-growth, you are paving the way for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: Why Narcissists are Emotionally and Socially Immature?

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


Sign up our newsletter to get updated information, promo or insight for free.

Latest Post


Need Help?
Get The Support You Need From One Of Our Therapists