Healthy relationships are composed of two people who offer each other love and support, and when you’re in a healthy relationship, you feel serenity, comfort and happiness whenever you think of your loved one. But for some people, being in love often isn’t accompanied by feelings of peace. Instead, it’s accompanied by feelings of being completely insane. Do you find that instead of feeling calm and peaceful when you think of your loved one, you feel anxious or angry? Do you spend a lot of time trying to track him or her down? Is your partner evasive or dishonest? Do you look through your partner’s things, searching for reasons to pick fights or question him or her? Do you feel frustrated at your inability to get through to him or her?
Signs of Codependency
Codependency is a pattern of relating in which you are overly focused on your partner. In many cases, the partner is an alcoholic or addict. As a codependent, you may be attracted to potential partners who are emotionally unavailable or seem to need to be fixed in some way. You may have low self-esteem or fear of abandonment, and you are drawn to people who need you to nurture and care for them. Your relationships are often one-sided and you give a lot more than you get. You feel unappreciated, but you keep making sacrifices. Long after other people would have left a relationship in which love isn’t reciprocated, you keep hanging on and hoping the other person will change and that things will get better. On a subconscious level, you are driven by the compulsion to prove that you can make an emotionally unavailable person love you.
Your Own Crazy Behaviors
The problem with codependency is you become so other-focused that you get lost in your relationships. You lose touch with who you are and what your own goals and dreams are. You are needy and clingy, and when you feel neglected or rejected, it makes you feel very emotional and even crazy. When your partner is an addict, or otherwise emotionally unavailable, you may find yourself engaging in behaviors that appear completely crazy to others and to yourself. In fact, to outside observers of your relationship, you may seem to be the one who is insane, not your partner. You may weep uncontrollably, have dramatic mood swings or fly into a rage when you can’t reason with the other person. While you struggle to control your partner and the direction of the relationship, the one thing you have completely lost control over is yourself and your own behavior.
Getting Past the Codependent Crazies
Recognizing that you have a pattern of being attracted to people who don’t return your love and don’t participate in a healthy give-and-take relationship is the first step. When you are aware that codependency is what is making you crazy, it’s time to take action toward healing. You can’t control other people, but you can learn to control your own reactions and emotional outbursts. Spend some time learning more about codependency by reading about it and by attending support groups such as Co-Dependents Anonymous. If you have been affected by relationships with addicts or alcoholics, one of the best places you can go is Al-Anon. At these support groups, you can learn to be less reactive to your partner’s behaviors and become the focus of your own life. You may also want to work on codependent behaviors with the help of a psychotherapist. It may help you to start journaling about your feelings and experiences. Writing is a powerful way to sort out jumbled and intense emotions. It’s not just bad luck that has led you to ending up in one relationship after another that turns out the same. It’s time to uncover the reasons why you are attracted to people who aren’t good for you. By learning to focus on yourself and getting to know who you are and what you want and deserve, you can learn to be attracted to healthier people and have healthier relationships. Being in love doesn’t always have to result in being crazy.