The Science Behind Codependency Among Your Children

The word ‘codependency’ is frequently used colloquially to characterize partnerships in which one individual is needy or dependant on another. This phrase refers to far more than just clinginess. Codependents are significantly more severe. A codependent individual will organize their life around satisfying the other individual, or the facilitator.

Let’s go through the science behind codependency to understand whether your children have it or not. Read on for more information.

Defining A Codependent Relationship

Defining A Codependent Relationship

Codependency is established when one individual needs the other, who then, in turn, requires to be needed. This cyclical interaction is what specialists mean when they talk about the “loop” of codependency. Only by giving oneself for their companion/sibling, who is only too happy to accept their sacrifices, would the codependent gain self-love, self-confidence and self-worth.

Being Codependent vs. Dependent

Being Codependent vs Dependent

It is critical to distinguish between relying on another individual and codependency, which is dangerous. Here are some instances that demonstrate the distinction:

Dependent Codependent
When two individuals rely on one another for love and support, they are said to be dependent. The relationship is valuable to both of them. The codependent person believes they are useless unless they make compromises and are required by the enabler, who derives gratification from having the other person meet all of their needs.
Both sides prioritize their relationship, yet they may find delight in other activities, acquaintances, and pastimes. Except in this relationship, the codependent has no own identity, hobbies, or values.
Both persons can communicate their emotions and wants and work together to have the relationship work for both. Codependency occurs when one individual believes that their wants and needs are irrelevant and will not articulate them. They can have trouble identifying them.

Codependency can exist between one or both people. To satisfy their spouse, a codependent will overlook other crucial aspects of their life. Their undivided attention to only one person may endanger:

  • Other friendships, relationships and interactions
  • Their careers and/or education
  • Day-to-day duties

Symptoms of Codependency

Symptoms of Codependency

It might be difficult to discern between a codependent and a clingy individual. A codependent will usually:

  • Find no fulfilment or joy in life away from doing activities for the other individual.
  • Although they might be aware that their spouse is doing things that are damaging to them, they usually keep their efforts in the relationship.
  • Do whatever to please and gratify their facilitator, no matter the cost to themselves.
  • Feel ongoing uneasiness about their connection as a result of their need to constantly make the other individual feel happy.
  • Use all of their time and efforts to offer their partner/sibling what they want.
  • Feel bad about thinking of oneself in the partnership and will not voice any personal demands or aspirations.
  • Ignore their morality or conscience to do what the second party desires.
  • Even if others call it out, a codependent will find it difficult to quit the relationship.

Causes Of Codependency

Causes Of Codependency

Codependency is a taught trait that is often the result of previous social behaviours and emotional troubles. It was originally assumed to be caused by growing up with an alcoholic father. Codependency may now be caused by a variety of scenarios, according to experts.

1. Toxic Parental Relationships

Toxic Parental Relationships

Addictions to alcohol and other substances are typical reasons that may cause parents to prioritize their own needs hence throwing their children’s needs under the bus. This may lead to the youngsters being codependent on one other or adults.

2. Mental Illness Care

Mental Illness Care

Caring for a mentally challenged individual can also lead to codependency. Being a caretaker, particularly at a young age, may cause a kid to overlook their requirements and develop a habit of solely assisting others. Being required by another individual and given nothing in return might shape a person’s self-acceptance.

3. Child Abuse

Child Abuse

A mistreated kid or adolescent will learn to bury their emotions as a defensive strategy against the agony of abuse. This acquired habit, whether with a sibling or as an adult, ends in just caring about the other’s emotions and not noticing their own.



A few factors can aid in the formation of a healthy, balanced relationship:

  • Outside of the partnership, they may need to discover a pastime or activity that they like.
  • A codependent should make an effort to spend quality time with helpful relatives or friends.
  • The enabler must recognize that encouraging their codependent companion/sibling to make severe sacrifices is not benefiting them.
  • Therapy: An expert can assist people in recognizing and expressing sentiments that could have been repressed since childhood.
  • People who have been mistreated must identify their maltreatment and rediscover their own needs and feelings.
  • Finally, both persons in the relationship should learn to recognize certain behavioural patterns rather than wanting the other individual to focus their lives around them.

The Bottom Line

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In a good relationship, both sides exchange equally and therefore can maintain their identity apart from the other. Codependent relationships, on the other hand, are unhealthy partnerships that should be ended for the healthier living among siblings.