Dating a codependent man

The meaning (and usefulness) of the codependence concept is diluted by these broad definitions.

Since beginning my study of dysfunctional helping, I have tried to nail down the co-dependence concept.

Take the Codependency Self-Assessment at the top of the home page to get a clearer idea if you are codependent or not.

If you believe the song lyrics, soap operas and romantic movies, loving another person more than you love yourself––or life itself––is enviable, even desirable.

Dysfunctional helping relationships don’t necessarily involve codependence, but they may.

Codependent relationships are close relationships where much of the love and intimacy in the relationship is experienced in the context of one person’s distress and the other’s rescuing or enabling.

Not surprisingly, in many cases, codependency has its roots in childhood.

"Research suggests that codependents have a history of neglect," says Dr. "Being abandoned as a child is not necessarily a direct cause, but it does seem to be connected." Adds Edythe Denkin, Ph D, certified marriage counselor and author of Relationship Magic, "When your feelings have been discounted all your life, you end up choosing a partner who will discount your feelings without even being aware of it." You may be at risk of landing in a codependent relationship if you grew up with parents who:• Neglected or ignored you• Were self-centered and/or narcissistic• Were substance abusers or addicts• Were clinically depressed • Were so controlling of everything you did that your own desires and feelings didn't seem to matter Though kids from these types of dysfunctional families don't always end up in codependent relationships, what can happen is that they become "parentified," says Dr. "They eventually develop the habit of either parenting themselves or parenting their parents." In the case of substance-abusing parents, for example, these kids may be accustomed to cleaning up after a parent or making excuses for them.

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