They shun attention and try to do the right thing and be good sons, husbands, and fathers, focusing instead on making a living and meeting the needs of their wives and children.
These codependent men sacrifice themselves and believe that their needs, including the need for time away from their wives, are selfish.
Your needs were also ignored if you took on age-inappropriate responsibilities because of an out of control, irresponsible, or immature parent.
If there was abuse or addiction present, you probably grew up in an atmosphere of chaos, conflict, strict rules, or unpredictability.
Self-control helped you survive, but controlling yourself or others leads to problems later in intimate relationships.
Despite the prevalence of codependent women, I see many codependent men in my private practice.
"They surrender too much of what they want, think, or feel for the sake of staying in the relationship." Think Jennifer Goodwin's character in .
A codependent person's identity takes a backseat to the well-being of a relationship.If they voice an opinion and their partner disagrees, they'll clam up immediately."Their distaste for conflict is so great that they resist or avoid speaking about what's important to them in order to maintain harmony in a relationship," says Dr. So, it's not really "harmony" so much as it is a false sense of a safe relationship. Instead of meeting their own needs, they meet the needs of others, and instead of responding to their own thoughts and feelings, they react to those of others. It causes serious pain and affects the majority of Americans — and not just women or loved ones of addicts, as many people believe. My definition is someone who has lost the connection to his or her core self, so that his or her thinking and behavior revolves around someone or something external, including a person, a substance, or an activity, such as sex or gambling. Instead of self-esteem, they have other esteem, based upon what others think and feel.This creates high reactivity for couples who constantly are blaming each other for their own feelings and defending themselves when their partner shares his or her feelings.