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Why is being codependent seen as a bad thing?

(38 Posts)
ScottishStottie Fri 26-Jun-20 16:32:28

Just musing about this really.

Myself and dp are close, we work together and are both fairly introverted so spend a lot of our free time in the house. Through lockdown we have been with eachother only literally 24 hours a day for 3 months and enjoyed it.

When doing tasks (from work things to housework to cooking dinner or going to the shop) we both do it and help eachother/keep eachother company.

On another thread i mentioned helping dp with work and someone commented that it seemed very codependent. Been thinking about it and agree that it is, but dont see ir as bad?

Its all things that we could do alone, and its not like we 'need' eachother to do things, but we enjoy being with each other and helping eachother whenever we possibly can?

Does anyone else have a relationship like this?

OP’s posts: |
022828MAN Fri 26-Jun-20 16:34:33

That's not co-dependent then really, I'd say CD is more not managing without the other, rather than just really enjoying doing things together.

022828MAN Fri 26-Jun-20 16:36:25

Dh and I are the same as you, spend a lot of time together, and I'd much rather doing things with him than without. But if anything ever happened I know I'd be fine without him too. We both go away without the other etc. I think CD as people not allowing the other freedom or being apart causing huge anxiety

CMOTDibbler Fri 26-Jun-20 16:39:01

CD can stop you both growing as people though, and enable (not saying you are though) unhealthy mindsets because 'thats what we do'. For instance if he wanted to go away for a holiday without you, would that be OK? Or if you decided that you wanted to not be involved with his work/ work elsewhere, would he be OK with that?

Solasum Fri 26-Jun-20 16:41:42

I think as long as you both have you own friends and lives outside of each other, it is absolutely fine to enjoy spending time together. If you can’t think of the last thing you did anything on your own, that is more of an issue. I was struck by a poster on another thread who was dreading the end of lockdown because she was going to have to start socialising all the time again as that is what her DP enjoys, even though she would rather be at home. That strikes me as unhealthy codependence, he won’t do anything without her and she I’ll do it even if she doesn’t want to. Also, I think it is quite important that both parts of a couple are able to function when their partner dies. It is rubbish enough without being unable to cook, know how to pay bills, spend any time alone

needhandhold Fri 26-Jun-20 16:45:20

It sounds lovely actually OP. As long as you could do things without him if you wanted. He wouldn’t get annoyed if you wanted time alone then I think that’s fine

PAND0RA Fri 26-Jun-20 16:46:21

That’s not what codependent means . It’s when one of you has an addiction or other unhealthy behaviour and relies On the other to meet all of their needs.

And you make all the sacrifices to care for your partner.

It’s nothing to do with not going on holiday alone.

Menora Fri 26-Jun-20 16:47:09

I don’t think this is what co dependency really is, this is just a relationship that seems to work for you both

bibliomania Fri 26-Jun-20 16:49:34

I think you mean inter-dependent, which is the healthy version. Co-dependent implies that you're not the hero(ine) of your own life, just a supporting player in someone else's life. If you're hero and heroine hand-in-hand together, that sounds great!

Parker231 Fri 26-Jun-20 16:52:45

DH and I get on great and have done so for most of the last 25 years. Wouldn’t work with him as we both need our own professional careers. We go out together and as a family but also go out and on holiday with our own friends.

1235kbm Fri 26-Jun-20 17:05:12

Co dependency emerged via alcoholism research and therapy. Every partnered alcoholic has a co dependent partner/friend or family member. A co dependent enables the alcoholic to continue to drink. They may be very angry about that but they still do it. Children from households with dependency issues, also tend to be co dependent.

Co dependents are 'fixers' and 'rescuers' and 'martyrs' who put other's needs before their own. They are controlling and think they can fix the person with the dependency and rescue them from themselves. They make an awful amount of sacrifices in order to do that. The co dependent relationship is dysfunctional and unhealthy for both parties.

Does that sound like you OP?

Onestepup Fri 26-Jun-20 17:10:15

If you're both happy then I can't see any problem at all. We all have different personalities and preferences.

ScottishStottie Fri 26-Jun-20 17:16:27

Inter-dependant makes more sense i think, its definitely not an uneven thing, we both help and support each other equally. It works for us and think it brings out the best in us both individually as well.

When in the house there's potential for us both to get some time alone, (tv in bedroom, piano in the study etc) but we both generally choose to spend time together in the living room.

Glad to know its not just us!

OP’s posts: |
WaterOffADucksCrack Fri 26-Jun-20 22:09:46

Codependent means you couldn't function or manage without them. I love my partner to bits but if something happened to us or him I know I'd be fine because I have my own life and he isn't the sole thing that makes me happy.

user1481840227 Sat 27-Jun-20 03:15:54

It was an incorrect use of the term!

What you're describing is team work within a relationship which is completely normal and healthy!

joystir59 Sat 27-Jun-20 03:20:21

Don't you ever do anything separate from each other?

yelyah22 Sat 27-Jun-20 06:24:47

We're quite similar. If he is in the bath, I will bring a cup of tea and sit in the bathroom because that's some of our favourite quality time together; we have spent literal weeks with no other company in our very small house and relished it.

We have plenty of time not in one another's pockets (I play games alone sometimes, he has an actual, non-cycling identifiable hobby he does 2 nights a week, we do both see our friends seperately maybe 50% of the visits) but everything is generally more fun when we do it together.

I always assumed it was because we've faced a lot of traumatic life incidents in the time we've been together and we're both quite introverted, so we kind of find each other a safe harbour from the rest of the world - and I did worry that was unhealthy, but I'm glad to see others are like this too.

We'd both be fine without the other, it's not a need, and we do spend time apart. We'd just much rather not!

anditgoeson Sat 27-Jun-20 07:55:48

That's not really codepency in the emotional sense tho, as in the negative element of codepency is it? Sounds quite sweet to me.

anditgoeson Sat 27-Jun-20 07:59:25

I thought codepency was more about enabling somebodies toxic behaviour. Doesnt sound toxic to me sounds like you just really love it each other.

AuntieStella Sat 27-Jun-20 08:08:03

Codependency is not a synonym for being interdependent (when you have a healthy relationship, and intertwined lives).

Codependency is a specific term which means that people are locked into an unhealthy relationship; and struggle to make changes ecause they are so locked in to their roles. The term was first used IIRC in the context of an alcoholic and their long-suffering partner who puts up with it and enables it, to the extent of being unable to break free.

It can also be applied to other addictions and some forms of abuse.

OP has I think confused codependency with interdependency. There is no sign of codependency in the opening post.

midnightstar66 Sat 27-Jun-20 08:25:46

Unless you e missed out details the. You just get on and enjoy each other's company and input. You don't sound co or interdependent from what you've said you just enjoy working as a team. There's people on here that aren't able to shop alone and had huge issues when that wasn't allowed during lockdown, I quite often read of people sobbing be their partner is working away for a couple of nights. If you d popped out when your partner wanted the help with his work would he have managed? If your partner was busy and couldn't help you cook or if you had to take a dc to the dr alone would it cause anguish because you depend on him to help or be by your side? It doesn't sound like it.

ScottishStottie Sat 27-Jun-20 09:08:22

On the other thread where the pp said it sounded codependent, i was talking about how i was wanting to go with do to work to help him get done and home faster, as hes been taken off furlough and im still furloughed.

People then acting as if i had said dp needed me to help him at work, that he couldnt do his own job etc etc. But no one really got that we both like being with each other. If i can help him i want to, and vice versa.

Its all things we could do on our own if we needed, but if possible we much prefer doing together.

Im glad that people are saying it doesnt sound unhealthy, it had never occured to me that it might be until that other thread and started getting worried that despite feeling supportive and happy, my relationship was in some way unhealthy.

OP’s posts: |
MaeveDidIt Sat 27-Jun-20 09:32:36

No that's not codependency.
You're very luck it sounds like you've got a lovely marriage.

pointythings Sat 27-Jun-20 09:34:55

You're not codependent, you have a healthy and mutually supportive relationship. I've been codependent (alcoholic husband) and having stepped away from that and taken action I know how toxic and irrational codependency is.

Gingernaut Sat 27-Jun-20 09:40:32

Co-dependency tends to involve someone so desperate to be needed/in a relationship, they'll neglect themselves to pander to their partner, however abusive, dysfunctional or addicted that partner is.

Earning more money, handing over their life savings or inheritance or selling treasure objects to cover debts run up by drug or gambling addictions, making up the shortfall when a gambling addict has spent all their money and can't pay essential bills. apologising to people when the abusive partner says or does something offensive or even buying food, drugs or alcohol on the partner' behalf.

People bandy these specific terms (like antisocial or co-dependency) around after reading a few lines on Wikipedia, but they have no real idea what they are talking about.

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