Why Develop a Traits of Codependency Checklist?
Many professionals, unfortunately, disagree on the traits of codependency and just what symptoms should be included in a codependency checklist.
In our work we have found the term ‘codependency‘ very useful to describe a pattern of emotionally immature behaviour; often seen at the heart of troubled relationships.
For this reason, our team offers here our checklist, of what we consider the most noticeable traits of codependency.
Traits of Codependency Checklist:
- Feels responsible for other peoples’ emotions.
- Believes they need to help other people resolve their negative moods and emotions.
- May experience their partner’s unhappiness to be a sign they have somehow failed.
- Cannot remain focused (on their own plans and goals) when someone is upset or in a bad mood with them.
- A person with these traits will feel their happiness and goals closely tied to other peoples’ judgement of them.
- Will look for validation, reassurance and encouragement from people the most unlikely to give it.
- May expect their partner to support them without asking, and feel agitated when their partner doesn’t anticipate their needs.
- Believes someone guessing their needs is a sign of love.
- Codependency is about emotional dependence. Hence, someone with these traits may have a hard time functioning when not in a relationship.
- Will often put their need for a relationship with a life partner before their own security and goals.
- Most of all, a person with traits of codependency will have trouble processing their own emotions. They will need help to calm down when they become upset and fail to notice when their negative emotions are signalling things which may require work or attention.
- May have worked hard to ‘keep a parent happy’, while never feeling at liberty to talk about the real cause of that parent’s emotional instability (e.g. alcoholism, depression, gambling or drug addiction). This early ‘grooming’ may cause this person to become an ‘easy target’ for partner abuse later in life.
Don’t Let Codependency Destroy Your Marriage
In conclusion, please note that Steve and I are not doctors. As the result of working through our long term marriage problems successfully, we talk from the voice of experience. We have offered the codependency checklist above from a layman’s perspective, not intended for professional diagnosis. Rather, these points offer practical advice, intended to help individuals and couples uncover these emotionally destructive patterns.
Codependency is, in fact, not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Its traits, however, will most certainly predict a life filled with heartache.