- A codependent will develop positive feelings from being liked and accepted by other people. That means they have little to no SELF esteem. They get their definition of who they are based on their relationship with other. Many women feel they are nothing if they don't have a man. This is a common belief system and a widespread pattern. One of the #1 ways men will try to insult a woman is to say to her "that's why you're single!" A woman feeling like she is nothing without a man and a man telling her you're nothing because you don't have a man and you’re single!" These two things work together to influence and control a woman's behavior.
- A codependent's attention is focused on solving the problems of other people. In a relationship a codependent woman is focused on relieving the pain, confusion, problems and boredom of other people. When she solves their problems her self-esteem rises because she has done something for someone else. Does this also not apply to women socialization and the expectations that people have of females? Women are told that their role is to solve the problems of her man and family… to make sure they are okay even if she sacrifices herself to do it. By that she is supposed to feel that she is a better woman, a better mother, a better wife or girlfriend or perhaps even all of the above.
- Codependents tend to personalize everything that happens around them… they see everything that happens as being directly related to them. The relationships a woman has with a man … if he cheats, somehow that is going to internalize that as being her fault. Instead of seeing him as being a jerk and an asshole, she is going to put the blame for his failure to honor his relationship on her shoulders. Other dumb women that have bought into the nonsense brainwashing will cosign and point the finger of blame as well by saying "yeah, she ain't doing something right… she don't even know how to keep a man!" The insistence that women not stand up for themselves is reinforced by society, religion and even her own family. Instead of her family members saying "what is wrong with his ass?" they say "well you need to be more of a freak, get new lingerie, you must not be giving him none!" There is a mentality that makes women attempt to live up to some unreasonable standard of Superwoman.
- The clothing, appearance and behavior of the mate are dictated by the codependent who feels that the mate is a reflection of him or her. A reflection is a mirror image…what is staring back at you looks and exactly as you do. Anyone that tells you that your dress look or behavior or what you drive, your job, how you speak, how much money you make, etc. if they look for those things in you to increase your self-worth, that is a danger signal. If you believe that you become more because of the perceived status of your partner, you are codependent.
- Codependents tend to view themselves as a failure if can't control everything or meet everyone's expectations. Women often expect to work 12 hours at a demanding job, make cookies and homework and the home spotless and sex their husband down like a $2 hooker every night. The failure aspect is a big one for women… my house should be clean, my children should be better behaved… I should I should. Lots of berating for not meeting some imaginary standard of perfection. Codependent women have little to no expectation of their men to pitch in and help.
- Codependents fear rejection and abandonment. Codependents go out of their way to structure their lives to be needed, so they become involved in every aspect of the lives of others. Not to be needed equates to abandonment in their eyes. Have you observed this yourself? I've seen it with women and their children and spouses. Now there is a natural letting go of children that should be taking place. Teaching your child responsibility and independent as your child heads into high school and college, he or she is fully prepared for adulthood. Should know how to balance a checkbook, clean a house, file a tax return, do laundry, cook, sew on a button, pay bills online, etc. By the age of 16 a child should know how to do those things independent of you. There seems to be a lot of need to hang onto children by mothers to keep children dependent so she continues to feel needed as these children grow up. Many women behave in similar ways towards neglectful, abusive men as well.
- Codependents do too damn much! The desire to be needed also plays out in the marriage… Husband yells from other room: "I can't find my socks!" Instead of telling him they are wherever you left them, she will drop what she is doing and run around and help him find his socks. She packs his lunch, irons his clothes, etc. She does all this caretaking for a grown man that needs to be doing those things for himself. It's fine if she chooses to do these things occasionally to be thoughtful, but she should not expect to do them because if she doesn't he is going to leave her. There is a big difference in motivation here.How often do women hear "If you don't do it, some other woman will!" If you don't do this freaky act, he'll get it somewhere else!" There is a lot of fear mongering going on, and the use in our society of fear to intimidate and control women and make them do what men want them to do. This is very common and I don't think a lot of women realize what is going on.
Category: Society and Culture