All posts tagged: loving relationships

What Does It Really Mean to Be ‘Codependent’?

What Does It Really Mean to Be ‘Codependent’?

According to the internet, it’s very possible that I am “codependent.” Do I try to fix the problems of my loved ones? Sometimes, yes. Am I sacrificing “who I am” in my relationships with my husband, children, and parents? If you put it in those terms, probably. Could the level of responsibility I feel for others be classified as “exaggerated”? Oof—maybe. To be codependent, according to some TikTok talking heads, advice columnists, celebrities, and mental-health advocates, is to care too much, try to control others, and be terrible with boundaries. Beyond that, diagnostic criteria can get a bit fuzzy. The support group Co-Dependents Anonymous offers a long list of traits, including being too submissive, too bossy, too sensitive, and too avoidant, and says on its website that “the only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy & loving relationships.” Meanwhile, the nonprofit Mental Health America says that codependency is another term for “relationship addiction”. This ambiguity exists in part because codependency is not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; nor has …