Some adults who did not feel safe or attached to their parents as children may have an ongoing struggle with insecurity in their relationships. They may feel uncertain of their attachment to others, worried about possible rejection, or afraid they will lose someone they love. When they find themselves with a partner who is abandoning or inconsistent (for whatever reason), they respond and behave in a fearful way. They may become hyper-vigilant, dwelling on the problems of the people they love, or angry, isolated, jealous, or focused on trying to change others. This is what is often labeled a “Codependency”.
Because codependency is often misunderstood, people are seeking a new way to describe this pattern of loss of oneself and difficulty with regulating emotions—one that does not have a stigma or cause shame.
Those who had a stable home life and secure attachment as children will navigate a problematic relationship better than those who feel insecure and unlovable for most of their lives.
Some adults feel somewhat insecure in all of their relationships. Some feel occasional insecurity when they are with an or unreliable lover or friend. When we are secure, we believe that we deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and consideration. When things are not going well, secure people do not get as anxious, agitated, angry, or obsessed when they experience a moment of separation or rejection; insecure most often people do. Anxiety is a normal emotional response and it is important to be mindful of it when it arises.
How do you become secure? It takes a while to learn to manage your reactions to the behaviors of those you love. When we feel secure, we will be able to calm ourselves without the use of substances or compulsive behavior. Then, we are able to approach our loved one from a place of security and make better choices for ourselves. In most situations, others do not have to change for you to feel secure. Seeking support can make the process of change easier and faster.
What you need to know:
It is normal and natural—not codependent—to seek the comfort of those we love when we are hurting and to feel anxious when we are separated or abandoned, regardless of the cause. Whether from addiction, mental illness, or chronic stress, fear changes our behavior in a way that is intended to protect and preserve our attachment to those we love.
Everyone deserves support to move towards becoming THE VERY BEST WE ARE MEANT TO BE!!