The pattern of co-dependency, like most other patterns, has its roots in developmental psychology. In fact, according to various psychologists, teenagers who are neglected by their parents and caregivers are often given to entering co-dependent relationships later in their life.
Taking stock of your boundaries, honestly assessing why you don’t use them enough and establishing an identity independent of your partner may be helpful, while you attempt to work with this pattern.
5. The Push-Pull
Have your relationships always felt super volatile? Did the emotional space in your relationships always seem fraught with danger and unpredictability? Has it always been about you wanting something while your partner wanted something else?
A “yes” would mean that you’ve been stuck in a push-pull pattern of relationship. You might have been the person wanting to pull away, needing your space. Or you may have been the one pushing to stay close to the person and get their needs of intimacy met.
Either way it’s natural if you felt less of a relationship and more of a tug of war. The psychology behind a push-pull dynamic is an extreme fear of intimacy on one hand, and a fear of abandonment on the other.
A question to ask if this theme seems familiar is, “Where have I experienced this in the past and what are the feelings lying beneath?”
Getting to know your patterns in romantic relationships may take some time, but once you do, you’ll see how close they are to what may have happened in your childhood and the growing up years.
Undoing any pattern takes patience and practice of a more functional new pattern to replace the old. And also being kind to yourself, remembering that you have been a certain person because you didn’t know any other way.