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Codependent to Interdependent with a Want Match!
Codependent behavior and patterns in relationships are no fun. They feel heavy and drama filled. I know because I grew up in a codependent household and spent 26 years in a codependent romantic relationship and marriage. Add to that, patriarchy is supported with and by codependency. Codependency is a pattern of behaviors that most of us practice from time to time. Which is why, when I work with clients, codependency, enmeshment, and boundaries (or lack thereof) almost always come up. All of this to say, this week’s podcast episode is for you.
This week on the show I introduce a simple concept that when practiced, sets your relationships up for interdependence. A healthy connection with those we love and care for without the dependence on them for our emotional state or self worth. Interdependence is what we are striving for in our relationships, whether it’s with our teens, our parents, our spouses, or our friends.
What is Codependency?
Let’s start with a definition of how I define codependency. If you think of the word, it’s being mutually dependent on each other. This may sound like a good thing but it’s not as it leads to feelings of responsibility and heaviness. I define codependency as being overly involved in someone else’s feeling state or life experiences. It’s that feeling I get when my son is upset about something and I physically feel it too. Or my husband is angry and I feel responsible. It feels heavy and emotionally charged.
Further, I recently heard of a definition from Female Wellness Empowerment Coach Victoria Albina. She defines codependency as:
Codependent thinking is a pattern of beliefs and behaviors where you prioritize the needs of others over your own in an attempt to source seek validation and worthiness from other peoples, places and things because you are so dramatically disconnected from your own capacity to do that, to create safety validation and worth, for yourself. This often leads to a lack of boundaries, difficulty saying no and a feeling of being responsible for other peoples happiness.
No matter how you look at it, codependency is not a goal to strive for in relationships. And yet, it is present in almost all relationships. This is the air we were raised in. Which is why I’m so excited to bring you the tool I speak of in this week’s podcast episode on the Love Your Life Show.
A Want Match
What is a want match. I heard of this term from my life coach, Brooke Castillo and while I doubt it’s something you’d find defined on google, a want match is a magical tool. A want match will help you step out of codependent behaviors and into interdependent patterns of behavior.
Simply put, a want match is when you’re in a relationship and both of your wants match up. You have a want match. For example, say I want to go out to dinner Friday night and my husband also wants to go out to dinner. We have a want match! Say I want to sit and discuss the latest Michelle Obama book and he doesn’t want to sit and discuss it? No want match.
Want Matches and Codependent Discomfort
In theory a want match is quite simple. However, as you’ll learn in the episode, because of our codependent conditioning, it will likely feel to your nervous system like you’re doing something wrong. Because of this, I highly recommend bringing your specific circumstance to your coach or your group coaching call so that you don’t create unnecessary drama.
Growth feels uncomfortable, in the same way when we go to the gym to build a new muscle, building the new muscle of interdependence feels uncomfortable at first. Lean on the group coaching or the coach to reinforce the message that nothing has gone wrong, you’re growing.
How to Set a Want Match
Listen in to the show because one of the best ways to de-condition yourself from codependent behavior is to hear real life examples. I give plenty in this week’s episode. The podcast will serve as a taste of the depth and growth you can have when you take the action to work one-on-one with me or enroll in my version of Adult School, my Midlife Monthly Membership.
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Books I recommend on Relationships and Codependency
Where can you practice this this week? Let me know. This is super important and strong and empowering work. I’m so excited for you to start practicing. Lets go warrior! You matter to me!!!