Codependent behaviors are often passed down through families. This means that somewhere in your past, you were either witness to or part of a codependent relationship. Through these situations, you were taught that it was wrong to express any needs, wants, or emotions.
- You may have spent portions of your childhood being called upon to meet the needs of others, which taught you as a child to suppress personal emotional and physical needs as you developed in favor of taking care of a family member.
- When you left this family environment, you may have continued this pattern within your own romantic and other relationships, which may then get passed on to your children.
- Consider if you have a history of abuse. Another common situation that leads to codependency is a history of abuse. In these situations, if you have been abused, you may become codependent as a way to deal with the trauma of the situation. You may suppress emotions and needs in these abusive situations in favor of focusing on other’s needs.
- This abuse may have happened during your childhood and continued without intervention from your family. This can also happen in codependent familial relationships.
- This can be emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.