Codependent? Maybe not …

Codependent? Maybe not …

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Whenever we lose a relationship, romantic or otherwise, most of us can look back and see the moment when we knew it was over. There may have been a lot of little things that led up to that moment, but they all boiled down to one incident, one point where we knew.

In my marriage, that incident took place 5 years in. Twenty years later, I can still recount it in detail. It was the moment in which I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my ex didn’t love me. I stayed married for another 15 years, partially because I thought I had to, but mostly because I didn’t want to give up.

In a friendship that recently fell apart, the incident is still relatively fresh and raw. I can also recount it in detail, and I imagine I always will. It was the moment when I knew that, even if we remained friends, it would never be the same. We didn’t, but it was her choice, not mine. I didn’t want to give up.

The term codependent has been thrown around a lot since it was coined back in the 80’s. When we stay in a relationship too long … when we can look back and see all of the reasons we should have left way before we did … we often decide we’re codependent. There must be something wrong with us if we stayed with someone who didn’t meet our needs, giving them chance after chance, hoping that maybe this time, they’d change.

But when we are patient and kind with the people close to us, when we keep no record of wrongs, when we forgive all things and bear all things, it often has a simpler name … love.

Christ forgives me much on a daily basis, puts up with my stubbornness and my impatience, and lovingly draws me as close as I am willing to come. It makes no earthly sense for Him to do so. I have failed Him a million times, and yet if I am willing to change, He doesn’t give up on me. And then He commands me to show the same love to others.

Granted, there are times when loving does cross the line into codependency. There are times when a relationship has become so toxic that the only healthy thing you can do is get out. I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone stay in an abusive situation, and I’m not saying that healthy boundaries should not be enforced. If you’re having trouble with that, contact us.

But if we’re hanging on longer than others think we should, it doesn’t always mean that there is something wrong with us. It might just mean that we are loving others as Christ loved us.

Blessings … Cindy

Cindy grew up in rural NY and Ohio. She spent almost 30 years as an RN in a major children’s hospital before God called her to change direction and pursue a degree in Christian counseling. She is a Certified Temperament Counselor and Certified Pastoral Counselor.

Cindy home-schooled her five children, all adults now, and currently lives on a farm in West Tennessee.


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