Codependency can develop in any form of relationship. There is co-dependency in marriages, friendships, work relationships, and even codependency with parents.
Codependency is an unhealthy attachment to another person emotionally, often leading to an unhealthy control cycle. If you have a codependent parent, there are so many ways their behavior can affect the person you are today. Codependency causes inner child wounds and can affect your ability to live a full and fulfilling life.
Let’s look at how having a codependent parent affects your life.
Effects of a codependent parent
Inability to make decisions
A codependent parent usually wants to control every aspect of the child’s life. They make decisions and simply shelter the child so much that they cannot make decisions. If a child dares to become independent and make a decision, codependent parents show them that their choice was wrong and that the parent’s way is the right way. One effect of a codependent parent is that it leads to adults that struggle with decision making.
When you have a codependent parent and it negatively affects your life, you grow up thinking that you don’t want to be like your parents. While this can be a good thing sometimes, other times it can lead to rebellion.
Children of a codependent parent that always sought to control usually rebel against any form of authority as they perceive it as control.
We are likely to parent the way we were parenting. This is especially if we don’t realize that we were parented wrongly and do not reparent ourselves before we become parents.
One main effect of codependent parents is that it is likely to make you a codependent parent as well. You find yourself doing things to your kids the same way your parent did.
Co-dependency leads to childhood trauma
If you had an overbearing, controlling, perfectionist parent, you may grow up into an adult that is afraid of making mistakes and constantly seeks perfectionism.
As a result, you develop so much anxiety from the trauma in your life. Another example is whereby you had parents that constantly made you feel guilty for your actions no matter how innocent you were.
As a result, you become self-critical, self-sabotaging, and people-pleasing due to the trauma created in your mind when you were a child.
Inability to form independent opinions and beliefs
A codependent parent does not want their child to become independent but to become little versions of themselves. From this grows an adult that cannot have independent opinions and beliefs.
They rely on the beliefs imposed on them by the parent and cannot take a stand or defend their opinions or beliefs.
Inability to maintain healthy boundaries
A child of a codependent parent is so used to the parent violating boundaries, that they have no idea how to maintain healthy boundaries.
They don’t know how to set boundaries about how far others can enter their space and often end up being doormats of other people.
They also don’t know how to read and recognize boundaries that other people set and tend to overstep their boundaries.
Codependent parents raise people-pleasing individuals who will do anything to be liked and to fit in. a codependent parent shows the child that they are only good when they meet the approval of the parent.
As a result, the child grows into an adult that is constantly seeking external validation. This person will people please at their own expense so that they can be approved of by others.
Inability to recognize unhealthy relationships
A codependent parent often involves too much neediness from the parent towards the child. The parent makes the child feel as if they should give unconditional love and devotion to the parent and should not question it.
Growing up with such a parent, the child turns into an individual that cannot detect red flags in a relationship. If certain behaviors were normal in their parental relationship, they perceive them as normal in their romantic relationships even when such behaviors are unhealthy and toxic.
Adults who can’t take responsibility for their actions
A codependent parent shows the child that they can’t do anything right and they have to be helped. As a result, the child grows into an adult that is always defensive. When accused or asked something, their first response is denial and to get defensive.
This affects the nature of relationships this individual creates as no one in a healthy relationship wants a partner that is not accountable and cannot take responsibility for their actions.
Adults develop co-dependency
If you were brought up by a parent that made you feel that you need each other to be happy, chances are that you will develop the same kind of co-dependency in your relationships.
You will attach yourself to people that you feel need you or feel that you cannot be happy alone and need to be attached to someone to be happy.
Adults with codependent relationships can develop unresolved anger which comes out as lashing out and projecting. Having a codependent parent makes one feel stifled and not have the freedom to express themselves.
They carry this anger well into their relationships and every time they are in a situation where they feel unheard, they tend to lash out or project their anger to the people around them.
Ruined parent-child relationships
To seek independence from a codependent parent, a person may detach themselves from the parent to a point of permanently damaging the relationship. Codependence can ruin families and so much more.
Conclusively a codependent relationship hurts a person’s wellbeing. I have written on how you can break codependency with parents.
Recommended books: How to break co-dependency/ reparenting yourself