Love is the subject of many songs and films, creating a culture in which people are driven to make relationships the most important thing in life. For some people, being in love or having relationships isn’t rewarding. Instead, it is full of drama, turbulence and unpredictability. This may be due to codependency. Codependency is excessive psychological dependence on a partner — often a partner who requires much more time or support than most people because of illness or addiction. If you are codependent, you stay in relationships that are unhealthy and you tend to repeatedly lose yourself in troubled relationships. Codependent behavior is putting most or all of your focus on the other person, which allows you to avoid focusing on your own life. Here are some movies that display classic codependent behavior examples: “Sid and Nancy” portrays the destructive love affair between real-life bassist Sid Vicious of the band the Sex Pistols and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. When Sid became involved with Nancy, his own drug addiction spiraled wildly out of control. The movie tragically portrays the compulsion of these two addicts to be together in spite of how clearly destructive the relationship was to both of them as individuals. “When a Man Loves a Woman” portrays a woman’s alcoholism, and also her husband’s codependency. In this movie, the husband is comfortable in his role taking care of everything while his wife is an active alcoholic, but has a difficult time adjusting to his changed role when she gets sober. “Bastard out of Carolina” is a tragic story of a woman whose unhealthy dependence on her husband compels her to put her relationship before her daughter’s well-being. The mother remains in a relationship with a man who has difficulty maintaining steady employment and is abusing her daughter both physically and sexually. Yet the mother repeatedly forgives him and believes his promises not to repeat the behavior. These are only a few of many movies which portray the negative consequences that codependents and their loved ones can experience when they don’t get help for their compulsion to remain in troubled relationships.
Co-Dependents Anonymous: Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence http://coda.org/index.cfm/meeting-materials1/patterns-and-characteristics-2011/