Bringing Balance to Our Families {Linkup and Giveaway!}

TrustintheLord

I was raised in your standard, run-of-the-mill dysfunctional home. I didn’t know it at the time, but in my family of origin codependency abounded!

Some people make the mistake of assuming that you can only be “codependent” if there’s an addict who is “dependent” upon drugs or alcohol in your family. But codependency happens whenever there is a strong and long-standing pattern of imbalance or unhealthy devotion {like an “idol”} in a family’s relational pattern.

In other words, if your father was a workaholic like mine was, then codependency probably developed, shaping the way your family related to that person and to each other. If there’s any habit—even if it’s a good one like “being hardworking” {like my dad}—that is allowed to get out of balance and create a drain or strain on the family, in time, codependency will develop. Another way that codependency develops in families is when longstanding hardship or a trauma has occurred.

[Tweet “It’s easy to see why codependency impacts just about every family who’s lived in our broken world!”]

Here are some other markers of a codependent family …

They’re too enmeshed or close to other family members

or

They’re too independent or disconnected from other family members. Or a mixture of the two!

I’ve studied codependency for many, eh-hem, MANY years—examining and challenging my own codependent ways of thinking and relating that developed in my childhood. I’m still not nearly as “healthy” as I’d like to be, but I’ve learned new and healthier ways to relate in my current family that have brought healing to my life, marriage and family.

One of the books that I would recommend on this subject is Break Through by Tim Clinton and Pat Springle.  I’d like to giveaway a copy of this book to a randomly chosen winner that also lives in the U.S. or Canada {Comment by midnight CST on Thursday, Nov. 13th}. All you have to do is comment on any of the questions below …

 

What was out of balance or an “idol” in your family growing up? 

 

In what ways would you like to have a “break-through” in your life or marriage from the ghosts of your past? 

 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Mt. 6:21

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other …” -Mt. 6:24

 

I’d also like to give a shout out to the top two most clicked links in last week’s linkup …

1. Ngina’s post – When Your Heart Bleeds for Marriage and How You Can Help {Ngina and her husband are raising funds to do a marriage retreat for pastors back in their native Kenya. I hope you’ll consider donating to such a worthy cause! You can find out the details on this at the link.}

2. Hannah’s post – The Benefits of Family Rhythms {Hannah is new to the linkup and I’m so excited to have another life-coach in our line up! I  hope you’ll stop by her place this week and make her feel welcome!}

In fact, I do hope you’ll visit either the person before or after you in the linkup OR that you’ll choose one or two blogs to visit that have an eye-catching title to their post. And as many of you know, I try to visit the blogs of those who comment here. So if you’d like me to visit your place, please leave a comment and I’ll try to make it happen!

 


 

Joining with my friends at  Works for Me Wednesday,  Wifey Wednesday,  Coffee and Conversation,  Wholehearted Wednesday,  Whimsical Wednesday,  What You Wish Wednesday, Simply Said Mom and Essential Fridays.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Grab our WW Button Code here!

Messy Marriage

And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find Wedded Wednesday, the more traffic I can send your way!

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  • Thanks for hosting and for always transparently sharing your heart for the benefit of your readers!
    Blessings!
    ~Candy

  • Wow, powerful stuff!

    I can’t really speak to the dysfunctionality that surrounded my childhood. It’s something I don’t talk about, and have tried very hard to forget. I have no “childhood mementoes”, and do not feel the lack. It wasn’t a good time.

    Without being specific, I can say that my childhood made me very suspicious of motive, and more than a bit ready to withdraw from aspects of a relationship.

    I can build up a skein of trust in a relationship, and as long as nothing really dreadful happens, it does get stronger. But if it’s broken, there’s no way I’ll truly trust that individual’s motives again. It’s unfair; a withholding of grace.

    The good thing is that I know enough about human nature that I can allow quite a bit of leeway, and it does take something major to destroy trust. And I can remain courteous, and committed to the relationship’s survival, even if its heart has been lost.

  • Well, I LOVED my dad so much and I depended so much on him for affirmation. When he passed, I began looking for that in other men… But Jesus has changed all of that.
    Thanks so much Beth for another enlightening post and for hosting us too.
    Have a super blessed day!
    Love

  • These words were informative and powerful today. I have never studied co-dependency before but I do believe that it exists in many homes. Learning that co-dependency is a long-standing pattern of imbalance or healthy devotions is a new thought for me. I always just thought that I was never affected by co-dependency.

    I would like to make a breakthrough in fully understanding my marriage and pinpoint the breakdowns to understand my role better in its final days.

    Love how you teach me! Hugs and blessings!

  • I don’t know really what was co-dependent in my family growing up. My parents were pretty balanced and the little things I could say were wrong was really “me” and my fault. My parents have been a wonderful example and still are as I am blessed to still have them in my life at 92 and 93 and both sounding the same as ever when I talk on the phone with them. My current family has more issues than I would care to share!! We need the grace of God daily!! I am so blessed to have weathered the storms with my dearest friend of 35 years. We have survived a LOT that too often breaks up a marriage and now we have been rebuilding anything of the chinks. I would really love this book but more because I need healing for some very difficult years we have lived through.

  • Yes yes yes! So glad you are bringing these things to light lady! I grew up in a home with the typical codependency, alcoholism and today’s more modern imbalances of workaholic parents. And I’m happy to report I am able to find a proper balance with my own family and don’t deal with these particular issues. But alas, we all have the struggle of finding proper balance in this world. Thanks for the great reminder today! (And don’t enter me into the giveaway, let that awesome book go to someone who needs it!.) . xoxo

  • Oh Beth, thank you for highlighting the conference! I am so blessed by you and your support!
    A very strict upbringing had me believing that I was only accepted when I was performing..so i had i a very warped understanding of what love and acceptance and success were all about. I thank God He’s change me and continues to! Yet another great post, thank you for continuing to equip us all.

  • Your first line made me chuckle…standard, run of the mill dysfunctional home… simply because I came from one of those homes too! I always marvel at those who claim they do not know what “codependence” is. I think I was the poster child. The book that changed my life was Robert McGee’s “Search For Significance.” because my issue was insecurity and insignificance (which is what my blog is about today!). Thanks for sharing and hosting.

  • Beth- thank you for hosting! I too have a live link up going on, plz come by and add your links also 🙂

  • Pam

    Love this, Beth…from one ‘work in progress’ to another. xoxox Pam

  • Wow! Those are some deep questions, Beth…and not the sort than can be fully answered in a couple of brief sentences.

    I think one of the hurdles in dealing with childhood dysfunction is simply the difficulty in being able to see it (yes I’m speaking largely from personal experience). We have a natural tendency to see our own family of origin as ‘normal’ simply because it was the normal under which we developed our perspective of the world and our sense of self. Then, even in those areas where we are able to recognize some level of imbalance or situations that caused us pain, we are quick to excuse it. Sometimes the excuses are even justified…after all none of us are perfect and it doesn’t make sense to expect our parents to be perfect.

    However, the dysfunction really has nothing to do with whether the stress was ‘normal’ or ‘justified.’ It has to do with our emotional response, our emotional health (or lack thereof) and how we interelate with others…especially other family members.

    My family of origin has some pretty strange dynamics at times. My siblings are all good people whom I’m very proud to be a part of, but yes, it’s sometimes a little bizarre when we all get together. Part of the dynamic is simply the number of children (sixteen of us). One-on-one time with parents was virtually non-existent. Consideration of any one child’s preferences in making decisions was virtually non-existent.

    To this day, it’s difficult for me to express these things without feeling a bit guilty and selfish for even thinking I should have had more one-on-one parenting time, or that my feelings and preferences should have sometimes been part of the decision-making process.

    Anyway you look at it, it is part of what shaped me. Some of those lessons were very healthy…some not so much…

    But God is good…and He continues to lead me and love me! 🙂

  • Thanks for hosting. And thank you for writing on codependency. I grew up in a home where my mom’s work was more important than family, and on top of that she was/is very manipulative. I actually did end up using drugs and alcohol for many years, and while I take full responsibility for my choices, I know that had I had a healthier family life, I may not have went that route. I am trying very hard to have healthy relationships with my children and husband although at times it is hard. Thanks again for sharing!
    -Miranda at http://rahabtoriches.com/

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  • Hefty stuff here, friend. We’re always learning, aren’t we …

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