You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never know dear how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
I’m sure the majority of those reading this post has either had someone sing that song to them or they have sang that song to someone. It was first recorded in 1939 and written by Jimmie Davis a Louisiana governor. Although the song appears to be adorable, sweet and loving, it is also laced with fear of rejection, fear of abandonment and co-dependency. Let me share a few more versus from the song.
I’ll always love you and make you happy
If you will only same the same
But if you leave me and love another
You’ll regret it all some day
You told me once dear, you really loved me
And no one else could come between
But now you’ve left me and love another
You have shattered all of my dreams
Now do you see the ‘dangers’ that this song implicates?
Before I go any farther, let me share with you what Mental Health America says about co-dependency. MHA states that co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as the ‘relationship addiction’ because people with co-dependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. The disorder was first identified about 10 years ago as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics and drug addicts. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.
Wheww, I know that was an eyeful; however, I felt it important that I share that explanation with you. From this explanation, you can see that co-dependency does not just happen. It is a LEARNED behavior. It begins in our childhood and if not corrected will bleed into our adult relationships.
As children, we depend on our parents/caregivers for shelter, food and clothing. We also depend on them for love, support and acceptance. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. That’s normal. However, it’s when a parent’s life ‘revolves’ around the child and vice versa does this become dangerous. When a parent answers a child’s every cry and works out every problem, it sets that child up for disappointment. It teaches the child that someone else is ‘responsible’ for them. They LEARN co-dependent behavior. Then they take this learned behavior into their adult relationships.
According to the American Bar Association, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically abused by their intimate partners every year. I’m sure those numbers are much higher than that as most people don’t report such abuse. This type of behavior is common in a codependent relationship. You have one that plays the role of the ‘addicted’ and one that plays the role of ‘co-dependent’. We tend to make excuses for the behavior. He/she hit me because he/she loves me. He/she hit me because I mad him/her anger. We have ‘learned’ dependency and to accept this type of treatment.
It is not until we become intimate with ourselves that we see the danger(s) of co-dependency. We MUST learn to love ourselves enough to leave these types of relationships. It’s great to love and care for someone, but not at the expense of losing yourself in the relationship. You can’t truly love another until you have learned to love yourself. Besides no one finds needy, clingy, smothering attractive.