Love is a beautiful thing. Sweet and scintillating especially when two people who genuinely love each other come together in a union. However, there are instances when this love is abused and destroyed by demands that are practically impossible.
Consider a case of two people with dysfunctional personality traits who form a marriage. What comes to mind is probably chaos. But, it may not be exactly chaos. And that’s how codependent relationships are introduced.
What happens in codependency is a case of one person or partner sacrificing more for the sustenance of the relationship than the other.
And, in most cases including romantic relationships, one partner demands excessive attention and psychological support, which is likely coupled with an existing illness or addiction fueling the dependency.
Codependent relationships are not suitable for anyone
Couples get into it because either one or both have a dysfunctional personality trait which in the end makes both lives even worse.
A classic example of a codependent relationship is the case of people involved with narcissists. Such people will drain themselves giving and giving, which never matures to satisfaction because the other partner keeps shifting goal posts and making unrealistic demands.
The end effect is the victim is wholly burned out.
A healthy relationship provides a case where there’s a balance between the ability of each partner’s independence and need for mutual help.
The moment that balance is swept off, things get messy. So, what would suggest the existence of a codependent relationship?
Below are our top 4 telltale signs that you are likely in codependency:
1. You have a strong need to want to ‘fix’ your partner
The only way to know or test if this is happening to you is to watch out for the following:
- You make all the sacrifices to support your partner
- You have a strong feeling that you lost yourself and in need of the approval of your partner to feel whole.
When you notice the above becoming your daily life, it should ring a bell in your mind as to codependency.
Healthy relationships thrive on trust, mutual respect and honesty among the partners in the union.
In a codependent case, a partner or both have personalities that drive them to be people-pleasers. They only feel thrilled by helping others or sometimes adorning thoughts that they can fix others.
Codependency will drive one to the extremes of not being able to take care of themselves and instead care for others, or, convince them that their self-worth is tied to them being needed.
2. You start filling in the gaps as your partner pulls back
It’s very easy to predict the existence of codependency in a relationship when you see a partner trying to take on the responsibility to connect and keep in touch.
This commonly presents itself when one partner pulls back or withdraws his time, effort and care they ought to give, forcing the other partner the victim of codependency to go an extra mile and work very hard to fill in the gaps so that the relationship stays.
Immediately, the relationship shifts to an unhealthy direction which is codependency.
3. You sacrifice and lose all your boundaries
Boundaries are indeed very healthy to have across all spheres of life. However, to the codependent person, it probably is a very unholy word they cannot condone.
One trait that’s common among codependent people is that they no boundaries.
They are overly concerned and responsible for others. Such people may put on a strong face, but the problem is their lack of boundaries. They throw away everything that relates to them and put on the other’s shoe.
They are okay to be disrespected because they value another’s story than their course and are ready to drop all their boundaries. Codependent people either have no boundaries or are ignorant about the need to have firm boundaries even to the people they care about.
If you find yourself in this pack, you are surely in the codependency trap.
4. You are constantly in need to ask for approval for almost every little thing
According to Catenya McHenry, author of “Married to a Narcissist,” being constantly in need to ask for permission or approval from your relationship partner to do basic everyday things and have a strong feeling that you can’t make even a simple decision without consulting with your partner, shows very convincing signs of codependency.
One way to assess yourself is to check your confidence levels before and after the union started. If there’s a mismatch and you find that you are full of doubts about yourself, self-worth and can’t make decisions, there’s a significant likelihood of codependent relationship in your marriage.
Also, if even after breaking up with a controlling partner you still feel and believe you need them, then you are in codependency.
The above are strong indications of codependency.
However, codependency expresses itself in many ways that some people may not realize when they are in one. Below is an additional brief list of states that should hint you about being in a codependent relationship.
- You feel you don’t have an independent life
- You have lost contact with your family or people who were previously of great importance to you and are not moved over a long period
- You are constantly looking for reassurance over every little aspect about you from your partner
- Your partner has unhealthy habits, and you join them or entertain it for own reasons
Codependency is an awful state and is not recommended for anyone. Breaking away from it requires that you are first aware of how it manifests. The above is an excellent place to start assessing your relationship.
Adios and happy relationships.