Am I in a Codependent Relationship? What are the signs?
Everybody wants to be in a healthy relationship, but how do you know if your connection is positive? The best kinds of relationships are when people can depend on one another. They are interdependent connections. On the other hand, codependent relationships can be unhealthy and sometimes downright toxic. The question is: how do you know if you are in a codependent dynamic? Here are some of the signs.
One person’s needs matter more
A classic sign of codependence is when one partner has dominant needs. For example, you often hear of codependency in relationships with addicts. There’s a partner who is sober in the dynamic who enables their significant other. That person feels they need to take care of their significant other who has an addiction. The person who has the addiction makes their needs more of a priority to the individual who is supporting them.
In a codependent relationship, you will see one person enabling another. The reason for enabling is because that individual only feels like they are worth something if they’re fulfilling the needs of their partner. They don’t have inherent self-worth outside of the relationship. That is an unhealthy or toxic dynamic. It doesn’t have to be a dynamic between an addict and someone who is caring for that person. Codependency can happen in any relationship. A person who enables another individual to let their partner get away with toxic behavior and doesn’t set boundaries. That is detrimental for that individual and their significant other.
The relationship is dire
People in codependent relationships need one another. It’s different from wanting to be in a relationship than it is to feel like you can’t live without somebody else. Codependency can be dangerous for that reason. The people in the relationship don’t feel like they have identities outside of the connection. In reality, people have unique qualities, and it’s healthy for people to have friendships outside of their significant other. It’s unhealthy to be afraid to branch out from your relationship because you’re afraid of losing somebody.
Another aspect of codependency is people-pleasing. One person in the connection will do anything they can to please their partner to their detriment. They will sacrifice their needs so that they can make their partner happy. This is incredibly unhealthy and could create resentment within the connection. It can leave the person who is self-sacrificing feeling empty or like they don’t matter. That’s why codependency needs to be recognized and talked about in therapy.
How to deal with codependency
If you are in a codependent relationship, you don’t need to manage it alone. One way to cope is to talk about these concerns in therapy. It’s not necessary to go to therapy with your partner to handle codependent issues. In fact, it is helpful to see an individual therapist if you notice you’re in a codependent relationship. It’s crucial to make sure that you don’t do every single thing with your significant other. Your needs matter, and it’s essential to recognize the codependency is occurring so that you can talk about these issues. You might try searching the term “addiction therapist near me” if you’re a person who has problems with substance abuse. If you have substance-abuse or addiction issues and you want to get help so that you don’t end up in a codependent relationship again. That is a healthy goal, and there’s nothing wrong with seeking help. No matter what sort of relationship you’re in, the most important thing is to work on yourself so that you can be happy and healthy. Relationships are a wonderful part of life, but the most important thing that you can do for yourself is work on your mental health so that you can feel stable and secure.