Ready to Learn About the Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship?

At some point, many couples will feel as if something is out of balance in their relationship. It can feel as if something is tearing them apart, but they don’t know what that thing is yet. There are many types of relationships out there, and one that is being discussed more and more is the idea of a codependent relationship.

For most people, they hear the word codependent and relate it to being addicted to a substance or alcohol. Is it surprising to hear that relationships can be codependent, too? If you aren’t sure if you are in a codependent relationship or not, here are 5 signs that you could be.

You Give, They Take

In a dependent relationship, one person does the lion’s share of the emotional, financial, and physical work. Sometimes, it’s more nuanced, but take a long look at the state of your relationship: are you always cleaning up your partner’s messes? How much of your life revolves around trying to prevent a catastrophe or pick up the pieces? Having a one-sided relationship is one of the first telltale signs that a relationship is codependent. While relationships aren’t always 50/50, there still needs to be a balance in them.

Low Self-Esteem

Codependent folks tend to have low self-esteem. Are you worried about being alone if you were to leave your partner? Do you spend a lot of time on negative self-talk? It’s strange, but codependent people are often full of self-doubt despite being the caretaker in their relationship.

Codependence, in many ways, is the result of a crisis of self-worth. Maybe you were made to feel unworthy and you still struggle with that. Codependent people get their validation from the knowledge they are needed and the gratitude of the people they sacrifice for.

Lost Identity & Independence

When was the last time you spent time on a hobby of yours? How often do you go out with your friends, without your partner? In a healthy relationship, it’s important to maintain distinct social lives and identities from one another—but in codependent relationships, partners often end up tightly enmeshed. It’s blurry where one person begins and the other ends.

Poor Boundaries

One of the big signs you’re in a codependent relationship is a distinct lack of boundaries. How many times have you made an ultimatum, only to move the thin red line back a few feet? Do you find yourself compromising your morals in order to be with someone? If you’re canceling plans, stretching your finances, or getting up in the middle of the night on a regular basis to pull someone else out of their own fire, you might be codependent.

Conflict Avoidance

It’s good if you don’t ever fight, right? Right…? Maybe…but maybe not. In a codependent relationship, communication takes a back seat in the interest of avoiding difficult conversations or a possible blow up. The codependent’s low self-esteem causes them to self-censor and hide their true self, while their partner may feel resentment toward their codependent partner for exerting control over them, and expecting gratitude.

There’s hope!

If you are seeing the signs you’re in a codependent relationship, please reach out today. We can schedule a quick consultation to discuss the issues you’re facing in your relationship, and explore how couples or individual therapy can help you.

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