Have you ever been in a relationship that seemed very one way? Perhaps one person was doing most of the giving and the other person was doing most of the taking?
One of the main signs of co-dependency is when someone’s sense of purpose revolves around their partner’s needs. It can leave them feeling trapped, undervalued or seeking the other person’s validation to feel complete. It is important to pay close attention as if left undetected, it can create long-term harm and prohibit the relationship from growing healthily.
What is co-dependency?
Experts say that co-dependency is a form of addiction hence it is also known as “relationship addiction”. It often stems from childhood if the child was forced to grow up too quickly due to the lack of proper parental guidance. As a result, the child may have taken on a parental role. As a result, in adulthood, they revert to that instinct of taking care of others.
Shawn Burn, PhD, a psychology professor at California Polytechnic State University said, “These kids are often taught to subvert their own needs to please a difficult parent, and it sets them up for a long-standing pattern of trying to get love and care from a difficult person.”
Co-dependency can also be a learned pattern passed down from generations, for instance, if someone witnessed one parent constantly pandering to the other. As a result, the child will eventually mimic a similar behavior when they form relationships as they grow older.
10 signs you’re in a co-dependent relationship 
- You invest a lot of time in trying to help your partner to change in a way that leaves you feeling drained.
- You are so sensitive towards your partner’s moods that it has an affect your own.
- Your partner’s needs always come first since he or she is your top priority.
- Despite your hard work, your efforts still do not feel like enough.
- You feel unfulfilled or undervalued in your relationship. Despite this, you feel unable to end it.
- In the past, you have been in relationships with addicts or in relationships that were physically, mentally or emotionally abusive.
- You feel responsible when your partner messes up.
- You give more love and care to your partner than yourself.
- You are frequently anxious, irrespective of if the relationship is having good or bad times.
- You rarely do things without your partner.
So what to do to break the co-dependency pattern?
Recognize your co-dependency behavioral patterns
Start being more aware of the things that you do that promote the co-dependency. Once you are able to identify these traits, you will be able to tackle them.
Do you always do all the housework with no help? Are you the one who makes all the telephone calls when anything needs to be sorted out?
Take some time to rediscover who you truly are
Co-dependency has its roots firmly embedded in low self-esteem. Start by seeking out more of the things you like doing. Consider it to be some much-needed “you” time.
Is there an old hobby that you could take up again? What things or activities generally leave you feeling happier.
Reconnect with family and friends to rebuild social ties and relationships
People who are co-dependant often fall into a pattern of isolating themselves and predominantly spending their free time with their partner.
When was the last time you have a girls’ or boys’ night out with your friends? How about a weekend visiting relatives without your partner?
Stop blaming yourself for the fault of the other person
Accept that it is not your fault for your partner’s shortcomings. They need to take responsibility for their own actions, as do you.
If your partner talks about quitting an addiction, it is their job to take the steps. You can only support them, but ultimately, it is their job to do the hard work.
If you still find it difficult to break the co-dependency pattern, seek counseling to completely solve any problems
Sometimes there could be a hoard of underlying issues that make it difficult to break away from co-dependency. Speaking to a therapist can help you undercover those problems and address them in a healthy environment.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com
|||^||Power of Positivity: 8 Signs You’re In A Codependent Relationship|
|||^||WebMD: Are You in a Codependent Relationship?|
|||^||Psych Central: 13 Warning Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship|
|||^||Drug Addiction Help: Tips to Help You Stop Being Codependent|