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Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship and It’s Time to Fix It

Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship and It’s Time to Fix It

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?[1]

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.”[2]

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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 [3]

  • 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?[4]

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?

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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

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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.

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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

Reference

More by this author

J.S. von Dacre

Writer at Lifehack

Alert: If You Always Avoid Things You Fear, You May Have This Issue 10 Best Romance Movies That Reflect the Harsh Reality of Relationships Things Parents Do Unconsciously That Make Their Kids Become Codependent If You’re Overly Dependent, Probably It Is Due to the Scars of Childhood 90% of People Confuse Codependency with Intense Love. Are You One of Them?

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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