A codependent relationship is an unhealthy one. It refers to a scenario where one partner is completely dependent on the approval of the other for self-worth. Because you’re so reliant on this partner, you make some extreme sacrifices to satisfy their needs.
Anyone can find themselves in a codependent relationship. It is, however, believed that people who have emotionally unavailable parents are more likely to seek these kinds of relationship in their adulthood. When you spent most of your childhood trying to please a difficult parent, this cycle can continue. And soon you may find yourself in a relationship where you go to the extreme just to get love from a difficult partner.
Are you unable to find satisfaction outside of your relationship?
People in codependent relationships often put a lot of pressure on that partnership. Their identity and self-esteem are tied to how their partner makes them feel. They find it difficult to create diversified interests as their main purpose is to get their partner’s approval.
Do you stay in a relationship in spite of your partner’s unhealthy behaviour?
One big sign you’re in a codependent relationship is when you choose to stay despite being treated badly. You may be experiencing abuse, disrespect, unfaithfulness etc, but you find it difficult to walk out. You don’t know who you are outside of that relationship and that can keep you from making a healthy choice.
Do you show support to your partner at the cost of your own happiness and mental health?
Codependent partners show unwavering support for their significant other. It does not matter if it’s reciprocated or if they themselves are not in the right frame of mind. Their partner’s satisfaction is more important than theirs. They grew up in an environment where their needs were muted. As a result, they ignore what they require to be happy.
If you find yourself in a codependent relationship, your goal is to strive for independence and also to build other types of relationship. Broaden your cycle of support by spending time with family and friends. This can create anxiety at first mostly because you are not sure who you are outside your relationship. But you have to push through.
As for the relationship, you may also create boundaries and know what limits border on the extreme. In some cases, especially one where you’re being treated terribly, this means ending the relationship.
For more on fostering a healthy partnership, here are six signs your man does not respect you.
Featured Image via Tyler Perry’s Production