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Is Your Relationship Draining You? 5 Signs of Codependency

These are the main signs of codependency you need to watch out for!

Finding the right balance in a relationship means a lot of work, but as soon as you achieve it, you will easily see how rewarding it is. But this is a challenging journey, and sometimes your relationship can be disrupted by various factors, such as codependency.

We all want to be close to our partner, and this closeness is seen as something good most of the time. Unfortunately, things become more complicated because of this, and one question arises beneath all of these uncertainties: How do you know when there is a problem and too many clones become something damaging?

For this, it is advised by therapists to understand the true nature of codependency, as this is the only way to see how it affects your relationship and get true insight. Read on and discover the main signs of codependency.

What is codependency in a relationship?

A codependent relationship has no boundaries, and both partners rely on the approval of one another in an excessive way. This dissolves any sense of identity, and your emotions depend on your partner and vice versa.

Any sense of identity is sacrificed, and in the end, this will only damage the relationship. Imagine it as a tangled web that needs to remain that way because that is the only way it gets support.

Also, another danger of this type of relationship is that most of the time, one person takes on the caregiver role, and the other person becomes the receiver, creating a vicious cycle of codependency.

Now, let’s see some easily recognizable signs of codependency.

signs of codependency
Photo by ArtMari from shutterstock.com

1. The sheer thought of breaking up scares you

First of all, we need to mention that the fear of separating from your significant other is a normal feeling for any human being. But when you are in a codependent relationship, this is, for sure, your worst nightmare.

If you feel like your relationship is the only thing that keeps you alive and gives you a sense of meaning, this is a huge red flag that signals that you are part of a codependent relationship. When your self-worth is strongly tired of this dynamic, this is easily one of the signs of codependency.

When you enter into a relationship, you should enter as a whole person. Also, while the relationship keeps developing, you need to remain a whole person. Yes, you will share many things with your partner, but in the end, you are a separate individual.

When you worry excessively about losing your partner and feel like your life is over in case you break up, this is for sure because you are part of an unhealthy relationship. You both should grow together, but in separate ways.

2. There is a one-person show

What do we mean by this? At their core, romantic relationships are a dance where both partners give and take anything from resources to emotions. When this dynamic gets disrupted and one person becomes the center of attention, this might be one of the signs of codependency.

Balance is essential, and even if it’s true, sometimes one person needs more attention, and maybe the roles reverse. Conversely, when there is only one person who needs attention and care constantly, this is not healthy.

One person who dominates the emotional landscape of your connection is in great imbalance and consumes all the energy and focus. One person always gets their needs met while the other just gives without taking anything in return, which is a recipe for disaster. Most of the time, this is not something you notice immediately, but over time, the effects will be disastrous.

3. Honest communication is difficult

Speaking of signs of codependency, when you have a role in such an unhealthy dynamic, communicating your needs and complaints smoothly and comfortably is most of the time impossible. This is how relationships are born, and this lack of honest communication is a trademark of codependent relationships.

So, the fear of expressing true feelings and thoughts is one of the biggest signs of codependency. This fear is not welcomed in a healthy relationship, and once it is present in yours, things are clear.

The fear of disapproval and rejection is not part of a good dynamic, and over time, this lack of audacity can distort your sense of self. Most of the time, the codependent partner tries to mold themselves in a way that is suitable for their partner’s mold, and this is how they lose themselves.

Open communication is one of the most important factors in a good and lasting relationship, and when this is missing, it is easy to see that you and your partner might not be the best for each other.

signs of codependency
Photo by fizkes from shutterstock.com

4. Taking alone time seems scary

In any relationship, prioritizing self-care from time to time is perfectly normal, but if you feel like this is something wrong or forbidden, this might be one of the signs of codependency. This dynamic can create the idea that being away from your partner, even for just a few days, is bad, and this is how many people give up on their dreams.

When you are in a codependent relationship, this idea of “me time” can become a sign of betrayal. It might be portrayed as a selfish act that devastates your partner, so it is something you should never do. After all, we all want our partners to feel good about us and around us, right?

You might feel pressured to always put their well-being first at your own expense, and in time, this can become incredibly overwhelming. There are more signs of codependency regarding this guild, and some of them might manifest as avoiding scheduling activities you enjoy or feeling a lot of guilt for prioritizing your happiness.

5. Feeling like you’ve lost your independence

When was the last time you decided on your own? This is a good question that helps you recognize this as one of the signs of codependency, and we are not talking just about big decisions. Many times, the lines get so blurred that even basic decisions become something you need to discuss with your partner about them.

When you are not able to make choices by yourself or when your partner is not able to do that, this need for validation is caused by a fragile sense of self-worth. At first, this need may manifest in small ways, such as not being sure about what to order for dinner.

In a healthy relationship, your partner should be your confidante, not the one who makes the decisions for you, and this also works the other way around. Codependency can easily blur the lines between shared support and a lack of independence.

Do you know any other signs of codependency? Share them in the comments and tell us your story.

If you want to learn more about the signs of codependency and how to stop being codependent this book might help: Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself (Original Edition)

You should also read: 5 Signs of Powerful Chemistry You Can’t Ignore

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