Sometimes it’s really hard to realize the difference between being really close to your partner and being in a codependent relationship.
Codependent relationships are very toxic in the long run and no one should tolerate that.
What is a codependent relationship?
There are different reasons why someone develops codependency on another.
Sometimes we view certain codependent behaviors as a way to express our love for our partner and of course, that’s from the way we were taught to love and what we deserve in a relationship.
Codependence can be defined as an unhealthy, dysfunctional, and toxic dependence on someone else.
Someone who’s codependent develops a need for constant approval for their actions.
Anyone can become dependent if they’re surrounded by toxic people who make you believe that you need help with making any type of decision in your life.
The good thing is that there are certain signs that you can spot if you are questioning whether you are in a codependent relationship.
The signs that you’re in a codependent relationship
1. You make extreme sacrifices
Relationships are not always comfortable and you will find yourself in situations where you have to make sacrifices.
The difference is that in a codependent relationship, you make extreme sacrifices in order to accommodate your partner.
You don’t feel like you can pursue everything you want in life simply because your partner wouldn’t like that or would even threaten to leave you.
It’s always easier to sacrifice your own plans, wants, and needs for him.
2. You never say, “No”
You never say, “No,” because it seems difficult and the environment of your relationship isn’t safe enough for you to openly deny him something.
All of his needs are met in your relationship, no matter what you might be thinking or feeling at that time, and you feel like he might leave you, get mad or make a scene if you refuse him something.
3. You are unable to find happiness outside of the relationship
Your relationship takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t even have the energy to pursue anything besides that.
You are so consumed by the need to be with your partner that you can’t find happiness outside of your relationship with him.
He might not even put limits on you, but codependency does not allow you to do anything if he’s not involved.
You revolve all of your activities around his schedule, and this is a huge sign of a codependent relationship.
4. You stay in the relationship even though it’s toxic
Toxic relationships are usually very hard to escape, but if codependency is added to the mix, it gets even harder.
You might constantly feel drained from the relationship.
You might feel neglected and unhappy, but you continue to stay because you need his approval.
You’ve tried leaving but he always guilt-trips you into believing that you won’t make it without him in this world.
Statements like these can be very triggering for your codependency, even at times when you feel brave enough to leave.
He is keeping you next to him for safe-keeping, instead of letting you find your own happiness.
5. You support him at the cost of your own happiness
He doesn’t even ask you about your opinion on a huge decision he’s making in his life but he still expects you to support him?
Your codependency makes you support him even though your mental health is often at stake.
You support him in his pursuits of a new career, friendships and everything else, but it takes its toll on you.
Of course, we’re all going to support our partner, as that is a basic need in a relationship.
The problem here is the fact that you are not even allowed to have an opinion on these matters, but rather support him blindly.
6. You don’t point out major issues
Whether it is his addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling, you are afraid to talk to him about it.
You are afraid of being accused of meddling in his life (even though you have the full right to do so) or even be threatened by him that he will leave you.
He doesn’t give you a safe space for you to openly discuss your opinions and the thought of him leaving you because of something you say is actually crippling.
That’s exactly why you don’t even try to point out these issues.
You feel like if he leaves you, you will be devastated and won’t know how to act from that point onward.
7. You constantly look for his approval
His opinion of you is the most important thing to you.
We all value our partner’s opinion of us, but a codependent person takes that to a whole new level.
You might even go as far as to buy clothes that only he likes, or change your hair and make-up just to accommodate his tastes.
How to heal from a codependent relationship
Healing from a codependent relationship isn’t the easiest thing to do, simply because you have relied on this person’s opinions and approval of you and everything you do for the longest time.
After realizing that you are or have been in a codependent relationship, you have to find a way to overcome it and heal from it.
Pay more attention to your own wants and needs
What do you want right this moment? What do you need to be happy?
These are questions that you might not ask yourself often enough, but they’re needed in order to realize that you are perfectly able to meet your own wants and needs instead of relying on someone else to do that for you.
You will need quite some time to tune into yourself.
You will probably need to work on yourself extra hard just to be able to recognize when you have certain needs.
You’ve been deprived of listening to yourself for a long time and now you really have to pay better attention and tend to those needs.
Leave your partner
Easier said than done, like everything else in life. Your partner has let you become so dependent on him that you have lost a huge part of your own self.
He has to understand your need for some alone time, which you need in order to become your own authentic person.
When you try to explain this to him and he still refuses to listen, you have an even clearer answer.
It’s time to leave. You have to stop sacrificing yourself for him and start living for yourself.
Set healthy boundaries
There is nothing more important for your own mental health than healthy boundaries!
Boundaries can make us feel selfish at times and not many people are used to that.
Selfishness isn’t always a bad thing though! Sometimes you need to say, “No,” to things in order to feel better and to have more stable mental health.
Boundaries are not set overnight and it is a long process that is quite hard to incorporate into your life, as you have been taught a completely different set of rules.
Be aware of your own worth
You are your own boss. You are the one who should be making all of your decisions.
He might have been the one to do that quite often until now, but it’s time for it to stop.
You are worthy of someone treating you like the strong and wonderful woman you are.
As a strong woman, it’s time to say goodbye to anything that doesn’t serve you anymore.
You are the one who defines your own worth, so don’t sell yourself short that easily.
Don’t give up
Don’t throw in the towel when you next feel lonely. You will have moments where you will need to depend on someone and that is just fine.
These are not setbacks of any kind. You are a human being, for goodness’ sake.
You shouldn’t just give up your own life for someone else and you don’t have to search for your own worth and meaning of life in someone else.
Your worth is not defined by a man and it will never be defined by him. You are your own person, so live your life just like that.
Codependent relationships can be a pain in the ass to get rid of, but you can do this! You will be free to do whatever you want.
Even in times when it gets tough, you have to push through to get to the other side.
You will be just fine. You will be happy and you will succeed in all the things you want to achieve.
A codependent relationship is not worth the misery.