Five signs you’re in a co-dependent relationship.
Co-dependent people give all their energy and time to others, without making space for their needs. Worse still, your own mood starts to depend on how your partner behaves and stops reflecting your own true feelings. Here are some of the behaviours to look out for.
You can lean towards being a control freak.
Co-dependents often have a strong urge to control their partner’s behaviour. This can look benign, such as trying to help and fix problems, doing tasks for them, waiting on them, excessively caring for them. But it can also look like you are making all the decisions in the relationship, monitoring your partner’s movements, and speaking for them, without their permission.
You enable their bad behaviour.
Co-dependent people can find themselves justifying or supporting their partner’s potentially harmful or dangerous choices. You might take responsibility for their actions or feelings. You might use your time and energy to cover up for them. Even when all you want to do is support your partner, enabling them to continue with their choices is ultimately not going to be as helpful as you might think.
You struggle to show you feel.
Co-dependent people can find it incredibly hard to express their emotions in a healthy way. They tend to suppress their feelings or resort to using passive-aggressive language and behaviour to communicate what they need – both of which are tactics that really don’t work so well.
You have low self-esteem.
Co-dependent individuals will typically have low self-esteem and can feel as if they don’t deserve the love and attention that they crave. Without that inner self-belief, they can look to others for validation and that can tip them into a nasty cycle of neediness and dependence.
You neglect your own needs.
Co-dependents will usually put their partner’s needs ahead of their own. There’s nothing wrong with doing that occasionally. But when you start to neglect your friends, or you stop doing the things you like to do, and you don’t make time for your own self-care you need to look at your choices and re-assess.
Does any of that sound familiar. If so, let’s talk about it. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free 10-minute call.