According to Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Best Marriage & Clinical Psychologist “Codependency in a relationship is a state in which two people are dependent on each other means they become so invested in each other that they can’t function independently anymore”. The dependent person often sacrifices his/her own personal needs to try to meet the needs of others. They have an extreme focus outside themselves. Their thoughts and actions revolve around other people, to please them, such as spouses or relatives. It also refers to a psychological construct involving an unhealthy relationship that people might share with those closest to them. This type of relationship is a kind of dysfunctional relationship in which one person is a caretaker, and the other person takes advantage. Codependent relationships can be commonly found among people with substance use issues. Typically, one partner who is a caretaker among them will take care of the other to the extent of enabling that partner’s addictive behavior. It is observed in studies that, the caretaker has been raised in a family with an addicted parent or family member and learned to placate that parent in order to make life easier for her and her siblings and later in adult age, if her partner is also the same then again plays the role of caretaker.
Sometimes also called “relationship addiction”, codependency is seen as an emotional and behavioral condition that influences a person’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. People with codependency are often seen in relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive, and dysfunctional.
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Warning Signs of a Codependent Relationship:
Lack of Boundaries:
Healthy boundaries are the foundations of healthy relationships. Having boundaries simply means that you respect your own and other person’s right to decide feelings and autonomy. It also means recognizing that you aren’t solely responsible for the happiness of other people. In a codependent relationship, people lack these boundaries, (physical, emotional, material, and time) people in both roles, tend to have problems recognizing, honoring, and reinforcing boundaries.
Typically, both the partners in a codependent relationship has not so good self-esteem. One person always needs the approval of the other or at least needs to be of service to the other to have a sense of purpose or belonging. The other person has low self-esteem due to having to depend on someone else to meet material or emotional needs and needing validation from that person.
Life Revolves around Partner:
One of the major red signs of codependency is sacrificing or ignoring your own needs for others. People with codependent personalities are often seen to attract partners who are emotionally needy or unstable. It runs into a cycle of giving and taking where you are always giving while your partner always takes. You may even start to feel that your life has no purpose or meaning outside of trying to fulfill your par terms needs or make your partner happy.
People pleasers often feel like in order to get love or acceptance they have no choice but to keep other people happy. They find it hard to say no, even when pleasing others substantially interferes with their own wants and needs. Whereas it’s normal to want or desire people to like you and to make them feel happy, especially loved ones, we should understand the difference between these normal tendencies and having to please others.
You are not able to communicate your needs and wants, you think if you convey something or demand something it will offend another partner or person. You find it hard to make other people hear you deeply.
Feel Disrespected Or Devalued:
The codependent person usually spends all their time and energy trying to love, help or change their partner. Their partners, in return, are enabled to continue their pattern of abuse or addiction. With time, you find yourself less respecting your own needs, you may lose your remaining self-respect. Things can escalate if your partner belittles your efforts or abuses you physically or emotionally.
Energy is down all time:
You always feel anxious and drained. Codependent people tend to give all their time and are left with nothing in the end. If you’re suffering from physical or emotional burnout and feel if you doing enough or not, there are chances that you’re in a codependent relationship. After some time in the relationship, you’ll start to neglect yourself, your work, your health physical and mental, and other important people in your life. Anxiety is found as the most common emotion when you’re in a codependent relationship. You could feel anxiety over your partner’s moods and behavior or about your own failings.
Too Afraid To Leave:
One of the final signs of a codependent relationship is that you have come to a point where you’re afraid to leave it. This could stem from a fear of not being able to help them, or fear of failure. You may feel that you’re “abandoning” your partner to suffer and they won’t survive if you are not there with them. If your partner is abusive, or drug/ alcohol addicted you could also have a legitimate fear of their reaction if you tried to leave. In both cases, the relationship is not a healthy one.
How do you know you need Couple counseling or Relationship Therapy?
You definitely need Relationship Counselling if you are
- Finding it hard to make decisions in a relationship
- Finding it hard to identify your feelings
- Finding it hard to communicate in a relationship
- Seeking the approval of others more than valuing your needs
- Lacking trust in oneself and having low self-esteem
- Fears of abandonment
- Having an unhealthy dependence on relationships, even at your own cost
- Having magnified sense of responsibility for the actions of others
Seek immediate help from a “Psychologist Near Me” if you are having any of the above issues.
How does Online Relationship Counselor help you in overcoming codependency?
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