Is Codependency impacting your Relationship?

Is Codependency impacting your Relationship?

Many of us have strong bonds with those who battle drug dependency. It could involve a friend, parent, spouse, or child. Our love for the dependent person can cause us to become codependent. When we make an effort to control the person’s behavior in reaction to their actions, this happens. Although they can become highly detrimental, codependent behaviors typically go unnoticed. They could make the codependent addiction worse and make it harder for them to have a happy life.

Do you think you might have codependent habits? If so, learning about codependency is your first step toward a happier life. This knowledge can help your dependent loved one too. Changing your habits may help them get healthy.

What is codependency?

Relationship dependency, also known as codependency, happens when one person thinks they have to “rescue” another by attending to each of the demands. A codependent person takes over a selfless attitude in the relationship and bases their entire identity on it.
Codependency may affect both codependent individual and their loved ones. The relationship can deteriorate or become unpleasant. When you prioritize your partner’s needs over your own, you may experience feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, or stress. Worse, you may come to accept verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. Furthermore, if a relationship terminates or goes through a tough period, you may lose self-worth as a result of how closely you are tied to your partner.
On the other hand, your spouse may not seek therapy for diseases you tolerate, such as substance abuse, gambling addiction, or an eating disorder. Instead, kids become more dependent on your care. In other cases, the spouse may call you “clingy” or dismiss your attempts to assert control over them. Persons with codependent tendencies often struggle to maintain good, meaningful relationships.

What are the signs?

Codependency manifests itself in various ways, but the emphasis on others remains constant. The codependent is too concerned with the actions and feelings of others. They overlook their own needs in the process. The codependent is continually reacting rather than acting on their behalf. Common signs of codependency include:
• Worry and anxiety
• Bending over backwards to take care of others
• Not knowing or not trusting one’s feelings
• Feeling guilty for not doing enough
• Feeling isolated or depressed
• Staying in bad relationships (or sabotaging good ones)
• Trouble with emotional intimacy or sex
• Workaholism
• Lack of energy
• Low self-esteem
• Family dysfunction
• Poor boundaries
• Dysfunctional communication
• Controlling and obsession
• A tendency to confuse love and pity
• Fixating on mistakes

Codependent vs. Interdependent behavior

• The codependent person has no hobbies and only does what their partner does.
• The codependent partner always does the household chores and takes the blame if they’re not completed.
• The codependent person keeps their partner’s gambling addiction a secret and pays off their debts.

Interdependent behavior
• Each person maintains separate hobbies while also having shared interests together.
• Both partners look for ways to contribute to the household.
• Each partner encourages the other to address problems, such as addiction, without enabling the behavior.

Codependence vs. Dependence

It is critical to distinguish between relying on another person, which may be a positive and desirable attribute and destructive codependency. Here are some instances that demonstrate the distinction:
• Two people rely on each other for support and love. Both find value in the relationship.
• Both parties prioritize their relationship but can find joy in outside interests, other friends, and hobbies.
• Both people can express their emotions and needs and find ways to make the relationship beneficial for both of them.

• The codependent person feels worthless unless they are needed by — and making drastic sacrifices for — the enabler. The enabler gets satisfaction from getting every need met by the other person. The codependent is only happy when making extreme sacrifices for their partner. They feel they must be needed by this other person to have any purpose.
• The codependent has no personal identity, interests, or values outside of their codependent relationship.
• One person believes that their wants and needs are insignificant and will not express them. They may have difficulties identifying their own emotions or needs.
• Codependency may exist between one or both parties. Their undivided attention to this one person may jeopardize other relationships, their work, and their daily tasks.

Changing unhealthy behavior in a codependent relationship

Both persons in a codependent relationship might fall into behavioral patterns that support a one-sided dynamic. Essentially, one person is constantly selfless, while the other becomes habituated to being coddled. This dynamic may be changed by modifying your codependent behavior. The path to a more self-sufficient living entails:
Tip 1: Support instead of control
In a healthy partnership, two people help each other. Listening to a friend who is depressed or taking on extra household responsibilities when a significant other is unwell are examples of this. However, problems may develop if you try to control or manage rather than support. Make it a habit to ask yourself during interactions, “Am I striving to support or manage?” Recognize that you cannot control other people, even if you feel you do.

Tip 2: Separate your desires from your partner’s
It’s not uncommon for two friends or romantic partners to share the same aims and interests. Perhaps you both desire children or to relocate to another state. However, if you make a practice of pretending to want or like something merely to please the other person, you will almost certainly be dissatisfied. Make a list of your common goals and activities with your spouse. When your desires differ, whether they be for different TV shows, hobbies, or future goals and objectives, you may have to compromise. Recognize that compromise is preferable to continually agreeing to things you don’t want. You might spend some time with each other’s interests, or you could agree to pursue specific objectives and pastimes separately.

Tip 3: Focus on yourself
Some codependents feel guilty about scheduling “me time.” Perhaps you feel that visiting friends or having a day off instead of attending to your partner is selfish. If this is the case, you should rethink your definition of “selfishness.” In moderation, it can be healthy. Put time and effort aside for your objectives and requirements keeping this in mind.
• Take time to relax, especially after accomplishing a difficult task.
• Engage in things you want to do, even if it’s a solo activity such as reading a book.
• Practice saying “no” to requests that could leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Tip 4: Challenge negative thoughts
Identifying anxious thoughts, or cognitive distortions can come in many forms. Some examples include:
All-or-nothing thinking means a tendency to oversimplify things and overlook the middle ground.
Mistaking personal feelings for truth. “I feel guilty for not washing the dishes. My partner probably thinks I’m lazy.”
Expecting the worst-case scenario. “If I tell her I disagree, she’ll get mad and never talk to me again.”
Self-blaming for factors outside of your control. “It’s my fault he ended up driving drunk tonight.”
Using “should” statements to set imaginary rules. “I should be there to manage his finances.”
Filtering out positives. “He’s happy with this relationship now, but he’ll leave when someone else comes along.”
Labeling yourself based on shortcomings. “I didn’t want to exercise with her today, so I’m lazy and bored.” Practice identifying these types of thoughts when they arise. Then, take a moment to challenge them.

Do you want to identify your traits leading to codependence? Relationship experts at can help you. Download the app now.

Dealing with someone who’s codependent

If you’re in a relationship with a codependent, you may feel overwhelmed by their undivided attention. You may feel as if you are constantly in the limelight. Perhaps you believe their domineering style is restricting your sense of freedom. These approaches can assist to steer the relationship in a more positive direction:

Consider your influence: Could you be facilitating your partner’s codependent behavior? Maybe you’re leaving messes around the house for them to tidy up or ignoring their domineering behavior. Commit to changing your behaviors that may be encouraging your spouse to be codependent.

Talk things out: Have an open discussion about your problems and desire for change in your relationship. When you confront your spouse about their codependent behaviors, they may become defensive. While you cannot control their reaction, you may utilize the following tactics to assist get your point across:
Don’t start the conversation while your partner is distracted or already stressed out. Doing so will increase the risk of misunderstandings or emotional responses.
Watch your nonverbal cues: Actions such as rolling your eyes or tapping your foot can make your partner defensive and undermine your message.
Use “I” statements: such as, “I feel frustrated and constrained when you plan out my day.” This is less accusatory than saying something like, “You always try to control me.”
Don’t start the conversation while your partner is distracted or already stressed out. Doing so will increase the risk of misunderstandings or emotional responses.

Be an active listener: A codependent spouse may be afraid to stop you from dominating the conversation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Pose questions. Don’t interrupt. Take a breather and consider what your spouse has said.

Set boundaries: Make it clear what kind of conduct you perceive to be controlling, coddling, or overbearing. Do you want your partner to cease managing your finances? Do you want them to devote more time and attention to their interests? Even after you have established limits, your spouse may occasionally continue to violate them. Don’t let things slip; firmly remind them of the limits.

Take a break: Consider spending less time with a person or spouse who consistently pushes your boundaries. This might help the other person focus on their objectives and needs. Recognize that having a total social contact break does not have to be permanent.
Consider couples therapy: A therapist can assist you and your partner in understanding how your behaviors affect one another. The therapist may point out ways you are enabling your partner and how you might both break the cycle. You’ll also learn how to help one another healthily.

Encourage their sense of independence: You may be accustomed to your codependent partner being continuously attentive to your needs. However, if they prefer to pursue hobbies or spend more time with friends, be careful not to undercut their efforts to improve. Instead, encourage them to pursue their passions. Be patient and understand that changing a codependent’s habits may take some time. They may need to attempt a variety of tactics to gain confidence and recognize their value. Make an effort to support rather than govern them on their journey.

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