How do codependency and interdependency differ?

How Do Codependency and Interdependency Differ?

Codependency and interdependency are two terms often used interchangeably, but they are actually different. The key difference between codependency and interdependency is that codependency involves dependence on another to the point where it negatively impacts their life. Interdependence involves sharing roles but not being so dependent on another person that you lose yourself. Both can turn into something toxic and unhealthy, so it is helpful to explore what each term means and if you or your partner may benefit from mental health treatment.

Sometimes, it can be tough to know if there is an unhealthy pattern in your relationship, especially if it has been going on for a long time. Promises Five Palms can help you spot harmful behaviors in your relationships so you can make changes that will benefit your well-being. Contact us at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more about codependency and interdependency and whether your relationship may be stuck in a toxic cycle.

How Do Codependency and Interdependency Differ?

A healthy relationship requires that both partners are interdependent. It is in the state that you are your own individual, but also recognize that your partner is a separate entity from yourself as well. You know when to support one another, pick up slack for each other, ask for help, and allow the other to ask for help. 

In a codependent relationship:

  • One partner has an excessive need to be taken care of by the other.
  • One partner puts the needs of the other ahead of their own, constantly worrying about them and making decisions based on how it will affect them.
  • One partner feels like they do not matter without the other person in their life and that their world would end without them.

In an interdependent relationship:

  • Both partners are able to take care of themselves while still having a healthy relationship with one another.
  • Both partners can depend on one another, but their dependence is not unhealthy or damaging for either partner.

As you can see, the main difference between codependency and interdependency tends to be unhealthy and healthy relationship behaviors. Interdependence involves an equal balance of taking care of yourself and your partner. You can consider things from your partner’s perspective without feeling like your needs are being ignored or overlooked. You realize that you matter just as much as your partner, and you can be there for them without sacrificing your own needs.

Are You in a Codependent Relationship?

It may be hard to know if you are in a codependent relationship because you may feel that you are showing how much you love your partner by doing a lot for them or vice versa. Here are some ways to know if your relationship is showing signs of codependency:

  • One partner controls all the activities in the relationship. 
  • One partner forgoes self-care to attend to the other one’s needs instead.
  • One partner feels anxious or panicky if they do not hear from the other frequently.
  • One partner has difficulty spending time alone without the other person.
  • One partner has given up their relationships with others to focus solely on the other person.

Whether you discover you are the codependent partner or that your partner is exhibiting signs of codependency, both of you will benefit from mental health treatment. Individual therapy and couples counseling can help get to the root of codependent behaviors so that you can work together toward a healthier, interdependent relationship.

Get the Quality Mental Health Treatment You Need at Promises Five Palms

If you think that your relationship is showing signs of codependency, reach out to Promises Five Palms. We can help you and your partner overcome toxic patterns and rebuild your relationship in a healthy way. Call us at 1.844.675.1022 to learn more about how our mental health treatment programs can teach you the skills needed for healthier, happier relationships.

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