In any healthy relationship, there is a continuous give-and-take. At any given time, one partner or the other may need an extra bit of help. This type of dependency is fine. When you hear the term “codependency,” this is not the type of relationship we are talking about. In a codependent relationship, everything is lopsided. One partner is always the giver, and the other always the taker. What is even more unhealthy is that the giver often puts aside their needs and wants in order to satisfy the taker because they feel that they can’t survive without their partner. Very often, the codependent partner becomes an enabler. Read on to discover more signs of codependency.
Signs of Codependency: You Make Excuses
One of the first signs of codependency is making excuses for the other person’s poor behavior or transgressions. Think about the times you made up excuses for why he didn’t go to work. You may have said he was ill when he was drunk or hungover. Have you apologized for her tantrums when out with friends and family, saying she has been stressed or is having a bad day when you know it’s simply because she didn’t get the attention she wanted?
You’ve Lost Your Sense of Identity
When looking for signs of codependency, ask yourself if you have stopped doing the things you used to do. When you start focusing exclusively on a partner and their needs, you may find that you aren’t seeing friends and family as frequently as you would like. You may have put aside plans for your future career or stopped enjoying hobbies you once loved. Maybe you find it impossible to make decisions without your partner’s input. You do everything to avoid confrontation, and communication between you and your partner is one-sided.
You Have a Sense of Responsibility
We aren’t talking about a normal sense of responsibility here. One of the signs of codependency is you take on responsibility for everything. In your eyes, it’s your fault your partner is the way they are. You need to be the one who makes the relationship work. You need to change to make your partner happy. If something goes awry, you blame yourself. What’s even worse, your partner blames you for these things also. You feel guilty if you want something different or seek some validation. Your partner is there, in both yours and their eyes, that should be enough.
You Become a Fixer
This sign of codependency is a bit more complicated because, in many cases, it is the fact that you have become a “fixer” that drew the other person to you and vice-versa. Often this trait started way back in childhood as a result of unhealthy relationships with a parent, especially one with an addiction or mental health issue. You see the potential, or what you believe is potential, in everyone that is, in your eyes, broken. You know inside that with enough love, enough attention, enough time, you can help that person improve and heal. For everything they mess up, you have a ready solution to smooth things over and make it right.
Finding Help After Seeing the Signs of Codependency
If you recognize these signs of codependency in your relationship, it is not too late to find your way out. At Five Palms, we can help you recognize the unhealthy ways in which you have interacted with others. More importantly, we can help you learn ways to stand up for your own needs and wants in a healthy way that will lead to more fulfilling relationships and a greater sense of self-esteem. Don’t let another day pass without realizing the importance of you. Reach out to us today at 1.844.675.1022.