Relationships

5 Signs You're In a Codependent Relationship

Loyalty and dedication can be pivotal to a successful relationship. But, much like everything in life, too much of a good thing can be hazardous to your mental and physical health.

But don’t all relationships need some degree of codependency?

Let me be clear: Dependence, interdependence, and codependence are not the same. Only one of the three is dysfunctional and unhealthy.

Being able to rely on each other is one thing. Becoming entirely dependent on one another is something different. The distinction is when your purpose in life revolves around that one person, where your sense of identity and self-worth is dependent on that person’s approval. According to psychologist Scott Wetzler, Ph.D., people in codependent relationships are usually not self-sufficient.

Are you codependent?

1. Do find that you’re giving all the support while sacrificing your own emotional, mental, and physical needs?

2. Do you feel lost and unbearably alone when left to your own devices?

3. Everyone has their list of deal-breakers. Does your partner tick all the red boxes, but you stay with them anyway, convinced they could change?

4. Do you constantly feel anxious in the relationship and feel like you need to put more effort into making the relationship work?

5. Have you tried to become a little more independent but feel even more anxious at the thought of being apart?

I’m in a codependent relationship! What do I do?

Staying too long in a codependent relationship can leave you exhausted, burned-out, and could destroy your sense of identity and understanding of your self-worth. So it’s best to do something about it as soon as possible, even if it feels impossible right now.

Take a breath. Breaking up is not always the best, or only, solution. A codependent relationship can be corrected. Sit down with your partner and have a serious discussion. Hash out what you need from each other and set some goals that will satisfy and fulfill the both of you. Explore some new hobbies. Make new friends or reconnect with old ones. Spend some time with your family. Rediscover who you are and what makes you happy.

Have you successfully come out of a codependent relationship? Share your story!

Kaitlyn Lo

Kaitlyn is a blogger and professional writer. While specializing in health and relationship topics, she also writes articles on a variety of topics, including culture, food, technology, and politics. Her written work can be found on pilcrowmagazine.com and on her website.