Have you ever heard of the term “co-dependent relationship” or “co-dependency”? Both are the same buzzwords that are usually attached with addiction and mental health. They both describe unhealthy, often destructive, relationships.
What is a co-dependent relationship?
A co-dependent relationship, or co-dependency, occurs when one person in a relationship must care for the other, no matter what, in order to keep the relationship and be worthy of the love and attention.
A co-dependent relationship has a tendency to be manipulative, where the co-dependent feels they must control the other to keep them safe. While it may be built on love and the very best of intentions, it remains unhealthy.
The co-dependent may lose themselves in the process. In addiction, a co-dependent may exhibit enabling behavior that may impede the sobriety and recovery of the addict.
Signs of Co-dependency
1. Covering up for the other. You feel responsible for your partner’s behavior, so you make excuses for their misbehavior or shortcomings. More often than not, you’re the one cleaning up after their mess.
2. Feeling like the relationship is unstable. You constantly feel like the other person may leave you or stop loving you. You’re very terrified that they’ll leave so you do everything to make the person happy, even to the extent that it damages your own well-being and peace of mind.
3. Focusing on what the other is feeling. You can’t untangle your own emotions from that of your partner. In fact, you’re so wrapped up in keeping your partner’s mood up that you don’t realize your getting burned out. So, you chase after the dream of making your partner happy so that you will be happy too.
4. Putting their needs first. Give and take is the hallmark of a good and healthy relationship. If you end up being the one who always gives way or has to put your partner’s needs before yours, then you may really be in a co-dependency.
5. You obsess over keeping track of their every move. You want to keep them safe and away from trouble to the point that you hover over them. You even resort to stalking them and keeping tabs of every detail of their daily life.
While every co-dependent relationship is different, the above signs are just a few of the most common traits co-dependencies have. What you can do as of the moment is to also seek a support system for yourself, be around people who will give you better perspective.
You may also call or text us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.