7 Eye-Opening Signs You're in a Co-Dependent Relationship
By Dr Becky Spelman
A co-dependent relationship is a relationship dynamic in which two people are unable to function without the input of the other. You could view this as a state of unconditional love. But there is a difference. The type of unwavering romantic love you may be thinking of is balanced. There are boundaries. Each half of the couple are capable of equipping themselves without the support of their partner.
Co-dependency, on the other hand, it hyper-realised version of love, that inhibits the capacity for growth on the personal level. It was a term typically used to describe relationships in which there were substance abuse issues in the past. One person would be the dysfunctional addict, while the other would provide the means to support them and their habit. However, it has become increasingly relevant as standards we measure ourselves by continue to shift.
Here are seven sign you may be in a co-dependent relationship:
You Have No Sense of Self-Worth
The fact you’re reliant on someone else to meet your needs is usually indicative that you’re incapable of doing so yourself. This is often due to a lack of self-esteem. People with low self-worth are unable to feel good about themselves without the validation of others.
You’re a People Pleaser
One of the hallmarks of a co-dependent is the want – and need – to please everyone around them. They don’t feel that they could be liked for their character, as they view themselves as being fundamentally flawed. They will continually go out of their way to do things for others, overcompensating for their perceived lack of worth.
You Have Poor Personal Boundaries
Co-dependents often feel an innate responsibility for the wellbeing of others that goes beyond the natural extension of empathy. They will readily take on other’s problems and have no issue in shifting the blame for their own elsewhere. It’s not unusual for co-dependents to flip from having very open boundaries to becoming extremely defensive
You Have a Poor Temperament and Discernment Filter
If you can’t be consistent with your boundaries, you may also find it difficult communicating with others when you feel you’ve been emotionally triggered. You can take things very personally. But conversely, your loose boundaries may also cause you to believe much of what you hear from others with little to no discernment.
You have Difficulty Identifying the Way You Feel
Because of the tendency to merge your thoughts and overly empathise with others, the dissociation that results from that can make it very hard to identify your own needs. It can lead to confusion, missteps in judgment and further reinforce your co-dependency on the subconscious level.
You Have Little or Few Interests Outside of Your Relationship
There can be a honeymoon period for many fledgeling relationships where both halves may want to spend frequent time together. But if this occurs more often than not, it can create an imbalance. If you’re spending all your time together, you have no new perspectives that allow you to develop. You need to allow each other space to experience life independently to grow more effectively both with and without each other.
You’ll Constantly Be Comparing Your Relationships to Others
You will, at some point, have compared your relationship to others and possibly even raised the issue with your partner. There is a tendency sometimes of questing after the perfect relationship. And this idea of self-improvement is admirable. But the desire to emulate others can be the source of unnecessary tension. Don’t let the pursuit of perfection stand in the way of what you have right now.
About the author:
Dr Becky Spelman PhD is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.
***If you’re struggling with co-dependency and think you might benefit from speaking to someone about your situation, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION with one of our specialists to help you find the best way to move forward. You can book yours here.
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