One of the things that can get in the way of having healthy relationships is codependency. It manifests itself in an excessive sense of responsibility for the partner’s emotions, the desire to spend as much time as possible with him, and the desire to please him in all aspects of their relationship. It stems from a lack of self-esteem, an absence of personal boundaries, or the worry that one will be abandoned. Unfortunately, codependent behaviour has a detrimental effect on both partners involved in the relationship.
6 signs that you are in a codependent relationship
1. He obsessively lingers on his failures
Even in the healthiest of relationships, misunderstandings can arise. However, for partners to remain together, they must forgive one another and work through their differences.
Mistakes can seem life-threatening to people who suffer from codependency. They constantly dwell on things they did incorrectly and frequently overthink their actions.
This shows itself in the form of excessive apologies or the desire for the partner to approve their decisions as frequently as is humanly possible. And because they view their actions as unhealthy and may believe that as a result of those actions, the other person will undoubtedly want to end the relationship; people who are codependent will do everything in their power to get their partner to say and do things that contradict their negative thoughts. For instance, if one were to ask, “Are you absolutely certain that you are not offended?”, even though there are no remnants of the conflict left.
2. He feels responsible for the feelings that you have
Partners who are codependent frequently interpret our feelings as a reaction to the actions they take. Even if a totally different set of circumstances brought them on.
For instance, you might come home from work feeling down, and your partner might assume that he did something wrong, leading you to feel this way.
He will make an effort to cheer you up and attend to your requirements to the best of his ability. But engaging in such behavior can have a negative impact on your life. It is unlikely that you will enjoy being around a partner who is always trying to please you, relegating his own interests, desires, and feelings to the background in the process. Additionally, it will be challenging for him to live up to the image that he has created for himself.
3. He becomes frustrated when he doesn’t hear from you for a prolonged period
People who are codependent share a common fear: the fear that they will be abandoned. They are prone to experience significant distress if they are separated from a partner for an extended period or do not receive text messages or phone calls from her. They keep going over the worst-case scenarios in their heads, even though there is no obvious reason for this behavior on the surface.
Frequently, this is communicated to us through an overwhelming number of phone calls or messages like “Why are you not answering me?” This occurs despite the fact that the person may be aware that it may simply be inconvenient for us to pick up the phone or write right now. In addition, after an episode like this, some codependent partners become more reclusive and preoccupied with themselves.
4. He desires to have complete command over everything
Many people in codependent relationships turn to various forms of control to feel safe. It’s not just in romantic partnerships, either. For instance, they might steer clear of potentially hazardous circumstances or refrain from openly expressing their feelings because they are unsure whether or not doing so will result in the desired outcomes.
In addition to this, relationships with people who are codependent almost always involve some form of manipulation. They may do this unconsciously or purposely to manipulate circumstances according to their goals.
5. He is indecisive
It is challenging for a person who is codependent on their partner to make decisions independently. Even in the activities, he is responsible for completing himself; he places significant weight on you and your opinion. Even though he is aware of the appropriate action to take, he would instead seek guidance from others than decide on his own.
This occurs due to a partner’s desire to please the other person or the fear of upsetting the other person.
6. It’s impossible for him to relax in your absence
Being with a partner at all times of the day and night is not physically possible. However, this is not a typical scenario for codependent people and represents a significant life challenge and stressor.
They have a hard time enjoying life when they are not in a relationship or apart from a partner. Therefore, your trip to a cafe with a friend or a desire to be alone can be perceived with hostility and be accompanied by feelings of resentment on the other person’s part.
This is because the codependent partner lacks confidence in himself and cannot exercise control over the situation when he is not physically present with the other person.
Regrettably, it is highly unlikely that any one of us could successfully mend a codependent relationship on our own. Codependency is a mental condition that can only be treated successfully if the person struggling with it is motivated to do so on their own. The following is the most helpful advice I can give you in this predicament:
what to do when your partner is codependent
1. Recognize the part you played in this situation
There is a good chance that we, ourselves, were the cause of the codependent behavior exhibited by the partner or that we simply supported him in engaging in this behavior.
You might appreciate that your partner prioritizes spending as much time with you as they can and makes an effort to do so. You could also have threatened to end the relationship if he continued to make the same mistake. Another factor contributing to the development of codependency in a relationship is an understatement. For instance, when we fail to explain the origin of our negative feelings.
These kinds of actions from the partner reawaken both the fear of being abandoned and the desire to please one another at any cost. Consider how your actions might impact this, and have a conversation about it with someone else.
2. Discuss things in an open and honest manner
Be ready for the possibility that attempting to talk with a partner about his codependency may not immediately succeed in resolving the issue. Some people are affected by it but are unaware that they have it, and this behaviour might appear typical from a partner’s perspective.
Begin a conversation about the things that are bothering you and your feelings and experiences. It would help if you never were critical of your partner or openly blamed him for anything he did wrong.
However, if you recognize that your partner is taking a defensive stance or attempting to manipulate you, it is in your best interests to consult a psychologist together. Or, if your attempts to talk about your codependent relationships never amount to anything, it may be best to abandon them altogether.
3. Create distance
We can choose to go along with a partner dependent on us, which will only worsen the situation. For instance, deciding not to go to a cafe with a girlfriend because he believes he will feel insulted if they do. Or you can give in to his manipulation and agree with his proposal.
It is critical to make an effort to establish boundaries and gradually increase your distance from yourself in circumstances in which codependency is most obviously evident. Please make sure he understands why you are doing this.
If a person is aware of the nature of their problem and is motivated to find a solution, they will try to gain self-control and break free from their dependence on others. And if that is not the case, you need to ask yourself if it is worthwhile to continue being in such a relationship.