Signs You’re In A Codependent Relationship And How To Gain Some Independence

July 22, 2013  |  
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From the outside looking in, codependent relationships don’t seem all that bad. You and your partner do almost everything together. From eating to sleeping to getting dressed in the morning, you two try to spend every waking hour with and beside each other. While this necessarily isn’t a horrible thing, codependent relationships don’t allow for personal growth. In fact, most people who are in codependent relationships are in one because of control issues or they’re not comfortable on their own. Here are 7 signs that you’re in a codependent relationship and 7 ways to break the cycle.

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You think the relationship is more important than you are

Most relationships tend to bring out the selflessness in people. Relationships are plenty important, especially when you are in one that feels worthwhile. However, when it all comes down to it, there should be nothing more important in your life than yourself. If you find that you are putting your relationship above your own health and happiness, you may be too codependent.

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You’ve given up way too much for the relationship

All relationships require some bending from both people who are involved. However, in some relationships, either one or both partners are giving up way too much to make sure that the relationship works. Maybe you’ve had to sell your home that you absolutely loved, you’ve had to take a less-than-ideal job, or you’ve had to stop doing certain things that you like to provide for a better relationship, with little benefit to you as an individual.

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The relationship is unbalanced

In a codependent relationship that is one-sided, you will easily find that the relationship is unbalanced. You’re putting in a lot more effort than your man is, and somehow you’re semi-okay with this fact. An unbalanced relationship may be tolerable at first, but in the end the relationship will get rocky and you’ll find that you become more and more unhappy as time goes on.


You give up your likes to appeal to your partner

When you’re in a codependent relationship, you want to appeal to and appease your partner as much as possible. Let’s say your partner isn’t a fan of crowds and noise, so the two of you rarely go out to the bar or to a sporting event, even though you love them. Again, while relationships do require compromise, there is no need to completely give up on the things that you enjoy, even if your partner doesn’t.

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You take responsibility for your partner’s behavior

Whenever your partner does something wrong, you are the first to jump up and take responsibility for his actions. No matter if he said something when he was drunk or if he forgot about a family get together, you are always there to make an excuse for what happened and why things went the way they did. You make excuses and accept responsibility to keep the boat from rocking.


You need approval

Whenever you do something, you always seek your partner’s approval before doing it. This can be something simple such as what you wear when you go out or what career path you decide to take. Constantly seeking and needing approval is a good sign that you are codependent, which means that you’ve input this trait into the relationship as well. When you require approval for anything and everything, you may also be lacking self-esteem and self-confidence.


You’re afraid of being abandoned

The fear of being abandoned can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. One common way is that you become much more reliant on others. In not so nice words, you become clingy with everyone, especially when you are in a relationship. There is nothing wrong with not wanting your relationship to end, but there is a huge difference between that and going through hell in order to stay with someone. While abandonment is scary, don’t let it turn your relationship into a codependent one.

To break the cycle…


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Speak up about it

Before the cycle of a codependent relationship can be remedied, you’ll need to be willing to talk with your partner about it. Talk about the things that are going wrong and why you think things should change. Really have a heart-to-heart. You may realize that by the end of it all, your partner feels the exact same way. Getting everything out and into the open is crucial.


Understand the root problem

A codependent relationship doesn’t just happen. Instead, there has to be some underlying root problem that is causing you, your man, or both of you to subject yourselves to this type of relationship. Are you an extremely needy women that aims to please everyone? Has your man had nothing but bad relationships, therefore now he’s willing to do anything and everything to keep one going? Pinpoint the cause.


Spend some time alone

Even when you’re in a relationship, alone time is always needed. Spending a couple hours or even a couple of days alone can really help you get out of the cycle of a codependent relationship. Hit up the mall and do some therapeutic shopping, or go to a local spa and enjoy a massage. Spending time away from your man will allow you to re-connect with yourself, and it’s true when they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.


Get back to doing things you enjoy

To battle the codependence in your relationship, start focusing on things you like to do, especially those things that you gave up in order to impress and keep your partner happy. There is nothing wrong with hanging out with your girlfriends on a Friday night. Nothing says that you have to spend every day and night with your man. Do things that you like doing and find your inner happiness again.


Stay busy and productive

Keeping busy is another good way to break the cycle that your relationship has brought on. Staying busy allows you to devote your time to other things aside from your relationship. It also allows you to think and put effort towards other things. Go to the gym and exercise. Try yoga. Read a book. Keeping busy will definitely make things a lot better and you’ll notice it.

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Be open to change

In order for you and your man to hopefully change the existing codependent relationship, the two of you will need to be willing and open for change. It’s likely that you are both used to the relationship that exists now, and moving away from a codependent relationship can be a big change.


Consider counseling

Counseling is one of the best ways to help break the cycle of a codependent relationship. A counselor will be able to look at your relationship with a clean slate. This will allow the two of you to receive unbiased advice that will hopefully allow you to shift your relationship into one that is healthier for the both of you.

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  • hollyw

    Uhhhh not trying to be funny, but (to a single person) doesn’t at least 10 out of 15 of these things sound like a marriage, generally speaking..? Ijs…

  • L-Boogie