It is important to know the signs.
Co-dependency in a relationship can cause a whole host of problems for you and your partner – and you may not even realize you are one.
A codependent relationship involves an imbalance of power between two people – one normally acts as the other’s ‘gatekeeper’, their sense of identity being based on how well they can make their partner happy and meet their needs. needs.
In turn, the other partner will get the most out of it and be validated by having their needs met by their other half.
Mix that up and you end up with a relationship where both parties are too dependent on each other.
But how do you identify if codependency is part of your relationship dynamic?
January is codependency month, and to mark it, Lovehoney has teamed up with relationship expert Ness Cooper to help people identify and break free from these types of toxic relationships.
According to Cooper, co-dependency can be seriously detrimental because “when someone falls into an unhealthy co-dependent relationship, the individual self can get lost and it can affect the individual’s ability to communicate their needs and even consent. in situations”.
The five signs of codependency in a relationship
Cooper shared the five big red flags that should set off alarm bells if they seem familiar in your relationship.
They push the limits
If you are in a codependent relationship, your partner will often push your boundaries and make you question your beliefs, while simultaneously expecting you to conform to theirs.
They often put you down
People who engage in unhealthy codependency will often begin to take control of the situation early on with comments that put you down. They can sort through and critique even the smallest things, like what you’re wearing or even the food you choose for a date.
They lie to get their own way
If their lying is more than just a slip and happens on a regular basis, especially when used to control other parts of your relationship, then that’s a major red flag that you’re in an unhealthy codependent relationship. .
They always accuse you
Often they will blame you for things that aren’t your fault and find problems with your efforts to please them, rather than thanking you as they should in a healthy relationship.
This often has a very negative impact on your self-esteem and can make it harder to leave the relationship, even early.
They are constantly watching you
Your partner may try to control your schedule and watch your actions closely. Even if you’re doing a task they’ve asked you to do, you may find your phone buzzing nonstop with text messages checking where you are and how long you’ll be.
This can cause feelings of panic and a sense of pressure to always live up to their expectations.
How to get out of a codependent relationship
The key to getting out of an unhealthy codependent relationship is to work on maintaining a sense of individual identity away from your partner, says Cooper.
But if you find yourself in an unhealthy codependent relationship, it’s important to recognize it as soon as possible and try to address it with your partner.
According to Cooper, “this may involve talking to your partner about the issues in your relationship and working out solutions — or it may mean stepping away from the relationship altogether and focusing on your own wants and needs.”
“Discovering ways to meet your own needs and find pleasure alone can be a huge confidence boost and help break free from an unhealthy relationship. And the New Year is the perfect excuse to gain your freedom and be secure. that your relationship with yourself is the most important in your life.