It is estimated that over 40 million Americans, mostly women, have issues with codependency. Healthy interpersonal relationships should be safe havens where we can share anything, good or bad. So, if you're asking yourself why you don't feel this way, it may be a sign you aren't in a healthy relationship at all.
If your relationship is taking a toll on your mental health, you may have codependency problems. Read on to discover the nine tell-tale signs that you're in a codependent relationship.
What Is a Codependent Relationship?
In a codependent relationship, you are unable to take care of your own needs and feelings. It means there is an imbalance in the relationship where one person acts as the caregiver, while the other consistently demands things from the caregiver. Codependency is often learned from childhood.
So, what are the signs you are in a codependent relationship?
1) Low Self-Esteem
In a codependent relationship, neither party will have high self-esteem. You may only feel good about yourself when you're serving your partner, while your partner doesn't feel good that they rely on one other person for all their needs.
2) Always Feeling Alone
There is no solace with or without your partner. You feel lonely while you're alone because you're not caring for them, but when you are with them, you feel lonely because your needs aren't met.
3) You Have no Boundaries
This is typically known as "martyr syndrome." You sacrifice yourself and your needs to make your partner happy.
In a typical codependent relationship, one person is the caregiver. While this may start with helping your partner out of a rut, it leads to fulfilling basic tasks for your partner that they could easily complete themselves. You feel like something bad will happen if you don't do these things.
5) Trouble Identifying Emotions
Since you're always sacrificing yourself, your emotions become harder and harder to identify. This may qualify as alexithymia, in psychological terms.
6) Conflict Avoidance
You fear angering the other person, so you ignore your feelings and needs entirely to avoid conflict. This often leads to people pleasing at your own expense.
7) You Fear Criticism
Either party may find it hard to take criticism. This stems from a fear of rejection or abandonment.
8) You're a "Fixer"
You think you know what others need better than they do. This may lead to giving unsolicited advice or criticizing others to get them to listen to you.
9) You're Afraid to End the Relationship
You may be so dependent on your partner for your self-worth, and fear that they can't be on their own, that you may be too afraid to end the relationship. An outside perspective, such as a life coach, can help you determine if you need to leave for your own mental health.
Seek Help Today
If any of these signs rang true for you in your relationship, it may be time to seek help. There's no need to feel shame about a codependent relationship - with the right coaching, you can become a happier, healthier you.
Take a look at my programs to find the right fit for your recovery today.