Relationships can be difficult to navigate, whether it’s a friendship, a family member, or a romantic partner. What works for one person may not work for another. As a result, sometimes it is hard to keep your relationships balanced and healthy.
When one of your relationships is unbalanced, you could be struggling with codependency. Codependency, also known as relationship addiction, describes an unhealthy relationship construct where one person enables the poor or destructive behaviors of another person.
Codependency can affect all types of relationships. You can be codependent with a lover, a friend, or even a family member. Typically, relationships struggling with codependency have one person who relies on the other, who feels like they need to be needed. Codependent relationships are common when one person struggles with addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, or underachievement.
Top 6 Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship
In codependent relationships, one person takes the responsibility of caring for the other. The person who is assuming this responsibility also craves the feeling of being needed. This can create a significant imbalance, where one individual is neglecting their own needs to care for their partner who is engaging in harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm.
If you are worried that you are in a codependent relationship, look out for these 6 signs:
1. You Feel Like You Need to Save Them
If you have taken on the caretaker role in your relationship, you could be struggling with codependency. While helping your partner is a part of having a healthy relationship, sometimes it can go too far, such as in relationships where one individual struggles with a mental health condition or an addiction.
If you constantly feel like you need to save your partner from themselves, you may be codependent. Instead of attempting to force them to change, your partner has to want to do better for themselves.
2. Taking Time for Yourself Feels Selfish
If you find that taking time for self-care or having a little alone time makes you feel selfish, you might be in a codependent relationship. Finding it difficult to do things without your partner being around you or involved in the activity is a clear sign of codependency.
Do you neglect your own needs to care for your partner? Do you feel a lot of guilt when you take time for yourself? If so, you could be in a codependent relationship.
3. You Have a Hard Time Being Alone
While spending a lot of time with your friend, significant other, or loved one can be normal, sometimes it’s a sign of a bigger issue. If you have a hard time being alone or sitting comfortably by yourself, even for short periods of time, you might be codependent.
Sometimes, it’s important to have alone time and sit with your own thoughts. When you cannot do this, you are neglecting your own needs to focus on someone else. This is often one of the biggest red flags that you are in a codependent relationship.
4. You Cancel Plans to Spend Time With Your Partner
Do you often make plans to hang out with your friends only to cancel when your partner has nothing to do? If so, you could be codependent.
While it can be good to spend quality time with your partner, there should be a healthy balance. It shouldn’t feel like you are neglecting your loved one when you take time to spend time with other people.
5. You Feel Like You Ask For Too Much
Do you avoid speaking up about the things you need because you are worried about the outcome? Maybe you feel like it’s easier to ignore something rather than bring it up and start an argument. If you feel like you are asking too much of your loved one when you are simply advocating for your needs, you might be codependent.
In a healthy relationship, asking for something does not cause feelings of guilt. Whether you are asking your family member, friend, or romantic partner to do something that will help you or make you feel loved, they should be willing to compromise.
6. Communication is Poor
Lastly, if you attempt to communicate and set healthy boundaries with your partner only for arguments to start, you could be in a codependent relationship.
Healthy relationships are built on strong communication, understanding, and respect for each other’s needs. If you cannot tell your partner that you need them to do something differently without an argument ensuing, it’s time to take a step back and determine whether you are codependent.
Find Help for Codependency
Codependency is a common issue in a wide variety of relationships. Thankfully, there are ways to make healthy changes in your relationship to ensure that both of you are having your needs met. If you are stuck in a codependent relationship, it might be time to consider professional treatment.
Because codependency is common among relationships affected by addiction, you or your partner may need help for a substance use disorder. If so, New You Sober Living is here to help. To learn more about how we can help you or your loved one recover from addiction, please contact us today.