"The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends."
– B. R. Ambedkar
There are certain instances in which codependency is normal, such as the bond between a mother and her child. When speaking of romantic relationships, however, codependency can be downright toxic.
If your partner is dependent on you, it can break down the barriers of intimacy and mutual respect, sending an otherwise healthy relationship into turmoil. Instead of viewing your partner as an equal in the relationship, you may view him or her as the controlling "leader." Codependent partners are often manipulative and distrustful, pulling the strings by controlling their caregiving partner. This type of one-sided relationship isn't sustainable, with most ending in harsh breakups.
So, how do you know if you are in a codependent relationship? Here are some of the tall-tale signs:
- Your schedule is dictated by your partner. If you have to shuffle around your weekly appointments and responsibilities just to appease your partner, you could be in a codependent relationship. They may guilt trip you into canceling meetings or other arrangements just so you can care for their needs.
- Your partner is addicted to drugs or alcohol. According to DrugFree.org, one in ten Americans over the age of 12 are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addicts, regardless of the substance to which they are addicted, are typically dependent upon someone else for their well-being.
- You feel stressed and anxious when thinking about your partner. Granted, there are dozens of other reasons for feeling stress and anxiety, but these are the two common emotions felt by caregivers in a codependent relationship. The caregiver may not feel them at first. However, after months of caring for a partner, stress and anxiety will begin to settle in.
- Your partner doesn't show you respect. Respect is a two-way street, and if it's not returned, you may resent your partner. This can lead to an even more troubling codependent relationship.
- You do the bulk of the work in the relationship. In a healthy relationship, both parties share the workload, performing equal amounts of work, chores, etc. But this isn't the case for codependent relationships, as the caregiver is typically forced to do most, if not all, of the work.
Unfortunately, there's no quick fix for codependent relationships. As a caregiver, you have one of two different options: you can try to help your partner overcome his or her codependency, or you can pack your bags and call it quits. Assuming you want to try and mend the relationship, you'll need to focus on YOU for once. Putting your own life on the back burner so you can care for your partner will only feed his or her codependency, much like giving an addict their fix.
Get the support you need to make important life changes. If you would like to complement your therapy with an alternative treatment option (or need a place to start), you might consider trying hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can help you sort out your feelings and give you the courage and strength you need to move on with your life, set new goals, and rebuild an always damaged self-esteem.
Call for your FREE consultation. No pressure. No obligation. Let me help you understand what this might mean for you. Hypnosis and Life Coaching have helped many. Let it help you.