Have you ever met couples who are very unhappy but cannot seem to break up? When we are in our teens, it’s easier for us to leave an unhealthy relationship. But as we become adults, co-dependency complicates things.
A lot of couples try to make things right by staying together, even though they would be better off apart. Reasons for this may be as complicated as having children together, financial need or even just the time that has been invested in the relationship.
We often discover our greatest joys and overcome our biggest hurdles when we are in a relationship, because they are meant to help us become better individuals. This is despite sometimes having to make compromises for our partner. Having a healthy relationship involves supporting each other in individual endeavors, as well as working on shared projects.
What is co-dependency?
Co-dependency is by far one of the biggest challenges for anyone who is in a relationship. Co-dependency is described as that feeling when we think that we can’t exist or function without our partner. Their presence and the validation they give us are vital for our happiness, and to make us feel complete. Unfortunately, co-dependency hinders us from being the best version of ourselves and also inhibits our potential to grow further together in the relationship.
Funny enough, a lot of us don’t realize that we have a co-dependent pattern in our own relationships. Why are we so blind when it comes to our own behaviour? We were taught as children to believe certain things about how relationships, and in particular romantic relationships, work. Many of the things we believe promote co-dependency.
Most of the time co-dependency tends to look like intense love, but ‘needing’ someone often comes from a place of fear, not love. There are ten tell-tale signs to spot if you are in a co-dependent relationship with your partner without even realizing it.
10 Tell-tale Signs That You Are in A Codependent Relationship With Your Partner
You think that you can’t live without your partner
While this might sound romantic to most, in reality, it is not. Having an attachment is very different to having a real connection. It is not romantic or sexy, and it is not something to be proud of. You need to recognise your own wholeness and completeness so you can have fun with another person in your life, rather than feeling a half of a person who is incomplete without someone else. Always bear in mind that in order to love another person, you must love and accept yourself first.
Your significant other must always behave in a certain way.
Do you find yourself dictating your partner? Do you have unrealistic expectations like fancy dinner dates or expensive gifts? Do you expect your partner to act a certain way because that is what you told them to do? If your answer is yes, then you are in a co-dependent relationship.
Through this behaviour, both partners create assumptions of how each of them should behave. This is never healthy. Instead of accepting each other for who they are, their preconceived notions of the person they love is what makes them happy. This kind of mindset inevitably causes a lot of disappointments along the way.
You often blame others for how you feel.
We should always hold ourselves responsible for how we feel, and we should never blame anyone else. No, you don’t need anyone to make yourself happy. Always keep in mind that making ourselves happy should be your top priority, and only by doing so, will other people make us happy as well.
You always tend to play caregiver role.
A good and healthy relationship is between two adults. There are times when we start to act like a mother and take care of someone who is not keen on taking care of themselves. This situation is unimaginable for both people and causes a lot of stress. Remember that growing up and maturing means that you learn how to take care of yourself, so someone else shouldn’t have to do it for you. We are all capable of taking of ourselves. Do it and be empowered.
You are always trying to control the outcomes and situations.
To live in fear, not in love,, is synonymous with controlling the other person or controlling how things are happening. Accepting the reality that neither of you can control each and every situation is necessary if you want to build a healthy relationship.
Being overly controlling of your partner’s decisions will not help them at all. Giving your partner advice and letting them know you will be there to support them will give them confidence and build trust between the two of you.
You tend to give something from a place you’re lacking.
Most of the co-dependent relationship is focused on making yourself your own last priority, instead making everything for your significant other better than what we give to ourselves. In this process, we tend to lose ourselves. This pattern stems from lacking self-love, and when we try to give when we are empty, then anger and hatred can blossom.This is because we are not prioritizing ourselves but rather we are giving when there is nothing to give. Do yourself a favor by giving from an area of abundance rather than an area of lacking.
You often think that your happiness is based on the other person.
This is not true. Our happiness is within ourselves. So, stop looking for happiness in your significant other. The best way to realise this is to connect with yourself regularly. It is when you connect with your true self that happiness can be transferred to the other person, rather than making them your source of happiness. Remember and don’t ever forget that you are your happiness.
You often don’t feel that you are free.
Love is being free and having freedom. Rules and inhibitions are fear. We should always do what our heart’s desire and not do what other people want us to do. Don’t let anyone control you. Submitting to your partner’s every desire does not mean you love them more nor will it make them love you more.
You are waiting to be saved.
Do yourself a favor, save yourself and don’t wait to be saved by someone. Be your heroin, your knight in shining armor and then your partner can be the person that needs to be, without having been your saving grace.
You often think that you require getting the love you want.
Always keep in mind that giving is always better than receiving. Hence, giving love is more important than receiving love. If you have a lot in you and you are sharing it with your significant other. Rest assured that it will come back to you tenfold.