We all know that relationships are not always rainbows and unicorns. There can be many problems in your relationship, and a major one of them is codependency. When we constantly put our partner’s wants ahead of our own to our disadvantage, the relationship may be founded on codependency; that is, when you start putting others’ needs above your own, the connection ceases being healthy. Instead, the relationship begins making its way towards toxicity.
A relationship in which one spouse has a drug or alcohol addiction is a classic illustration of this excessive emotional or psychological dependency on a partner. Addiction is supported when you do everything you can – unconsciously or not – to keep the addiction going. Just like that in a codependent relationship, you feel valued and wanted as long as the other partner wants your help in any difficulty they may face.
Codependency develops when you express your love for your significant other mainly by providing help. In this way, the other person feels loved as a result. We can understand codependency in a way that the more the other person needs your assistance, the more you value yourself in the relationship. Thus, you become the “giver” and fail to see the harm it does to your relationship.
The problem in a codependent relationship isn’t only with the one being helped; it’s also with the helper. You enjoy being viewed as a saviour and supporter in the relationship. Sometimes, it increases to the extent that you’ll be happy as long as the person you’re assisting isn’t functioning well – for example, if they’re actively addicted or in bad physical or mental health – because you’ll feel needed.
Warning Signs of a Codependent Relationship:
It’s natural to want others to like you and to want our loved ones to be happy, but there’s a distinction to be made between these innate desires and the constant need to please others. Unfortunately, people pleasers frequently believe that they have no choice except to make others happy. As a result, they don’t like to say no. Even if it means sacrificing their own goals and needs to please others.
Becoming a people pleaser is the ultimate destination when you put your needs after everyone else’s. By doing so, you walk towards a path that leads to toxicity and codependence, which will ultimately affect your relationship. It certainly does not mean that you don’t consider the needs of your partner. It simply means that you value yourself in the relationship, too. Don’t do things that you are not comfortable with, but your partner might be pleased with.
In most codependent relationships, neither partner has high self-esteem. To have a feeling of purpose, one person needs the approval of the other or, at the very least, needs to be of service to the other. The other person has poor self-esteem due to having to rely on others to satisfy their financial requirements and need affirmation from them. The dependent person is frequently domineering out of a simple fear that the other person would abandon them.
Codependent relationships can badly affect self-esteem. Both you and your partner’s self-esteem drops down, and before you know it, it affects the relationship badly. When you feel that you are having self-esteem issues because of your relationship, it might be time to consider the things that you prioritize with your partner. Reflect on the fundaments of your relationship and try to eliminate the things you think are affecting you.
You may find yourself reacting to events rather than acting on your own will. This happens if your identity is founded on pleasing others and you feel responsible for everyone’s well-being. As a result, you may feel defensive or prone to internalizing criticism. This causes you to lose touch with your own goals and needs, making it challenging to be proactive. It’s also due to your failure to create limits, making you feel responsible for other people’s sentiments.
You control your reactions, and when you prioritize other people over your own values, it affects your responses to things, as well. For example, don’t you like something that your partner does? React in such a way that you reflect your own feelings towards them. Rather than letting their values after your reactions.
Lack of Self-care
The caregiver’s self-esteem may be lacking, or she may have no self-image at all. Frequently, the caregiver defines herself primarily in terms of the other person, and she may have no idea who she is if she is not playing that role. This is why the caregiver is also reliant, although she is in charge of the practical aspects of the situation and could certainly get by without the other person.
It is vital to keep your own identity while being in a relationship. In codependent relationships, that is the thing that lacks the most. You lose ahold of yourself while trying to hold on to your partner. You prioritize them over your mental and physical health. If any such thing is present in your relationship, talk to your partner about it and solve it before it does any harm.
Dependency, of course, is a critical factor in codependency. Each individual is dependent on the other in some way. One person’s material requirements must be fulfilled since their autonomy has been hampered by addiction or other difficulties. On the other hand, taking care of someone provides validation and a sense of purpose for the other person. It’s a compromise in some ways, but it also restricts both parties.
Although it is good to be dependent on your partner for a few things, it is terrible if you cross the limits. After all, relationships are supposed to ensure that you have a person you can depend on in difficulties. But, it will affect you and your partner when it goes way over the top.
These are some of the things that you can look for in a relationship to save it from going down the hill. Remember to talk to your partner about these problems, so you can come up with a solution that suits both of you.
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