Skip to content

5 Signs That You Are Being Codependent In Your Relationship

Signs Being Codependent In Relationship

In a codependent relationship, one person’s needs and feeling takes precedence over another partner. Emotional dependency can be very unhealthy where the giver loses a part of themselves. Here’re the subtle signs of codependency in your relationship that you didn’t realize that you were being codependent.

Are your friends telling you that you are being codependent in your relationship? Do you not really know what that means? Is it a term you have heard but are you not clear on its meaning?

The definition of a codependent is characterized by excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.’

Here Are The Signs Of Codependency In Relationships

Now that you understand what the term ‘codependent’ means, let’s explore the signs of whether you are being codependent in your relationship.

Signs Of Codependency In Relationships
How To Know If You Are Codependent: 5 Signs of Codependency in Relationships

1. The need to please.

Do you do anything that you can to please your partner? Do you dress the way they want you to, listen to the same music they do, cook only their favorite things, compliment them on everything? Have you basically let go of who you are to keep your person happy?

And have you done this because you are afraid that if you don’t, your partner will be angry or, even worse, leave you?

I have a client who bent over backward to please her partner. She was sure that if she didn’t, he would leave her. She attended to his every need, pretended that it was ok that he was always late coming over, bought him things, and walked his dog. Why did she do all of these things? Because she was worried that he would leave her.

Ultimately, he did leave her. He recognized the codependency in their relationship and didn’t like the role that he was playing in it. So, he left, got his shit together, and soon after found someone who didn’t bend over backward to please him, with whom he could have a healthy relationship.

2. Caretaking.

I know that caretaking might seem a lot like doing anything to please your partner but it isn’t. Caretaking is supporting your partner’s illness or addiction in a way to justify behaviors or even hide it from the world.

I have a client who was in a long-term relationship with an alcoholic. He would go on 3-day benders where he disappeared. He would call her from a police station, having been arrested. He was narcissistic and inconsistent in his feelings for her and their relationship. He was verbally and emotionally abusive. And, in spite of all that, she still loved him. And, even worse, she protected him.

My client used to go out of her way to protect her man, to not let the world see what he was struggling with. She hid his drinking from his children, she made excuses when he didn’t show up to family events, and she justified his absences from their life together.

She took care of him to the point that she was enabling his behavior, his addiction. And this is one of the most destructive hallmarks of codependency – caretaking someone in such a way that you don’t give them the opportunity to heal!

Read: Changing Codependent Dynamics in Abusive Relationships

3. Dependency.

5 Signs That You Are Being Codependent In Your Relationship
Signs You Are Codependent In Your Relationship:

As I have described above, the signs that you are being codependent in your relationship, one would think that the person being taken care of would be the dependent one. And while that is true to a degree, there is a dependency on the part of the caregiver that is a sign of codependency.

What do I mean by that?

In the example of my client, over the years she came to NEED to take care of him almost more than he needed to be taken care of. Her determination to keep him safe and well cared for was something that she needed in her life and she felt like, without it, she might die.

Pages: 1 2 3

Mitzi Bockmann

I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.View Author posts