Skip to content

5 Signs That You Are Being Codependent In Your Relationship

Signs Being Codependent In Relationship

As a result, even when faced with his toxicity, she didn’t walk away. She was as addicted to taking care of him as he was to the alcohol. As a result, she couldn’t leave. Even more so, she needed to stay.

So, if you find that you are dependent on taking care of your person as a way to keep yourself feeling safe, then that is definitely a sign that you are being codependent in your relationship.

4. Low self-esteem.

In any list that I write about signs of a toxic relationship, lack of self-esteem is on there. Lack of self-esteem is definitely one of the top three signs that your relationship is not healthy.

And why does being codependent in a relationship lead to low self-esteem? It seems like it would be the opposite because you are taking care of someone and that must make you feel good about yourself, right?

5 Signs That You Are Being Codependent In Your Relationship
The Signs Of Codependency In Relationships

Yes, taking care of someone feels good, if you are doing it in a healthy way. BUT, if you are being codependent in your relationship, you are over-giving.  You are over-caring. And you are doing so at the expense of your own mental well-being.

For my client, her addiction to caring for her partner became the central focus of her life. She gave up work, friends, family, and her health in an effort to make sure that her man was well taken care of and protected from outside influences. As a result, her self-esteem sank lower and lower because she stopped knowing who she was outside of the relationship.

Before she met him, my client owned a successful business, was an avid tennis player, had tons of friends, and was a great mom. Slowly, one at a time, those things fell away. The things that she enjoyed she stopped doing. Her work suffered as did her children. And, as a result, she felt worse and worse about herself.

Ironically, the lower her self-esteem sank, the more she engaged in the codependent behaviors because, perversely, those behaviors, she believed, would make her feel better about herself.

Read: 10 Sources Of Low Self-Esteem And How They Manifest

5. An inability to communicate.

The inability to communicate is, like low self-esteem, one of the top three indicators that your relationship is toxic. Communication in a relationship is the thing that holds it together. Not being able to communicate can kill even the healthiest relationship.

As a couple falls into these codependent behaviors, they stop communicating in any meaningful way. Because their lives are basically an illusion, their individual behaviors are based on addiction or caregiving, or some other similar cycle, a couple in a codependent relationship just can’t ‘go there,’ they can’t talk about their relationship or, usually, anything at all.

Being Codependent in A Relationship
How To Stop Being Codependent In A Relationship

And what happens as communication fails in a relationship? Nothing but a big huge mess. The caregiver tiptoes around their partner, trying to keep them happy and safe. The person who is struggling might feel guilty or angry or ashamed or unaware of the efforts of their partner and, because they are struggling, they might project their issues onto their partner.

From there it is a slow, slippery slide down into chaos, into a codependent relationship that is so toxic that one wonders if anyone can emerge from it intact.

So, if you find that you and your partner can’t communicate about anything, other than perhaps the weather, you are most likely being codependent in your relationship.

Recognizing the signs that you are being codependent in your relationship is a key way to either prevent yourself or escape from, that toxic relationship.

In the case of my client, she was able to eventually get away from her partner. Her self-esteem was left in tatters but she wasn’t experiencing this codependency day in and day out so she was able to start to heal.

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