Am I In A Codependent Relationship? 5 Signs You & Your Partner Are Too In Sync
You know the rush of excitement you that feel when entering a new relationship? I get that. You suddenly want to spend all of your time with that person, because seeing them can be addictive. But, you can't exactly completely abandon your whole former life, in order to build that relationship. If this sentiment resonates with you, you may now be wondering — am I in a codependent relationship?
Codependency seems like a buzzword people throw around for a relationship that's simply unhealthy. To get to the bottom of what a codependent relationship actually looks like, I spoke to Jeffrey Rubin, psychotherapist and author of The Art of Flourishing: A Guide to Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Love in a Chaotic World, and Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, about their understanding of the phrase.
"[Codependent relationships are] fundamentally unequal relationships in which one person is subservient to the other person," Rubin tells Elite Daily. "Such relationships are harmful to both people. The one with power cultivates unhealthy qualities and the subordinate person erodes his or her dignity and self-esteem." Rubin says that this imbalance creates a need for one person to get validation from the other in the relationship.
"There is one-sided devotion to the welfare of the person with power," Rubin continues. "The person in the subordinate role is almost completely dependent on the other person for validation."
What does this look like in action? Here are some of the signs of a codependent relationship that you should watch out for.
You check in on your partner all of the time out of fear.
One sign of a codependent relationship can be constantly keeping tabs on what your partner is doing. "You fear not checking in with your partner [because] if you don't, [you think] they may make a poor choice," Richardson tells Elite Daily. If you're doing this, you may want to take a step back and determine why you don't trust your partner, and feel the need to check in on them often.
You constantly want to know their whereabouts.
Another instance that could point towards a codependent relationship is if you keep demanding to know where your partner is 24/7. This can be done through texting, and asking them directly, or sneakily checking up on their location through apps like Find My Friends.
"You feel as though you have to know where they are at all times in order to prevent something bad from happening," Richardson says.
Dealing with location paranoia can be tough, because you may end up just looking for arguments – if you find out your partner is somewhere they didn't say they'd be and you address it, they'll know you were snooping. Try to only use apps like FMF in emergencies, like when your partner is supposed to meet you and is late and doesn't answer.
You do what they want all of the time instead of what you may want.
In a codependent relationship, one partner normally has less power than the other. This person may find themselves actively making more sacrifices and compromises than the other. This may even manifest itself in the form of making drastic decisions prematurely, like moving to a new city or taking a new job.
"Major life choices are made simply [because] your partner would [or] wouldn't like [it], not [because] you guys have sat down and discussed the pros and cons for your relationship as a team and made the choice together," Richardson says.
Depending how early on in the relationship you are and how serious it is between you and your partner, it may not be at the point yet where you would be making life decisions together just yet. But if you feel brushed aside, stand up for yourself and your part of the relationship.
You don't hang out with certain people because they tell you not to.
In a codependent relationship, one partner may dictate who the other partner can or can't hang out with, according to Richardson. The one with more power in the relationship may decide that they don't want their partner around certain people for whatever reason. This is not OK.
If this happens to you, make clear that you can hang out with whoever you want to, and if your partner doesn't like certain people you're friends with, they don't have to hang out with them.
You don't pursue hobbies you like because of your partner's opinion.
"You have stopped engaging in hobbies that you once really enjoyed [because] your partner does not see their value," Richardson says. You need to draw a line if you stop doing certain things that make you happy, and if your partner doesn't like them? They don't have to do those hobbies with you.
If you suspect that any of the above signs are present in your relationship, you may want to have a conversation with your partner about the imbalance in your relationship. With hard work, compassion, and mutual understanding, a codependent relationship can heal into a nourishing bond.
"It is good to have things that are just yours and to remember that your partner was attracted to you when you had your own life, it should be ok to have things outside of your relationship."
Becoming codependent is common and nothing to feel ashamed of. If you become aware that you're in a codependent relationship, communicate your concern with your partner. This is fixable, and it doesn't mean your relationship is doomed.
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