5 Ways to Notice Codependency in a Relationship

You may have started to feel like you and your partner are genuinely attached at the hip. In fact, the two of you struggle to do anything without each other. Your friends and family have expressed their concerns, and deep down, you can’t help but acknowledge that their worries are not completely unfounded. You never want to spend time away from your partner, and when you try, it results in arguments. It feels like you can no longer fully “exist” outside of the relationship. The feeling scares you, but so does the idea of ending your relationship.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you may be in a codependent relationship. Here are a few telltale signs of codependency in a relationship.

1. You Feel Like You Need to “Save” Your Partner

Perhaps it seems like you’re fully responsible for your partner. If they’re upset, your first assumption is that you did something wrong. When they make a mistake, you might start asking yourself what you could have done to prevent it. To make matters worse, your partner might regularly blame you for their own mishaps. In the context of your relationship, you’re stuck with the “savior” role. No matter your partner’s actions, you’re used to accepting responsibility for the outcome, and now, you’re always trying to “save” your partner from their own consequences.

2. You’ve Pushed Your Own Needs to the Back Burner

You’re so accustomed to meeting your partner’s every need that you no longer pay much attention to your own needs. In fact, you rarely ask your partner for everything. When you do, they find a way to make you feel guilty. Alternatively, you might not even be aware of your own needs anymore. Perhaps you’re so used to making choices that revolve around your partner that you never even check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling anymore. You’ve dismissed your own needs, and instead, you pour all of your energy into trying to make your partner happy.

3. Self-Care Makes You Feel Selfish

After suppressing even your most basic needs for such a long time, the idea of blocking out time for self-care makes you feel so selfish that you rarely ever try. Self-care isn’t selfish. In fact, it’s integral to your well-being. But ever since you began dating your partner, you’ve slowly given up your own hobbies. You spend so much time supporting your partner that you can’t even remember the last time you pampered yourself or indulged in an activity that only you enjoy.

4. You Frequently Cancel Plans for Your Partner

Maybe your friends have stopped reaching out to you because they’re so used to you canceling plans at the last minute because of your partner. You aren’t intentionally being flaky, but your partner gets so upset when you can’t make time for them that you feel pressured into canceling plans.

5. Your Attempts to Set Boundaries Never Last

At times, you might recognize that your relationship with your partner is not truly healthy. Perhaps you’ve even tried setting boundaries to get more of your time back. But every time you try to communicate these new boundaries to your partner, they push back. You might successfully stick with a boundary on one or two occasions, yet with a little time, your partner always manages to steamroll over these boundaries. Instead of trying to stand your ground, you give in quickly because you’re scared of losing your partner.

Are you struggling with codependency in your relationships? A therapist can help you let go of these tendencies. Reach out to us to find out more about booking your first session.