Are you in a Codependent Relationship?
Recognizing codependent behavior can be difficult. The truth is that by the time you figure it out, you may be knee deep in an intimate codependent relationship. It could sound something like this:
She comes home having worked a 10 hour day, “I am so exhausted—it was not a good day to break in new shoes. I can’t wait to take a shower and go to bed.”
Her partner says boyishly but not without command, “But I want to go to the movies…tonight.”
Torn between her need for sleep and her need to please, she does what she usually does: downs a quick Red Bull. “What movie?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to see?” The answer is clearly irrelevant because he continues. “I want to see the one that is getting great reviews. You should want to go. You are the one that says we never go out.”
“It’s 3 hours long and I have an early morning,” feet throbbing, she puts back on her new Minola B’s in order to keep the peace.
The reply stings even though she’s used to the tone, “OMG! Let’s just go already; you’ll be sitting down the whole time anyway.
Codependent relationships are emotionally damaging and are not easy to fix. In Psychology Today, Linda Esposito articulates 6 questions that may help you to identify whether your specific situation is a codependent relationship.
• DOES YOUR SENSE OF PURPOSE INVOLVE MAKING EXTREME SACRIFICES TO SATISFY YOUR PARTNER’S NEEDS?
• IS IT DIFFICULT TO SAY NO WHEN YOUR PARTNER MAKES DEMANDS ON YOUR TIME AND ENERGY?
• DO YOU COVER YOUR PARTNER’S PROBLEMS WITH DRUGS, ALCOHOL, OR THE LAW?
• DO YOU CONSTANTLY WORRY ABOUT OTHERS’ OPINIONS OF YOU?
• DO YOU FEEL TRAPPED IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
• DO YOU KEEP QUIET TO AVOID ARGUMENTS?
So. You fear you’re in a codependent relationship; now what? This is when the work begins. I wish I could say it is easy to peel back the many layers of codependent behavior. I can say that it helps if you don’t do it alone. Give yourself:
• SPECIFIC TOOLS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR ESTEEM AND
• SUPPORT TO RECOGNIZE YOUR WORTH