We've all heard that the ideal relationship is one in which your partner can be everything to you. That sounds romantic, but it's often too good to be true. In fact, the idea of a partner who supplies all your needs could be a sign that you tend toward codependency in relationships. This unhealthy perspective can trap you in an abusive situation or keep you from developing as a complete person. While letting go of a codependent situation can be scary, it's an important part of helping yourself live a full life. Here are some signs that you might be suffering from codependency in your relationships
1. The relationship feels more important than you are.
While every relationship involves compromises and a certain amount of selflessness, it's important not to let them be the defining feature of your partnership. When you would rather sacrifice for your relationship instead of taking care of yourself, it's a sign that something might be wrong. You may be suffering from poor self esteem or feelings of inferiority that make you a martyr to your relationship. This can be very destructive in the end and is a strong sign of codependency in relationships.
2. You can't do things on your own.
When your whole self is caught up in a relationship, it can be hard to do anything by yourself. This might happen because your partner discourages you from being independent, or because you simply feel a lot of self doubt. Either way, it's important to be able to function as an individual. When you become paralyzed if you need to run errands by yourself or spend a weekend without your partner, it indicates that something is very wrong. Don't let your relationship take over your ability to have your own thoughts and make your own decisions.
3. Most of the energy comes from you.
Most codependent relationships are inherently one-sided. You might feel like your partner is distracted or disinterested in you. It might just look like he or she is too busy. No matter why it occurs, codependency in relationships encourages you to pour enormous amounts of time and energy into your partnership. You might be the only person who sets up dates or makes dinner. You could find yourself responsible for making certain that your partner gets to work on time or functions on a day to day basis. While this kind of situation can make you feel needed, it's not a healthy way to live. In a stable relationship, both partners can provide energy to keep things working correctly.
The good news is that a codependent relationship isn't doomed. Even if you feel hopeless, you have the ability to pull your relationship back and establish yourself as a unique person. Many people can save their codependent relationships just by taking a few simple steps. You'll need the cooperation of your partner, and you might require couples or individual counseling to help you both understand healthy roles. Support groups can also help, but the most important thing is deciding that you're ready to get out of your codependent situation and start living a healthier, happier life. Just changing your mindset can be all you need to turn things around and get your relationship back on the right track.