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Toxic Codependency

Signs you're in a codependent relationship by Jerome Hamlett

Photo by Savannah Dematteo from Pexels

Am I codependent or in love?


A relationship is defined as a connection between individuals (the keyword being individuals). Running into problems in a relationship is inevitable. Some problems may seem smaller or larger in comparison to other problems faced in the relationship, but a problem, nevertheless. One of the larger problems faced in some relationships is codependency. According to Dictionary.com, codependency is defined as excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction. There are many different signs of codependency, and at least several are needed to be considered codependent. That means having one or two symptoms does not indicate that you, your partner, or the relationship may not be codependent, but just have codependent tendencies.

Some of the signs of codependency and how to stop being codependent are:


Having difficulty making decisions in a relationship

If you/ your partner is the type of person that does not like grabbing the wheel in a relationship from time to time or have problems deciding on anything, this could be a sign that you are in/part of a codependent relationship. Especially if you find yourself, or they find themselves doing things they’d rather not be doing.


Solution - Nobody likes making all of the decisions all of the time. Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and let the other person take control. Imagine having to always decide on where to eat, and what to do, and having to decide on any and every other activity that you and your partner will do – life would look pretty straining right? When only one person is making all of the decisions in a relationship, the relationship becomes unbalanced. Understand that your opinion matters and that there is nothing sexier than when someone else takes control in a relationship. So, don’t be afraid to decide, and be confident while doing so. Start small if you must and build until you are comfortable enough to make the big decisions.


Difficulties with communication

For some of us (myself included), we have trouble communicating with our partners. One of the most important aspects of any relationship is communication. Communication is how we tell our partner (or vice-versa) whether we are happy, angry, upset, scared, etc. But without communication, how will you/they know. Easy, you/they won’t. Lack of communication between partners can take a great relationship and flip it upside down.


Solution - Sometimes, all we need is the right time. When you do decide to talk to your partner, make sure the mood is right. Also, if you are going to communicate, do it face to face. I know doing it in writing sounds so much easier, but seeing you and hearing the words come out of your mouth will make communicating so much easier for you in the future. And lastly, body language and tone are very important. You are communicating with your partner, not attacking. Remember to breathe before, during, and after talking with them. This will keep your nerves in check and will allow you to say what it is that needs to be said.


Having difficulty identifying your feelings

Many codependent people may experience problems identifying their feelings. In some cases, codependency can be traced back to a previous relationship; and in others, it can go as far back as their childhood. Numerous cases of codependency are caused by many damaging factors that can affect one’s childhood and can grow into adulthood causing anxiety and depression. Some of the factors include living with someone with an alcohol/drug abuse problem, living with someone who hits and belittles you or even living with someone with mental illness.


Solution - Therapy is involved to correct codependency. As stated by mhanational.org, codependency is a behavioral condition and needs the help of a licensed therapist to find the root cause of the condition and correct it.


Codependency can play a destructive role in relationships between family, friends, co-workers, and significant others. Codependency is known as a behavior condition and can be passed down from generation to generation without anyone ever knowing. According to Army.mil, estimates show that over 90% of the American population demonstrates codependent behavior. Down below is a list of more symptoms of codependent behaviors.

· Low self-esteem

· People-pleasing

· Poor boundaries

· Reactivity

· Caretaking

· Controlling

· Dysfunctional communication

· Obsessions

· Dependency

· Painful emotions

· Problems with intimacy


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