We have all heard the term “Codependency.” It can be simply defined as an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner who requires support often due to an illness or addiction. It involves you making tons of sacrifices for your partner’s happiness, but not getting much back in return. One becomes dependent on approval from their partner for their identity and self-worth. You often feel as if you have “lost yourself” because your purpose and focus in life is on making sacrifices to satisfy your partner’s needs or difficult demands while at the same time, your energy and joy is zapped from your being.
One or both partners depend on the other for their total fulfillment and usually one person is not self-sufficient. Some research suggests that those who were emotionally abused or neglected were more likely to become codependent because it became their norm to please and get love, attention and nurturing from a difficult parent. Codependent personalities are particularly vulnerable to the emotional manipulator and toxic personality types.
Here are some warning signs that you may be in a toxic, co-dependent relationship:
- You are aware of your partner’s toxic, unhealthy moodiness, poor choices or behaviors but still stay in the relationship.
- You feel so frustrated; so you have an urge to control your partner when you see that their life, and then your own, has become unmanageable.
- You feel if you can change your toxic partner to be a better person, the relationship would be fixed.
- You over-do, over please, and indulge their needs beyond what is normal, often leading to you feeling burned-out or stressed and having little time for yourself. You have given up on your own goals and dreams.
- You live in a constant, anxious state and have a desire for more independence but have trouble leaving your partner.
- You avoid confronting any of their acting out behaviors like flirting or other disrespect, lateness, impulsive spending, or engaging in an addiction because you are just trying to keep the peace.
- You have little life happiness or satisfaction outside of your partner.
- You do all the work to maintain the relationship and prepare for dates/activities and feel unappreciated and resentful.
- You get overly invested in your partner’s plans and goals and abandon or change your own to match theirs.
- You blame, lecture or try to control your partner when you are disappointed or disagree with their choices.
- You feel abandoned, unappreciated and angry when your partner leaves you unexpectedly.
The dependent partner often rescues an addicted or acting out partner from responsibility by taking care of things. However, the ability to control is a delusion and you can’t love or do enough to make a toxic person want to change their destructive behaviors. They have to decide this for themselves. If, as a woman, you feel the need to “take care of your man,” and you become the strong, responsible “man of the family” or “a mother” to him, you will lose sexual attraction quickly. A codependent woman is overly attached to her “love object” and his problems. She worries excessively about him, feels emotionally dependent upon him, and focuses all her time and energy on him, leaving her physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. This results in her loss of self-confidence and esteem, and her own power and purpose.
Enabling is often a part of a codependent relationship and is a destructive form of helping. It is done to cover the actions of an addicted partner that helps them to avoid the responsibility and consequences of poor choices, and makes it easy for them to continue an addictive action. As you enable, you get angry over the lack of appreciation for your help and lack of time for yourself. Then your partner becomes angry at you for pointing out his incompetency. It is a horrendous, toxic cycle. You feel used, helpless, abused, depressed, anxious, neglected and outraged.
It’s time to start focusing on yourself and get busy in your own life. Stop obsessing over what your partner thinks, feels or does. Remember, their actions don’t define who you are. And instead, do what you love that fulfills your passion in life. Call a Life and Relationship Coach who will help get “YOU” back, by increasing your confidence and self-esteem and launch you into a brand new way of thinking and being. Your new outgoing energy, confidence and enthusiasm in living a purpose-filled life you love will serve as your best attraction factor to finding the love you desire and deserve!
Read more on this topic and others at www.RianaMilne.com and in her book, LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love you Deserve.
Riana Milne, MA, is a #1 Best Selling Author and Certified world-wide Relationship, Love & Life Coach, published author, motivational speaker, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Cert Addictions Professional at Therapy by the Sea; Delray Beach, FL. Her free App: My Relationship Coach offers more articles and her books, LIVE Beyond Your Dreams – from Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose and Success, and LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve addresses relationships with yourself and others. To learn more about Riana’s Relationship, Life or Love Coaching programs or suggest a topic, go to Riana’s website, www.RianaMilne.com or email RianaMilne@gmail.com. Worldwide Coaching Phone: (201) 281-7887. Delray office: (561) 701-8277; Skype Coaching and FB: Coach Riana Milne.