3 Tell-Tale Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship

Relationships are tough, and they’re even tougher when you’re in a codependent relationship. A healthy relationship is a balanced one where you and another equally give and take between each other, balancing each other’s needs and wants.

But when you sacrifice yourself – whether it is your time, your feelings, or your needs, the relationship becomes toxic, creating a difficult situation for everyone involved.  A codependent relationship is imbalanced, and it’s driven by the principle that one person will work harder than the other person on their issues. 

In a codependent relationship, people fall into one of two roles: the caretaker and the taker. A caretaker prioritizes the needs of the other person, but this also creates a situation where the caretaker lacks the ability to take care of themselves, emotionally, physically and psychologically. On the other hand, the taker in the relationship takes advantage of the caretaker and blames them as the cause for their problems. 

An addict fueled by drugs and alcohol may not realize that they’re the taker in the relationship. Instead, a common sign among addicts is that they position themselves as the victim. To them, there is always a reason why they have problems – and it isn’t their fault. The reality is that denial is one of the most common traits among addicts. They fail to recognize what’s really going on. 

But the thing is, you need to recognize what’s going on. If you aren’t sure if you’re the caretaker in a codependent relationship, here are some tell-tale signs to look for.

  1. You sacrifice your own needs: you don’t have the time or energy to devote to yourself

It’s tough to take care of your own needs or wants when you’re constantly concerned or worried about someone else’s needs. After all, a codependent relationship sabotages every ounce of time and energy you have. When life revolves around another person, you can’t help but spend every ounce of your being trying to take care of everything – and then feel resentful when no one helps you. 

  1. You feel uneasy: you’re constantly walking on eggshells and hoping they don’t lash out

Do you try to do everything possible to avoid angering or upsetting the other person? You’re conflict-avoidant and simply say yes to everything they demand. This is one of the hallmark signs of a codependent relationship: constant people-pleasing. In a healthy relationship, you shouldn’t ever feel uneasy.

  1. Your loved one is constantly blaming you for their issues 

No one is ever fully responsible for another person’s problems. Rather, all problems have some level of a self-induced cause. And addicts, their problems start when they first start abusing drugs. From there, everything is a problem or issue – and their loved one is the punching bag. 

You deserve to heal from your codependent relationship. It starts with recognizing the signs and getting help.

By Kevin Petersen MA, LMFT

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