Codependent Relationships is where one person is the caretaker in the relationship. A Codependent Relationship is where one partner has a strong need to feel wanted and they get their happiness and identity by making the other person happy.
“It’s late and I have to keep everything ready on the table before he comes home, otherwise he will be furious!”
“I don’t want to go anywhere because she isn’t going.”
“I have to manage these things all by myself, he will burdened otherwise.”
It is surprising how many types of relationships grow up centring around the aspect of love. While they can be between partners, among family members or even friends, it is indeed something to muse on- how many different types of relationship you share with the different types of people in your life. But does it seem that you are too much engrossed into meeting the needs of that one person in your life beyond whom you cannot think? If so, you probably are in a codependent relationship.
What is a Codependent Relationship?
Codependency refers to the way you behave wherein you give precedence to the needs of the other person or persons by subverting your own needs and desires. It is extreme dedication which you get into to ensure that the other person is happy, even if it means letting go of your own self-worth and self-esteem. So if you find yourself doing things for your partner, another family member or a friend without getting anything in return that makes you satisfied and happy, you are in what is known as a Codependent relationship.
In a codependent relationship, the ‘caretaker’ or the one who takes the onus of elevating the requirements of the other person leads the partner or the ‘taker’ to be heavily dependent on the former, with the result that, the ‘caretaker’ gradually feels worn out and drained. As time progresses with more and more responsibilities and things to do in order to meet the needs of the other person, the caretaker gets into a mode where he or she cannot get out of the relationship.
How do you know you are in a Codependent Relationship?
1/5. It is okay if he is hurting me, after all I love him and the pain is something I ought to bear.
When you gradually feel you are in a relationship beyond which you cannot think, or you feel it hard to just take yourself away from the thoughts of it, you can be taken to be in a codependent relationship. Do you feel guilty if you self-indulge in things that you would otherwise desire or love to do, but cannot since he or she does not like it? Do you feel it’s wrong to enjoy with him or her? Do people around you say that you are simply obsessed about the person or too dependent on him or her? If you do feel any of these, you are sure to feel anxious for most of the time. Often, hurt or pain inflicted by the person will seem to get negated in your mind and you would continue despite everything.
2/5. I am stuck in a mundane, sluggish relationship and there’s no future of it! I wish I hadn’t made the mistake of getting hitched with her!
Blaming is often one of the most conceivable signs of being in a codependent relationship. Whereas you do not find any peace or pleasure in each other’s company, you cannot do without each other and as a result you are constantly in a state of stress. You feel you took a wrong decision and then the blame game starts. These blame games lead to frequent fights as neither the caretaker, nor the taker gets the peace in the company of the each other.
3/5. If it hadn’t been for her reactions to the slightest of provocations, I would not have developed such a temperament.
Codependency gives rise to frustrations, irritations and unhappiness as you feel it’s your partner who is responsible for all the bad things that is happening in your life, instead of introspecting and trying to find out what went wrong in your own self. On the other hand, the caretaker feels dejected, neglected and deprived of the love and attention he or she needs in lieu of the sacrifices or commitment he or she is giving for the person.
4/5. Sorry, I have to cancel the dinner plan since he is on leave and would want my presence.
Have you ever felt you have cut yourself out from the rest of the world, just to be with your partner? Do your friends complain often of being someone who never comes out with them? You might just be feeling that if you are giving time to your relatives and friends, you may be losing out on an opportunity to be with your partner and striking a connection or the prospect of spending some good time with him. There will be a point when you will feel shattered and being nowhere, if you give too much precedence to one person.
5/5. It is been ages I have read a book with the intense interest that I used to have before.
You feel your space, your freedom or your own interests are not yours anymore because you get busy in satisfying the other person. You feel anxious if things are quite not the way your partner likes, even if you are perfectly comfortable with it. Your ways of doing things are thwarted by your partner’s methods and you let go of your own hobbies and interest in the pace of doing things for your partner.
So is there a way to get out of Codependent relationships?
Getting out of Codependent relationships isn’t easy, but is achievable. You both need to understand and agree to the fact that you are in such a relationship and work towards bettering it. But first of all, be mindful and learn to love yourself, for it is only when you love yourself and do things you like, will you be happy and be in a position to share love.
Introspect and check your values and virtues that you seem to have sacrificed. Can they not be maintained in the relationship at all? If you feel it is difficult to bring changes in your partner’s behavior, start working on your own self. Talk out with your partner, be candid with your expressions and accept your own mistakes and responsibilities. At the end of it all, if you can get yourself back and bring back your own value systems, the battle will be half won.
A Codependent Relationship never works, in the long term. No one person can keep giving, endlessly, even if they want to. An intervention, a course correction, with the help of a related expert can help reset relationship boundaries and go beyond being the relationship caregiver or codependent.