5 Signs You’re In A Codependant Relationship
Codependency is a chemical addiction to adrenaline created by the pain we feel in an unhealthy relationship. How does this begin? A narcissistic person often attracts someone with low self esteem, and this quickly results in an unconscious chemical addiction for the person with low self esteem until they find the information that that guides them out of the hole they have fallen into.
A narcissist is someone who thinks they are somehow superior to others, who manipulates others around them to build up their own ego. They often do this by targeting insecure people with an overabundance of compliments and attention to falsely build up their confidence. What results is a dependency on those compliments, that attention, and eventually the person themself. That’s a slippery slope, because allowing that person any influence and voice in your life means you’ll believe them when they begin insulting you and demanding things from you. They have you eating out of the palm of your hand.
It’s not as if a narcissist has a tattoo on their forehead that says, “I’m a narcissist!” They are not always aware of it themselves, and they are very charismatic. People in codependent relationships often end up that way in the first place because of the falsely trusting relationship that the narcissistic person has built.
People find themselves unable to escape the pattern of addiction in their own mind, a kind of emotional dependency. They are often aware the other person is not good for them but feel as if they are literally trapped.
Here are some indicators that you’re in a codependent relationship.
You Might Be in a Codependent Relationship If…
- You’re Not Treated Well, Which Causes Frequent Arguments - If you’re always the one initiating conversations and waiting long periods of time for them to get back to you, this is an early tell of manipulation. If you feel your partner does things that are insensitive (intentionally or otherwise) or does not show consistent kindness and affection, you might be on the track to codependency. This is especially true if these actions are culminating in frequent, unresolved arguments.
- You Worry About What They Think About You - If you feel extremely self conscious around your partner and when you’re with other people, this is a sign of codependency. If you’re elated by your partner’s compliments and destroyed by their criticisms, this is an unhealthy balance, suggesting a larger problem in the relationship.
- You Constantly Think About Your Partner - There’s an unhealthy obsessiveness in a codependent relationship. You lose yourself in it. You revolve your thoughts and life around one person, often cutting off communication with other important people in your life and slowly losing interest in doing things you used to love if they don’t involve your partner.
- You’re Anxious Most of the Time in (and outside) the Relationship - If you are always worrying about spending time with your partner, wondering what they are doing and how they feel about you, you can be sure you’re in an unhealthy dynamic of codependency.
- Your Partner is Emotionally Unavailable or Unreliable - If your partner doesn’t value your emotions, your time, or stick to their word, these are all manipulative behaviors they are consciously or unconsciously using to take your power away from you and build their own fragile ego.
How to Heal
First you will need to start working on building up your self esteem using techniques such as affirmation, meditation, and journaling. Consistent work on building up and retraining your brain will help you to stop seeking validation from your partner and allow you to feel good about yourself on your own.
The next step is creating healthy boundaries for yourself. You cannot constantly accommodate your partner, you must say how you feel, what you are okay with and what is disrespectful. This will either change the inequality that has developed in the relationship or you’ll realize you need to leave.
If you have a pattern of being a nurturer in relationships and feeling secondary, the issue is something that needs to shift within yourself. Often people like this had dysfunctional childhoods where they were parenting one of their parents and they attract people they can play that role with. You’ll need to establish very clearly in your own mind what a healthy relationship looks like as far as treatment, balance, communication, and equality goes so you can start to step into a new reality.
Do not blame yourself for the pain you are experience, but you’ll need to recognize how you enable your partner to walk all over you and stop that behavior. You’ll also need to know how to spot a narcissist by being aware first of how they will throw excessive compliments at you but ultimately be very unreliable and manipulative.
A healthy relationship is nurturing and both people grow in it. No one will have all the control. Each person should maintain a sense of self and individuality, rather than a collapse of identity. A healthy relationship is where both people give and neither feels responsible for or like they have to manage the other person’s behaviors.
Promise yourself that you will establish healthy boundaries and provide your own self esteem. You deserve to care for yourself.
After all, you are your longest, most important relationship.