What is co-dependence?
A co-dependent relationship can be considered as a one-sided real relationship or a relationship addiction, where one person who is co-dependent forgets about his own need and emotions in order to keep the other person happy. It is one-sided because often the other person doesn’t show the same traits. If one is giver the other one is a taker. Below points can help you decide if you are co-dependent in the relationship.
· Notice your behaviour
Observe yourself when you are around your partner, do you prioritize your partner’s needs over your strong emotions? or do you avoid your comfort for the other person? In every relationship, there should be given and take of love and care. If you are focusing only on your partner’s needs and not even considering yours. Then probably, you are co-dependent. Your behaviour may include
– Taking responsibility for another person’s actions.
– Giving more than your share or more than you receive.
– Avoiding conflicts and keeping your emotions to yourself.
· Ask yourself questions
If you still have doubt about your co-dependence then ask yourself below questions.
– Is your partner abusive? (Physically or verbally)
– Do you doubt yourself and your emotions?
– Do you find trouble saying No?
– Do you stay quiet because of fear of breaking up with your partner?
– Do other people’s opinions and views matter more than yours, for you?
If you find yes as an answer for all the above questions, then you are exhibiting co-dependence.
· Determine your feelings
Staying in a co-dependent relationship can very much affect your emotions and feelings and the way you treat them. You might find yourself suppressing your feelings for somebody else. Continuously working towards other person’s need and ignoring self can lead to emotions and feelings like emptiness and low self-esteem.
· Notice your partners behaviour
In a co-dependent relationship, if one person is caretaker or giver then the other person is a taker. If your partner shows the behavioural signs of the taker and you are the giver then your relationship is a co-dependent one. The takers are mostly the dominant one. They want excessive control over things in a relationship. They are often abusive, irritated, angry and make you feel low about yourself. Note this behaviour of your partner.
· Identify situations
Recognise situations in past that have imposed on you such behaviour of yours. Especially if you had experienced physical abuse before you might have been used to suppress your emotions. If you or your partner has an addiction to something or even family history, where your entire family is facing this issue. All these reasons can lead to co-dependence in a relationship.