How to Tell If You Are in a Co-Dependent Relationship

Updated on September 14, 2017
Room of My Own profile image

Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.

Have you ever wondered if you depend on your partner too much? Or have you worried that your partner is too needy sometimes? Are these the signs of a co-dependent relationship? Read on to find out.

Being in a co-dependent relationship can isolate you from others.

People who are in co-dependent relationships often feel isolated from their friends and family.
People who are in co-dependent relationships often feel isolated from their friends and family.

The need to please other people all the time can be exhausting. It can put a strain on intimate relationships and hinder personal growth and development. Being in a co-dependent relationship is not a relationship based on mutual respect and equality. A co-dependent marriage isn't based on a foundation of "true love." It's based in fear, self-doubt and insecurity.

Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment
Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Commitment

This book is an an eye-opening, yet gentle and compassionate read for anyone wanting to know more about building healthy relationships. After reading this book, I was able to gain insights into how my own past and present relationships were functioning and what I could do to make them better.

 

Are you in a co-dependent relationship?

In their book Conscious Loving, The Journey to Co-Commitment, authors Gay Hendricks, Ph.D and Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D explain that “The drive for approval, and to avoid disapproval, dominates the relationships of co-dependents.”

Here are seven signs that someone may be in a co-dependent relationship:

1. Co-dependent people feel a strong need to help others overcome their bad habits and/or improve their lives. No matter how hard the co-dependent person tries, the people around them just won’t change their bad habits!

2. People who are co-dependent try to fix things that aren’t really their fault. They take responsibility for things that aren’t their problem. Co-dependent personality types often want to take care of other people’s feelings. They have a strong desire to make other people feel better if they’re in a bad mood because somehow they think that they’re the cause of the other person’s bad mood.

3. People who are co-dependent are often afraid that their deepest doubts, fears and secrets will be revealed.

4. Co-dependents tend to suppress what they are really feeling. They have a hard time acknowledging and expressing their emotions. For example, if they are angry about something, they tend to avoid talking about it because they are afraid of creating conflict in their relationships.

5. People who are co-dependent often feel self-conscious. They tend to judge themselves harshly without any reasonable proof for their self-judgement. In fact, they often don’t believe the praise and compliments that other people give them.

6. When a disagreement occurs, a co-dependent person will often try to end the argument by apologizing quickly, taking responsibility for something that wasn’t their fault or promising to be the one who makes the change in the relationship.

7. People who are in a co-dependent relationship tend to end up agreeing to things that they don’t really want to do. They often have trouble asserting themselves.

What I found most interesting about these points about co-dependent relationships is that they can also show up in short-term relationships and encounters as co-dependent behaviors. For example, regarding point # 7 about people in co-dependent relationships always agreeing with the other person, have you ever found yourself agreeing with people whose opinions and actions don't even really matter in your life? For example, do you agree with your casual acquaintances or co-workers all the time rather than clearly expressing what you believe about an issue? See if you can notice any co-dependent type behaviors in interactions you have with others on a casual day-to-day basis.

Are you ready to take the co-dependency quiz?

Few things can make us feel crazier than expecting something from someone who has nothing to give.

Melody Beattie

— Melody Beattie, author of 'Co-Dependent No More'
Being in a co-dependent relationship can lead to low self-esteem.
Being in a co-dependent relationship can lead to low self-esteem. | Source
People in Healthy Relationships:
People in Unhealthy Relationships:
Feel secure, loved and worthy
Feel insecure, neglected and worthless
Have confidence in their decision-making abilities
Rely on their spouses or partners to provide advice
Are able to communciate their needs clearly
Have a hard time expressing themselves
Are not afraid to disagree with their partners
Often try to avoid confict with their spouse at all costs
Can celebrate each others successes
Fear that their partner will abandon them if something better comes along
Do you know the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship?
What would your life look like if you could break free from a co-dependent relationship?
What would your life look like if you could break free from a co-dependent relationship?

© 2013 Sadie Holloway

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pairedlife.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pairedlife.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)