What it Means to be in a Codependent Relationship

Being in a relationship can be very rewarding. It provides you with comfort and safety if you are with the right person. Especially in relationships, your partner becomes the sun your world revolves around. The honeymoon phase is exciting and rewarding, but knowing when to stop the honeymoon phase and settle into a mature relationship is very important. Because in the long term, if your happiness is dependent on your partner, it is a recipe for a disastrous, co-dependent relationship!

What is Codependency?

According to Brandy Porche, a licensed professional counselor, this term refers to when a person allows another person’s feelings or behavior to influence their own happiness. When we talk about codependency, it is not necessarily an entire relationship that we’re talking about. Instead, individuals in a relationship can be codependent on their loved one. These individuals’ entire personality is based on being needed. Porche elaborated that these people have a savior complex and lack objectivity due to it.

Signs of Codependency

When you’re in a toxic, co-dependent relationship, it can sometimes be hard to recognize as it can look a lot like love. One of the signs is constantly feeling that you have to compromise a lot just to stay with your partner, be it your values or integrity. It is also difficult to distinguish unhealthy codependency from a healthy interdependence which allows two individuals to mutually grow together while still maintaining their individual happiness. But if you feel like you’re trying to shift everything around just to please them, it is a strong sign of an unhealthy relationship.

How to Get Out

Author of Focused Positivity: The Path to Success and Peace of Mind, John F. Thelon, suggests treating codependency like you would any other addiction and deal with it accordingly. According to Thelon, the first sign is accepting that you have a problem and then proceeding to acknowledge that you might need the help of others to overcome this. Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is an organization with a 12-step design to help people get out of it. It also has a website through which you can find the meeting schedule. You can also seek the help of a licensed therapist. Once you unwrap the ball of co-dependency from around you, you can decide for yourself whether you’d like to continue the relationship or not.