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8 red flags you’re in a co-dependent relationship

8 red flags you’re in a co-dependent relationship

What it means to be in a co-dependent relationship

If you find yourself constantly giving up what you want and need to please your partner or cover up for their bad behaviours, that could be a warning sign that you are in a co-dependent relationship, according to the counselling blog Harley Therapy. Co-dependency is an extreme form of sacrificing one’s well-being for someone else.

You cover up your partner’s alcoholism or drug use

If someone has an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or anything else that is harmful to their health, you may feel like you are doing them a favour by helping them out of a jam – but that’s co-dependency, warn the experts at Mental Health America. For example, if someone misses work because they went on a bender the night before, you might feel you’re helping by lying to their boss when they call. However, if you help an addict avoid facing consequences of that behaviour, you’re just enabling the addiction.

You do more than your fair share in the relationship

In a co-dependent relationship, one partner tends to do a lot more of the work than the other partner, writes Gordon. That may be because one partner does not feel capable of doing more, or it can be because the partner is manipulative or selfish, preferring not to put in the same amount of work. Whatever the situation may be, it’s not sustainable for one partner to do the vast majority of the work.

You feel like you need to break away – but you can’t leave

If you start to feel trapped in the relationship, take a good look at what value it really has in your life. Psychology Today reports that relationships require autonomy. Although devoting all your time to your partner can feel like a special level of closeness, blurred boundaries are ultimately suffocating, and they can cause great harm to the relationship.

You have a hard time setting boundaries

Boundaries are healthy and necessary for a healthy relationship. If you have a hard time setting boundaries, examine why that is, advises Gordon. For some people, the idea of preserving some distance between themselves and their partner may seem wrong; according to Psych Central, setting boundaries will help create an environment of mutual respect and enhance closeness.

You have an overwhelming fear of being abandoned by your partner

People in a co-dependent relationship often experience a great deal of fear when their partner pulls away just a little. If you are facing a great fear of being abandoned by your partner, you may go to extremes to keep them. This can lead to a variety of unhealthy behaviour and patterns that can ultimately be detrimental to your relationship, writes Gordon.

You have a difficult time saying no to your partner

If you feel that you need to say yes to your partner even when you strongly want to say no, you’re facing some serious issues, warns Medical News Today. If your partner expects you to always agree with them, they are not fairly considering your wants and needs.

Written by Robin Raven. This article first appeared on Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.