By Matt Kelly
Codependency, as per the American Psychological Association (APA), is defined as, “the state of being mutually reliant, for example, a relationship between two individuals who are emotionally dependent on one another”. The main aspect of recognizing whether codependency is present is the lack of balance within the relationship. Here are a few signs of codependent behavior.
Prioritizing someone else’s needs at the expense of your own
It’s fine to want to make your partner happy and adhering to their desires so that you can both be happy together. But that must be reciprocated. When you “sacrifice yourself to make the other person happy”, you no longer are taking yourself into consideration and are enabling these codependent tendencies. Remember, it’s not selfish to think about yourself and how you feel.
You take responsibility for your partner’s actions
A relationship only works as a team effort. Even though you see yourselves as one, you’re still individuals, which entails each person having their own responsibilities. In a codependent relationship, you may see yourself making excuses for your partner’s poor choices, and even taking responsibility for them yourself. It’s important to recognize that everyone is their own person, and responsible for their own choices.
You try endlessly to make it work
No one said relationships were easy. It definitely takes a lot of patience and perseverance to make it work. But it becomes a sign of codependency when you are trying to save your partner from making bad decisions according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Once you enter a codependent relationship, it can be extremely difficult to break the cycle, whether it be with the same person or throughout your other relationships. The key to recovering from codependency is to prioritize your own needs. Psychology Today uses the term “detachment” which means to “put some emotional or physical space between yourself and others” so that you “stop obsessing about what others are doing or not doing”. Focus on and learn more about yourself so that you can recognize what it is you truly want. And as always, seeking emotional support from professionals or even loved ones can prove to be immensely helpful.