5 signs that you are or have been in a codependent relationship.
When I have written or spoken about the dysfunctional relationship that is the Narc and codependent, I have often referred to the fact that in order for a Narc to be able to repeat his cycle of abuse onto others, these others are also playing a vital role by condoning the Narc's behaviour.
Codependents ultimately are unconsciously attracted to Narcs.
There will be an underlying unconsciousness around why the codependent falls for Narcs and it will most probably be related to the codependent's history/childhood.
We are often unable to identify this codependency within ourselves, so here are 5 clear signs that you are in fact in a codependent relationship.
1. Time apart is lived as a threat.
Time apart is seen as something to fear rather than a positive. E.g. time away seeing family or friends. This time is seen as a negative. This may even progress to disallowing their partner to do certain activities without them. This leads to the partner potentially hiding activities from the other partner for fear of the repercussions.
What is going on here is lack of trust in the relationship and the desire the control the other partner. Healthy relationships allow for time apart with blessing and also respect the independence of the individual.
2. Fear around asking for what we want or need.
When we start not speaking honestly with our partner for fear that this will rock the boat, we are in a codependent relationship. We are scared of what will happen to the relationship if we ask for what we need or want. We then ultimately only really say what we think our partner will accept to keep us safe in the relationship.
We need to be able to share our own truths in relationships and when we start to look to avoiding conversations for fear of being alone or for fear of disagreements, we are not being our true authentic self. If we are not being our true self in a relationships, issues such as lack of trust and resentment start to build which lead to the downfall of the relationship.
3. Either partner makes excuses for the other's disrespectful behaviour.
We may find ourselves in a situation where we realise deep down that our partner's behaviour is not right but we don't want to call it out in case they leave. We are frightened to speak honestly about the behaviour in case it leads to an argument, which may lead to them leaving. We are prevented from again speaking our truth for fear of the repercussions. We then just learn to live with it. We accept it because to speak about it is too bigger fear to face. We make excuses to ourselves, we ignore the big red flag and sweep the issue under the carpet.
4. We start to lose our sense of self.
As a codependent, we sometimes find ourselves morphing into the people that our partners want rather than being the person that we are. Again, this centres around the point of being too scared to live out our own dreams or visions for fear of what the other may think. We are worried that our partner will love us less if we allow them to see who we truly are. We feel more comfortable projecting back to them the vision that we think they will accept and therefore not abandon us.
5. We question the solidity of the relationship
There is often an underlying feeling that the relationship we find ourselves in could end at any time. It a feeling that frightens us and leaves us consistently looking for the other partner to make us feel safe and secure. We could almost go so far as to say that the relationship feels fake. Actions do not match words. We are wondering what our partner is thinking. Healthy relationships allow us to feel grounded and calm. Codependent relationships allow for instability and fear and reinforces the notion of control within the relationship usually by the party that is not codependent.
Do any of these signs sound familiar to you? Do you feel that you are in a codependent relationship? I am a Divorce Coach specialising in divorcing or separating from toxic partners. I offer 1:1 coaching to both men and women reducing the cost, conflict and confusion in your divorce or separation process.
Contact me for a free 15 minute discovery call to see how we can work together.