You need to be giving and selfless (at times) to carry on a healthy relationship, but women don't have a problem with that. They have the opposite problem. Women can often be too giving because it's just in our nature, and we end up being a doormat. The truth is, if you are perpetually in relationships where you are the doormat, you may have some codependent tendencies because, if you didn't mind being alone, why would you withstand an unhappy relationship?
You never argue
Those with codependent tendencies want to avoid conflict like it's the plague. They are constantly rationalizing with themselves why there is no need to say this or that, and to just keep it to themselves. So, when your significant other says anything you disagree with, you just hold your words. "It's not worth a fight" they tell themselves. But, it's not about being "worth a fight": It's about getting to be who you are. If you're always swallowing your words, your partner not only has no idea who you really are but you've created for yourself an environment in which you cannot really speak up. Now, your boyfriend or girlfriend is accustomed to always getting what they want.
You always say sorry
Guess what? Just because your boyfriend or girlfriend is angry at you doesn't mean you messed up. Codependent people will do anything to keep their partner happy with them and don't dare even question their partner's anger towards them. A healthy person pauses and considers, "Am I in the wrong? Or is my partner being irrational/emotional?" Codependent people skip that thought process completely and are ok with just taking the fall even when they didn't do anything wrong.
You're always arguing
So I mentioned codependent individuals never fight, but there is an exception to this: sometimes ALL they do is fight. Some codependent individuals do not have submissive, doormat personalities and do speak up, but when they find themselves in constant turmoil with a partner, they actually stay with that partner. That too is something codependent individuals do. Think about it: you're yelling every day, you're miserable, and yet…you're not leaving. You'd rather accept constant battles than be alone.
You can't function
It's one thing to daydream about your partner all day and get distracted by that, it's another to be distracted by constantly worrying if they are mad at you and what the state of your relationship is. In a healthy relationship, you should be able to put your partner out of your head, trusting they want you to do well at your job and wouldn't want to get in the way. For years I was in a tumultuous relationship and it really hurt my career as a voice coach. I was clearly distant during singing lessons as I was always worried about keeping my partner happy, and many of my students, feeling they didn't have my full attention, left me. Years later I realized in a good relationship, you can, in fact just forget about your partner for a few hours. You should be able to.
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Vera Esther covers topics in luxury living, healthy habits and relationships. Her articles and blog posts have been published on dozens of websites and her unique titles such as "How to Tell If You're A Dating Addict" and "Improve Your Voice With Your Computer" (an article about an interactive site created by a renowned Los Angeles voice coach) have grabbed the attention of various audiences.
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