Co-dependent relationships are virtually everywhere and we start getting introduced to them as early as childhood when watching movies about princesses who long for their knight in shining armor.
There are major differences in co-dependent versus inter-dependent relationships. With the latter one being the healthy type for blossoming relationships. If, however, you wonder if you're stuck in a co-dependent relationship, read on.
Here are twelve signs that you’re relating to someone in your life in a co-dependent way:
1. You feel that living without the other person is an impossibility. Even if you did recover from the heartbreak, you really see no point in moving on.
2. You are certain that in order to be happy you need the other person to be a part of your life. We are human and we need human interaction to feel alive, this is normal. If this need is solely focused on one person, however, then it is a clear sign of co-dependency.
3. You feel the need to change something about you, perhaps you want to grow and expand your own self but feel like you cannot change too much or the other person may resent you.
4. You are clear that the relationship has come to an end and you want to move on but you feel guilt for abandoning them since they have done so much for you in the past. You are worried that without you they would crumble and become depressed, unable to function in society.
5. You feel the need to save the other person. Somehow you believe that you are the only and best person for them and that perhaps you are the only person who will ever understand them.
6. You may even tolerate being mistreated or abused by the other person because you feel you either deserve it or because you love them so much. Leaving them is not an option because neither of you could live without each other.
7. You convince yourself that as long as you hang on just a little bit longer, they will eventually change. Perhaps next time they will take your advice or see the light and finally love you the way you deserve to be loved. You convince yourself that all the suffering is worth that one day when he or she truly loves you as much as you love them.
8. You feel powerless to stop the other person from hurting you. Perhaps you feel like a life of pain and betrayal is just your lot. You may even make excuses for why you deserve such harsh treatment.
9. You feel trapped and stuck in the relationship and do not see how you can ever leave this prison. You are afraid to communicate your need to leave and move on, perhaps because they may show a violent temper or sabotage you in any other way.
10. Instead of always loving them you have mixed feelings about them. Sometimes you love them, sometimes you dislike them, even hate them at time. You sometimes feel empowered in the relationship and sometimes you feel completely disempowered.
11. You find yourself sad and depressed for no apparent reason.
12. You cry uncontrollably and for no reason and you've gotten so out of touch with this sinking pain, that you can't even put words to just how miserable you feel most of the time.
There are many other urgent signs that signal that you could be in a co-dependent relationship. Sometimes both people are co-dependent on each other and other times one person does more of the 'leaning on.' It's important to figure out what you want, a co-dependent relationship or an inter-dependent relationship where the relationship is built on mutual respect.
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