If you feel that you sacrifice a lot due to your ‘unlimited admiration,’ but in return, you get nothing, you might have stuck in a toxic, codependent relationship. It’s not only about clinging to another person but planning your whole life plan, so it revolves around a partner.
A codependent relationship is an addiction to another person. It’s a dysfunction in which you prioritize your partner’s needs over yours, and the boundary between two people is blurred. One person is a caretaker, and the other starts to rely on them entirely and manipulate them.
Nevertheless, even if you play a taker or giver’s role, your life should be more than satisfying someone’s needs. The first step is to realize the abnormal situation you found yourself in, and the next one is finding a solution. Hence, here are the signals that your attachment is, in fact, a codependent relationship:
1. You Can’t See Your Partner’s Flaws
The first sign that you are codependent is the idealization of a partner. Being hopelessly in love is a romantic picture that Hollywood feeds us with, but it can be psychological repression and manipulation in reality. Nobody is perfect, and if you’re looking for a girl with no flaws, only to give you pleasure, visit Silicon Wives, and get yourself a sex doll.
In a healthy relationship, people are aware that life is not a bed of roses, and instead of idealizing beloved ones, they accept their flaws. Of course, it’s natural to perceive a partner as the ideal in the first stage of a relationship. However, this illusion usually fades and is replaced by acceptance.
If your friends have started to notice that you might have stuck in a toxic relationship, and you still deny it, that’s a warning flag. Givers in codependent relationships often tee off on people who criticize their partner even in a subtle manner.
2. Poor Self-Esteem
Constant craving for the approval of others is a sign of low self-esteem. It’s a reason and the outcome of codependency at the same time. However, the recognition of low self-esteem might also stand a challenge.
If you have a problem making decisions, you don’t rely on your sense of reason. That means that you aren’t aware of your real needs and your picture of yourself is twisted.
Moreover, being a giver in a codependent relationship is strictly connected to the self-image problem, which also stems from low self-esteem. If you stop recognizing the person you’ve been before entering your relationship, it can be the stage in which your partner entirely influenced your identity.
3. Stress And Anxiety
Healthy relationships should provide you mostly with positive feelings and happiness. However, if you are afraid of doing something wrong and getting criticized by your partner, it’s not surprising that you feel stressed and anxious.
Codependent relationships are unbalanced, and you never know how your partner would react to your slip-up. Consequently, you start to watch out for every move you make. Then, if all the reactions and emotions are unpredictable, you feel mostly tension and fear of rejection.
Constant tension and obsession over perfection in the relationship is comparable to the feeling of being trapped. A typical feature of codependency is behaving like an addict, and the drug is another person. Hence, as a typical addict, you are so afraid that you lose your drug that you do everything to hold it tight.
4. Poor Social Life
In a codependent relationship, the boundaries between one person and another are faded. You start to blend with your partner and adapt to their lifestyle. Of course, picking up some of your loved ones’ habits (such as drinking black coffee instead of tea in the morning) is entirely normal. However, if you lose your own identity and replace it with your partner’s personality, it’s really not ok.
If you notice that at some point, all your friends are, in fact, your partner’s friends, that’s a warning flag. Givers often feel scared when they are left alone, and their partner is nowhere around. That’s the reason for the slow process of pulling your old friends to pieces and replacing them with the new ones. Consequently, you are surrounded by the same group of people, and you are rarely separated.
5. Fear of Disagreeing
Another sign of crossing the boundaries in the relationship is a fear of expressing your thoughts. It’s not only about arguments and harsh opinions but it also applies to simple everyday matters. If your partner is dominant and manipulative, you might have forgotten that you used to like science-fiction, simply because he likes comedies. Finally, you end up watching films with canned laughter that you don’t find amusing at all.
If you’ve lost track of your life and crave validation, you might even be assured that you have started to enjoy the activities that are, in fact, your partner’s cup of tea. It’s perfectly normal in a healthy relationship to have different tastes, resulting in finding a compromise, not adjusting to the other person entirely.
“Love above all” has its borders. Feeling trapped in a toxic relationship might signal that you have a codependent personality, and the pattern would be followed with the next partners as well. If you recognize the above signals in your behavior and struggle with addiction to another person, don’t be afraid to ask specialists for help, and become yourself again.