Codependent relationships typically lead to mental health issues. What appears to be close bonding time becomes a fuel for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and more. If you or someone you know is in a codependent relationship, you may have already noticed these issues develop. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to reduce the effects of relationship addiction. Here are some symptoms of codependency you can watch out for.
What Causes Codependency?
Codependency can stem from a variety of sources. One person may have had a codependent relationship with a parent in the past. Those behaviors have now continued in their romantic relationship. A couple may experience a trauma together that creates an environment for codependency. Infidelity may lead to trust issues, which may become codependent behaviors.
Codependency is also a spectrum. Some couples have extreme levels of relationship addiction, while others have codependent tendencies. If you are examining elements of your own relationship, be aware of these variations.
Symptoms of Codependent Relationships
Here are some common signs of codependency:
- Little to no individual activities – the couple spends most or all of their free time together
- Frequent contact, even in inappropriate times – example: non-emergency phone calls at work
- Controlling actions – one person must ‘approve’ of the other person’s actions
- Poor communication skills – may result in emotional outbursts, circular arguments, elongated disputes, and more
- Anxiety while separated – an inability to spend the night apart
- Low self-esteem – one or both parties may experience this
- The need to go over-and-above to resolve a conflict – a simple apology is not sufficient
Almost all the symptoms of codependency stem from poor personal boundaries. By learning how to establish healthy boundaries within the relationship, codependents can break the cycle and enjoy a better quality of life.
What to Do If You’re in a Codependent Relationship
The symptoms of codependency often go unnoticed. You may not have noticed your relationship progressing in that manner. Now that you’re aware of it, what can you do?
You don’t have to end your relationship because of codependency. You simply need to create new boundaries for you and your partner. In the second half of this guide, we will explain how to establish healthy boundaries in a codependent relationship.