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Four Signs That You May Be in a Codependent Relationship

The term codependency is thrown around often, but what does it mean when it comes to romantic relationships? Codependency shows up differently in romantic relationships than it does when discussed in association with substance abuse. In many ways, it is harder to spot.

Healthy, loving relationships thrive on togetherness and support, but what happens when it impedes one partner’s individuality? Here are a few signs that your relationship may be codependent.

Sign #1: You are unable to make decisions without input from your partner

Asking for your partner’s opinion about your life is healthy and acceptable, but not being able to decide anything without their input is not. Maybe you seek their approval because you do not feel confident enough to decide on your own. Maybe you seek guidance because they require it. Either situation stifles your personal growth. When others always decide for you, it does not allow you to be successful and prove to yourself that you are capable.

Sign #2: You do EVERYTHING together

When you first met, you probably had separate hobbies, friends, and interests. However, now you only rely on each other’s company for entertainment and leisure activities. The transition into new relationships can disturb the frequency at which you engage with others, but it should not discontinue them altogether. In healthy relationships, each partner can have their own set of friends, interests, and hobbies.

Sign #3: You are afraid to say “no” to your partner

There could be several reasons why you feel afraid to say “no” to your partner: fear of rejection if you do not comply, you feel like their love and admiration is conditional on your compliance, or you experienced abuse in the past. “No” is not a dirty word in a healthy relationship. If you notice that you feel anxious when you say “no” to your partner, it could be a sign of codependency.

Sign #4: You feel responsible for their actions

If you find yourself making excuses and feeling guilt or shame for your partner’s actions or lack of actions when talking to family or friends, this is a sign of codependency. You are only responsible for your own actions; no one else’s actions are a reflection of you.

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