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Love and Codependency: 4 Signs You May Be Exhibiting Codependent Tendencies In Your Relationship

Codependency is a concept and a term that was originally used to describe the common characteristics of partners and loved ones of addicts. It describes some traits that are common in people who choose to be closely involved with those who are not fully functional in life, who are dependent on a substance to feel good, and capable of living life from day to day. A person who is codependent may be thought of as addicted to the protective, tormenting, and controlling nature of a relationship with an addict. Similar traits can be found in partners of abusers or in other relationships where there is a dysfunctional imbalance within the relationship. Here are 4 signs that you may be exhibiting codependent tendencies in your relationship:

1. You make excuses and rationalize your partner’s bad behavior. You can make statements like “At least he or she doesn’t _______.” It is true that there can be worse situations, but that is like comparing car accidents. In one you can be paralyzed for life, in the other you can simply break your legs and end up with facial scars. Really, is getting to your destination safely not the preferable alternative?

2. You hide your partner’s bad behavior from others and try to cover it up. For example, you may call your partner’s work sick for them, when the truth is that your partner is too hungover to go to work. You can step in and try to fulfill the obligations that your partner is failing due to your dysfunction. You may feel the desire to protect your partner’s reputation, as well as to minimize your pain out of shame that you are condoning your partner’s destructive behavior.

3. You are afraid of leaving your partner because of what he or she might do. You take responsibility for your partner’s daily life, well-being, and even safety. You feel convinced that your partner will not be able to go on without you, and you feel compelled to stay to save him.

4. You are afraid of losing your partner yourself, and you rarely rock the boat, as the threat of losing your partner is greater than your desire to address relationship problems. You feel that you cannot live without this person, that you lose purpose if you do not care about your partner. If he gives an ultimatum, he gives up and doesn’t follow through. It is more comfortable to stay in this system in which you are needed and give more than to take a step into the unknown and seek a relationship based on equality and balance.

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