One of the common relationships among some youth is codependent relationship which signifies a level of unhealthy clinginess. That’s a relationship where one person does not have self-sufficiency or autonomy when ‘one or both parties depend on their loved ones for fulfillment.’
Talking about codependent relationship there is need to understand the meaning of the word ‘codependent’ as regarding to relationship.
Taking from the work of FeiFei Sun and reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, the meaning of a codependent relationship according to experts “is a pattern of behavior in which you find yourself dependent on approval from someone else for your self-worth and identity.”
One key sign is when your sense of purpose in life wraps around making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner’s needs.
Anyone can become codependent. Some researches suggest that people who have parents who emotionally abused or neglected them in their teen ages are more likely to enter codependent relationships.
Not everyone knows if he or she is in a codependent relationship but you can watch out or ask yourself the following signs as they can be of help to you in order to understand and identify if your relationship is codependent or not: What you need to know first is if you are unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of a specific person; if you recognize unhealthy behaviors in your partner but stay with him or her in spite of them and are you giving support to your partner at the cost of your own mental, emotional, and physical health.
More so, individuals can also assume they are in a codependent relationship if people around them give them feedback that they are too dependent on their partner or if they have a desire at times, for more independence but feel an even-stronger conflict when they attempt to separate in any way.
In a codependent relationship, according to Meyers, people will feel anxiety more consistently than any other emotion in the relationship. They will spend a great deal of time and energy either trying to change their partner or trying to conform to their partner’s wishes.
There are different impacts on a codependent relationship, this is giving up your own needs and identity to meet the needs of a partner and it has unhealthy short-term and long-term consequences.
“You can become burned out, exhausted, and begin to neglect other important relationships and if you’re the enabler in a codependent relationship – meaning you promote the other person’s dysfunctions – you can prevent them from learning common and needed life lessons.”
However, you can change a codependent relationship which breaking up is not necessarily the best or only situation, but to set boundaries and find happiness as an individual.
The recommendation is that partners talk about and set relationship goals that satisfy them both. Another thing is that it is important to spend time with relatives, friends, and family to broaden the circle of support. Also, find hobbies of your own. Try separating for certain period of time to create a healthy dependence on one another.
But special warning from the expert is for you to keep in mind that your actions may unintentionally worsen a codependent relationship. This is because sometimes people delude themselves into thinking that they are helping a codependent partner by continuing to cater to his or her anxiety. But the question to ask is if you are truly helping or simply fostering that negativity.