Being in a relationship always encourages you to do many things to make your partner happy. It's an instinct when you have had a deep connection with your significant other for quite a long time. Sacrificing your time, energy, and material things for your partner is not wrong. However, if you have sacrificed a lot yet don't get what you deserve—let alone equal treatment—there's a chance you could be stuck in a codependent relationship. This kind of relationship is known to be unhealthy and must be taken seriously. Well, what is a codependent relationship in explanation by the experts?
Ilustrasi Codependent Relationship/ Foto: Tirachard Kumtanom - Pexels
According to Medical News Today, the term 'codependency' is often used casually to describe relationships where a person is needy or dependent upon another person. Therefore, codependent relationship is a term to describe a relationship in which one party always sacrifices their own needs and wants only to please the other party. In a codependent relationship, every decision made isn't on their own accord; but most of the time it depends on the approval of the other party.
This kind of relationship is quite extreme as a codependent person will plan their entire life and future around pleasing the partner. Codependency is not pleasant for either partner because it allows one party to be addicted to the treatment while forcing the other one to completely forgot their own needs and desire to take care of and please the partner. So, how do you know that you're in a codependent relationship? Are there any signs that you're currently facing?
Ilustrasi codependent relationship/ Foto: Maria Lindsey - Pexels
Fort Behavioral Health has compiled a list of some warning signs you might be in a codependent relationship.
1. People Pleasing
There's a difference between having a tendency to please people normally and having to please people all the time. People pleasers often don't like to say no, even when the action contradicts their wants and needs.
2. Lack of Boundaries
People in a codependent relationship tend to have problems recognizing, respecting, and reinforcing boundaries. Thus, one person tends to be more in control and manipulative, and the other person fails to assert their own will.
3. Poor Self-Esteem
Typically, neither person in a codependent relationship has very good self-esteem. This is mainly because one party always needs approval and depends on the other person.
A major sign of codependency is when you feel like you have to take care of everyone all the time. Most people can get by fairly well on their own, and feeling like things will go wrong if you don't take care of them is often a sign of codependency.
Another sign that you might be in a codependent relationship is when you find yourself being defensive or easily internalizing criticism. This results in losing touch with your wants and needs.
6. Poor Communication
The party who plays the role of the caregiver is often unaware of their wants and needs, and when they are aware of them, they may be reluctant to express them. They may feel like caring for the other person is the most important thing, or they may fear making the other party upset by asserting themselves.
7. Lack of Self-Image
The caregiver may have low self-esteem or they may not have much of a self-image fully, especially when they're not with their partner. This is why the caregiver is also dependent.
Dependency plays a major role in codependency. Each person needs the other for something, but it's way beyond the limit as they are very dependent on each other.
9. Relationship Stress
The factors above could also lead to relationship stress when one party is bound to be pressured for doing everything right for the partner, while the other one often feels insecure about being abandoned for they are always being given attention, care, and everything needed.
So, how can people in this relationship overcome this situation of being dependent on one another?
Ilustrasi pasangan/ Foto: Tan Dahn/Pexels
People in a codependent relationship are encouraged to take small steps towards some space and separation in their relationship by finding new hobbies or activities they enjoy outside the relationship. Moreover, the enabler also has to stop allowing themselves to make extreme sacrifices for their partner only to please them, as the relationship should work both ways, and both parties should receive equal treatment.