Definition of a co dependent relationship

Codependency Relationships - Codependent

definition of a co dependent relationship

But there is such a thing as being too closely connected to the point that it hurts you and your relationship in the long run. It's called codependency, which means . In codependent relationships, givers have anxious attachment styles—they define themselves by their relationship, and will do whatever it. Codependent relationships are some of most destructive you can be in people sometimes misunderstand what it means to be codependent.

Both find value in the relationship. The codependent person feels worthless unless they are needed by — and making drastic sacrifices for — the enabler.

definition of a co dependent relationship

The enabler gets satisfaction from getting their every need met by the other person. The codependent is only happy when making extreme sacrifices for their partner. They feel they must be needed by this other person to have any purpose.

5 Signs You're in a Codependent Relationship

Both parties make their relationship a priority, but can find joy in outside interests, other friends, and hobbies. The codependent has no personal identity, interests, or values outside of their codependent relationship. Both people can express their emotions and needs and find ways to make the relationship beneficial for both of them.

One person feels that their desires and needs are unimportant and will not express them. They may have difficulty recognizing their own feelings or needs at all. One or both parties can be codependent. A codependent person will neglect other important areas of their life to please their partner.

definition of a co dependent relationship

Their extreme dedication to this one person may cause damage to: A person who relies upon a codependent does not learn how to have an equal, two-sided relationship and often comes to rely upon another person's sacrifices and neediness. Symptoms of codependency It can be hard to distinguish between a person who is codependent and one who is just clingy or very enamored with another person. But, a person who is codependent will usually: Find no satisfaction or happiness in life outside of doing things for the other person.

Stay in the relationship even if they are aware that their partner does hurtful things. Do anything to please and satisfy their enabler no matter what the expense to themselves.

Feel constant anxiety about their relationship due to their desire to always be making the other person happy. They go out of their way and sacrifice their own needs to accommodate other people. Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. They have blurry or weak boundaries. Some codependents have rigid boundaries.

definition of a co dependent relationship

They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones.

If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive.

Symptoms of Codependency

Another effect of poor boundaries is that if someone else has a problem, you want to help them to the point that you give up yourself. Control helps codependents feel safe and secure. Everyone needs some control over events in their life.

Codependents also need to control those close to them, because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay. In fact, people-pleasing and care-taking can be used to control and manipulate people.

Codependents have trouble when it comes to communicating their thoughts, feelings and needs.

Symptoms of Codependency

Communication becomes dishonest and confusing when you try to manipulate the other person out of fear. Codependents have a tendency to spend their time thinking about other people or relationships.

This is caused by their dependency and anxieties and fears. This is one way to stay in denial, discussed below, but it keeps you from living your life. Codependents need other people to like them to feel okay about themselves.

definition of a co dependent relationship

This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even when the relationship is painful or abusive. They end up feeling trapped.


Usually they think the problem is someone else or the situation. They either keep complaining or trying to fix the other person, or go from one relationship or job to another and never own up the fact that they have a problem. Codependents also deny their feelings and needs.

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The same thing goes for their needs. They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy.