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The 10 Signs Of Codependence

What defines a “healthy relationship” and how are we supposed to know whether our partner is creating dysfunctional environment? Obviously, the answer to that question is not easy to define. But according to a helpful new piece from Psychology Today, there are signs to look out for; particularly when it comes to codependence.

The term “codependence” is something we come across often at inneractions (in fact, we offer group sessions on this very topic). And we always feel that it’s important to spell out what it means when it comes to relationships. In the broadest sense, this behavior leads to one-sided romances. This is where one partner continuously gives up their own wants and needs to please the other. Basically, it’s all give and no take. And for the record, it is very unhealthy.

What Psychology Today writer Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. did in her article was break apart the warning signs into 10 identifiable traits. To help identify whether a codependent relationship pertains to you or someone you care about, we recommended checking off a list from what you read below…

1) Are you quick to say “yes” to your partner without acknowledging your own feelings?

2) Do you often make excuses for your partner’s bad behavior?

3) Are you constantly working to please your partner and make them happy?

4) Are you bailing your partner out when they get into trouble?

5) Do you feel like you lose your sense of identity in your relationship?

6) Do you often feel manipulated by your partner?

7) Do you feel like you don’t get much in return in your relationship?

8) Does it feel like your partner is constantly taking advantage of you?

9) Does the pain your partner feels get put on your shoulders?

10) Is your relationship predicated on conditional and controlling behaviors?


Truth be told, these are not easy questions to face when it comes to your relationship. But they are certainly important, especially when it pertains to a person’s happiness and well-being. Dr. Burn summarized codependence quite well in the tail end of her blog, emphasizing that we all have worth do not deserve to be in one-sided romances.

“Your relationship should not be with someone who takes advantage of your love so they can avoid taking responsibility for their own life,” she explained. “[This ultimately]  supports the other’s underachievement, irresponsibility, immaturity or poor mental or physical health.”

So truth be told, codependence not only hurts you, it hurts the one you’re with. To learn more about ways to overcome these types of relationships, please reach out.

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