The Problem with Codependency in a Relationship
When codependency exists in a relationship whether married or not, there can be a lot of resentment created but
not understood. People often don’t know what it is in the relationship that is bothering them but they know there
is something. They just know the relationship is not fulfilling their needs and they are not getting the kind of
attention they need from their partner.
Codependency in a relationship occurs when one partner put the needs of the other partner above his or her own
needs. This is more than just going out of your way to be nice. People who are codependent ignore their own needs
and feelings to meet the needs of their partner. They are constantly focused on what their partner wants and needs
so they never get to express themselves and say what they need.
Sometimes the line between codependency and trying to be considerate is blurry. Codependency causes people to
stop living life for themselves and their happiness and focus only on what their partner needs. If the man always
chooses the activities he and his partner will do together and neither he or his partner think about what it is she
may want to do, the woman may end up with a lot of resentment towards her partner. Here's another example: the man
may do whatever it takes to make his woman happy by making sure her emotional needs are met and not ever thinking
about what it is that he needs as far as emotional support from her.
In come cases, codependency in a relationship can turn into domestic abuse if one person is meeting the needs of
the partner who wants to control him or her. People can find themselves giving more and more to the point where
they lose themselves. This may sound extreme but it really does happen frequently.
Express Your Feelings
In many situations where there is codependency in the relationship, the person who suppressess his or her needs
and desires can feel resentful. Let's say you'd love to take classes in the evenings but you never sign up because
you don’t want to not be there to cook your husband his supper. You will start to resent your spouse because of
what you gave up for him.
Codependency in the relationship makes communication impossible. You won’t express your needs to your partner.
Even if you wish your partner would pay more attention to you or appreciate everything you, you don’t tell your
partner this. You won’t let your partner know that the overtime he or she works every night is bothering you and
stopping you from pursuing your interests. When there is codependency in a relationship, you let all this build up
inside and don’t express yourself.
Codependency causes you to basically act like a martyr. You sacrifice everything you want, need, and desire to
make sure your partner has all his or her needs met. In reality, all that happens is you get resentful and become
unhappy but your partner won’t understand why you feel that way. Your partner thinks you have a great relationship.
It is no surprise that your partner thinks things are wonderful. Your partner is getting all his or her needs met
by you. Your partner will have a hard time figuring out what it is that is making you unhappy and that is because
you haven’t ever expressed your needs.
Talk to Your Partner
You may need to work with a counselor to learn how to change your codependency in the relationship. It is not
easy to learn to be assertive when you have always been the martyr in the relationship. It can be done and people
do change the codependency in their relationship to respect by opening up and communicating.
One way to change the codependency in the relationship is to start with a small thing you want, such as your
partner to hug you goodbye when leaving. You can tell your partner that if he or she were to hug you goodbye, you
would know he or she is going to miss you while the two of you are apart. When you start with a small thing you
want, you will learn to express yourself on bigger issues.
Your timing is important when you start to change your codependent behavior. It is not a good idea to suddenly
not be home to cook dinner for your husband and just leave a note saying you had plans. If you do this, your
partner will become confused and resentful. Make sure you discuss your plans in advance with your husband, wife or
partner using the communication skills you have learned.
Codependency in the relationship may cause a break up because of all the resentment that builds up and poisons
the relationship. When you change your codependent behavior, you can save your relationship and rebuild a strong
connection with your partner where you are equals.