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How to identify codependency in relationship

February 2, 2022

6 min read

Author : United We Care
How to identify codependency in relationship


It can be unhealthy when a person finds himself in a relationship where you are overly dependent on your partner and making sacrifices for your partner’s happiness. If you feel you are only giving and not getting anything in return in a relationship, it is a codependent relationship. However, sure signs can help you identify codependency and get away from it. 

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What is codependency?

People must be Knowing of a codependent relationship. The term codependency means the relationship between two people in which one person acts needy or dependent on another person. The term is not just about typical dependencies, as it involves a more revolutionary process. A person who is codependent on another person will plan their complete life around the given person, also termed as the enabler.

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Is codependency harmful?

In a codependent relationship, the partners become overly invested in one another, making it difficult to function independently. In this relationship, the person’s mood, happiness, and identity depend on the partner. One partner is usually more passive and cannot make decisions for themselves. 

Healthy steps for helping a codependent person

What are the signs of codependency in a relationship?

Given below are some prominent signs of codependency in a relationship:

People Pleasing

It is normal when people want other people’s affection and love. And people do things to make our close ones happy. But there is a massive difference between the regular and permanent urge to make people happy. 

Lack of Boundaries

In this relationship, the partner often does not recognise, respect, and reinforce boundaries. People often find it challenging to recognise their limits in a codependent relationship, and the other partner also lets them cross the border.

Poor Self-Esteem

In a codependent relationship, usually, both partners have low self-esteem. One partner depends on the approval of the other or tries to be at the partner’s service for feeling worthy. The dependent person has a high sense of insecurity that the other partner might leave them.


Sometimes in a codependent relationship, a partner may feel that they need to take care of their partner all the time. The situation generally stems from childhood incidents, where someone warns the caretaker about a bad result if they fail to care for family members.


In a codependent relationship, people can identify codependency if they need to please their partner. Sometimes, one may consider taking care of their wellbeing as the foremost responsibility. In such a relationship, they will react to situations very defensively. 

Poor Communication

Codependency in relationships makes it difficult to communicate appropriately. The caregiving partner becomes unaware of their feelings and needs. As caregivers, they may feel that their primary task is caring for a partner. Hence they become fearful that expressing needs may upset them. 

Lack of Self-Image

If the caregiver has low self-esteem, they might not have a self-image. As a caregiver, they start defining themselves in connection with the partner.  


There is some dependency in every relationship as every person needs their partner for something. For example, one may have material needs due to some addiction, while another partner may require validation and a sense of purpose. 

Relationship Stress

The situation of codependency leads to stress in the relationship. When a partner cannot communicate their needs or respect boundaries, it creates a significant problem. The caretaker feels stressed as they want to do everything right and keep their partner happy. As a result, the dependent partner feels that their partner may leave them and have low self-worth. 

How do you know if you are codependent?

Given below are the steps to determine if a person is codependent in a relationship:

  1. Person finds satisfaction in doing things for the partner.
  2. Stay in the relationship even if the partner is hurtful.
  3. Ready to do anything to please and satisfy their partner at any cost.
  4. Experience anxiety in a relationship, as they always want to make the partner happy.
  5. Give all time and energy to fulfil your partner’s wishes.
  6. Experience guilt when thinking of self in the relationship and ignore personal needs.
  7. Neglect one’s morals or conscience to make the partner happy.

How to stop being codependent?

There are numerous ways that you can use to stop being codependent! Some are-

  1. You need to stop making decisions or controlling your partner.
  2. Try to understand your relationship pattern.
  3. Try to work on your relationship together and realise what a healthy relationship looks like.
  4. Set personal boundaries like learning to say no, ask questions to yourself, don’t get swayed by sympathy.
  5. Offer nutritional support to your partner.
  6. Make efforts to improve your self-worth and self-esteem.
  7. Understand your personal needs.
  8. Go for therapy for assistance in getting rid of codependency.

How to identify codependency in a relationship?

Here are a few ways to identify codependency in a relationship-

  1. The problem in making decisions in a relationship
  2. Unable to locate your feelings
  3. The situation in communication in a relationship
  4. Wanting approval of partner more than yourself
  5. Have poor self-esteem
  6. Fear abandonment by partner
  7. Depending too much on partner
  8. Feeling responsible for the actions of partners

How to help a codependent person?

Here are a few healthy steps for Helping a codependent person:

  1. Communicate your true feeling to your partner
  2. Try to stop negative thinking
  3. Try not to take words personally
  4. Take small breaks
  5. Take help of counselling
  6. Get in touch with a peer group
  7. Establish boundaries in a relationship

If you are in a codependent relationship or know someone who is suffering in a codependent relationship, you may click on the given links-
Codependency In Relationships is very normal, and people feel the need for a partner for something or the other. But it’s unhealthy when it reaches a stage where one partner cannot express oneself and touches indecision about self. In this situation, the dependent partner needs external assistance in therapy to work on the relationship or get out of the unhealthy relationship.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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