The term "codependency" was once applied to those who were in romantic (or other) relationships with a person who was addicted to substances or alcohol. The definition of "codependent" has grown, over the years, to include any person who is in an unhealthy, mutually satisfactory relationship.

People who have issues with co-dependence (often the result of childhood traumas), often seek and form one-sided, emotionally destructive relationships, as a result of low-self esteem.

Sounds pretty harsh, right? Luckily, like with all problems in life, a little knowledge may be all it takes to change these unhealthy patterns of behavior.

Here are some signs that you may be codependent.

1) Thanks to a pretty nasty case of low-self esteem, you don't see yourself as lovable or worthy of love.

2) You must be right and save face in front of your partner - even if that means lying or being evasive in order not to evoke anger or rejection from your partner.

3) Instead of being honest about pain, you instead mask the pain so it shows up in indirect fashions: you may lash out in anger, use humor or isolate yourself rather than show pain.

4) You believe that your partner (and, frankly, ALL of your partners) are unable to care for themselves; instead, they need you to care for them in order to be okay.

5) At the same time, you put aside your own wants and needs in order to ensure your partner has all that he or she needs from you.

6) You're afraid to open up to your partner and let him or her know what you want and need out of the relationship, because you're afraid you'll appear "weak."

7) You constantly go after unavailable partners - those who are married or those who are not looking to date, in order to keep yourself isolated and alone.

8) You lavish gifts, praise and attention upon those you want to date, mistaking this type of attention for love.

9) You find that you stay in bad relationships for far too long - you're loyal to a fault, which, coupled with a fear of being alone, means that you're more content to stay with the "devil you know" versus the "devil you don't."

10) You avoid intimacy on any level (sexual, physical, or emotional) to maintain distance between yourself and others in an attempt to keep yourself "safe."

11) You allow your addiction to your relationship to distract you from forming actual intimate relationships.

12) Rather than use healthy patterns of communication in relationships, you instead, use indirect or passive-aggressive types of communication to try and avoid conflicts or spats.

13) You use sexual attention from others as a sign of approval and acceptance.

14) You mistake sex for love.

15) You're afraid to show any outward signs of emotions because you're afraid you'll be seen as weak by your partner.

What are some other signs of codependency?

 

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