Emotionally Abusive Relationships & Codependency – 5 Signs You May Have Codependent Tendencies

Codependency is a term coined to describe couples involved with addicts. It describes a dynamic in which a codependent partner allows, justifies, and fights within their own limits against the addict’s harmful behavior. Often, some similar characteristics are found in the partners of emotional and psychological abusers (who, of course, can also be addicts). The victim of the emotional abuser may make excuses for the abuser’s actions, minimize or rationalize the situation, and be afraid to confront the issue.

Here are 5 signs that you may have codependent tendencies:

1. You minimize your partner’s behavior. You can use phrases like “At least he or she doesn’t _____.” There may be a situation worse than yours, but think of it this way: You can be in two car accidents, one leaves you paralyzed, and the other just breaks a couple of bones and scratches your face. But wouldn’t safe, incident-free driving be better than any of these scenarios? The fact that your situation is not violent, or that your partner is not “as bad” as someone else, does not mean that the situation is desirable.

2. You hide your partner’s destructive or hurtful behavior from others. You may feel embarrassed by the way you are treated and may also feel protective of your partner’s reputation.

3. You make excuses to your partner in front of others. You can try to cover commitments you haven’t kept, or explain to others why your partner can’t keep them. You are taking responsibility for something that should be your partner’s obligation to address.

4. It is more important to maintain some kind of status quo than to risk “rocking the boat” and losing your partner. You are certain that you will not be able to continue without this person, regardless of how destructive their behavior is to you and the relationship.

5. You are convinced that your partner needs you and something bad will happen if you leave. You find yourself taking responsibility for your state of mind and your actions, sometimes for your own life. You feel more comfortable being the giver, rather than enjoying an equal relationship of give and take.

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