Signs of Codependency to Look Out For

Signs of Codependency to Look Out For

Do you often find yourself worrying about the wellbeing of others? Does your preoccupation with other peoples’ problems result in forgetting your own needs?

Being in a loving, healthy relationship means having a support system you can rely on when things get difficult. If, however, you find yourself unable to function without your significant other, it can be a cause for concern.

Many people confuse codependency with interdependency. A stark difference between the two situations, however, is that interdependent relationships involve two people who have autonomy over their thoughts, feelings, and actions unlike in codependent relationships.

The term “codependency” was initially used to define the effect of drug addiction on familial and marital relationships. When the people closest to those struggling with substance addiction enable their unhealthy cyclical patterns, it can become challenging to quit the habit.

This kind of passivity, however, can seep into every relationship and can manifest in a variety of ways.

Difficulty making decisions

Making a healthy relationship work requires open communication and trust from both partners. While you might want to consult with your partner about monumental decisions that affect both of you, your indecisiveness can be a problem if it interferes with your ability to make any decision.

Thinking outside of your relationship and working towards your personal needs and goals is an important aspect of your emotional and psychological wellbeing.


One of the most prominent signs of co-dependence is the excessive need to take care of your partner. Codependents believe their purpose is to make sacrifices, often giving up their own happiness and needs, to make their partner happy.

A compelling need to take care of others and feeling personally responsible for their wellbeing is unhealthy for your own sense of self. Codependent people often seek out people who are in need of caretaking and, thus, are able to fulfill their self-prescribed purpose.

Low-self esteem

Low self esteemThe reason people find themselves stuck in a cycle of codependent relationships is owing to low self-esteem.

When a codependent individual inherently feels that they’re not good enough, they spend most of their time and energy trying to prove the opposite.  Your lack of self-belief will convince you that you should be ashamed of your partner’s problems and deserve to be blamed for every mistake you make.

A desire to be liked by the people you care about the most will keep codependents trapped in unhealthy relationships, unable to break the damaging pattern.

Lack of boundaries

Another common sign of co-dependence is the desire to please other people. Weak boundaries enable your partner, and other people, to take advantage of your desire to care for them. This leads to an unhealthy pattern of over-committing and tolerating behavior that’s harmful to you.

Codependent relationships are rife with anger, control, denial, mistrust, and obsession. While a healthy relationship can help you flourish independently as well as together, a codependent relationship can stifle and harm you.

If you’re a mental health counselor, it’s important to recognize the signs of codependence so you can help your clients break free from the suffocating patterns they’re stuck in. Continuing to polish your skills and update your knowledge helps you provide your varied clients with the help they need.

E Care Behavioral Health Institute’s informative webinars—both live webinars and recorded webinars—provide training for professional counselors. Our wide selection of insightful Webinar CEUs is conducted by some of the most influential minds in psychology today.

Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge available on our website and provide your clients with the high-quality care counseling they deserve.

Get started by registering for our recorded webinar on Healing from Codependency.