Co-dependency might best be described as a love addiction. You may be in a great, loving relationship, but when co-dependency creeps in, you start needing each other for all the wrong reasons. These relationships can grow to be very destructive and emotionally exhausting. You end up losing yourself and your sense of self-worth. But it’s all good: there are ways to break the destructive cycle and still keep your love in tact. Here are some common character traits of a co-dependent, and guidelines to help get your relationship on the road to recovery.

You need constant attention from your partner

The truth is, it’s not possible to see them 24/7, and sometimes you may not even see them for a few days, and THAT’S OK. If they really love you, distance will make them miss you more.

Tip: You need to start doing the things you love alone so that you can start enjoying your own company.

Their mood dictates your mood

All moods are temporary. Do not assume that he is in a bad mood because you did something wrong. It’s not always about you. Be there for him if he needs you but give him space so that you can be true to how you feel instead of soaking up the negative energy.

Tip: Put your phone away and don’t dwell on it. Find a healthy activity to distract yourself with.

You can’t make decisions on your own (big or small)

As a co-dependent, it’s very hard to make decisions and pay attention to your own needs. You don’t need to let their desires affect your own. Reclaim your sense of self-worth by allowing yourself to make a decision. It doesn’t matter if it’s the wrong one: it’s the only way we learn.

Tip: The next time you go out with your partner, pick the place and do all the planning.

You feel abandoned when they makes plans with their friends

It’s normal for your partner to want to spend quality time with their friends. It’s not healthy to spend every single day together. Whenever they’re busy, use it as an opportunity to spend some time with your own friends!

Tip: Learn to balance your time.

You get overly jealous and territorial

You have to trust your partner, and trust that they love you. It’s normal for men and women to interact with other people of the sex(es) they’re attracted to. We aren’t living in the 1800’s.

Tip: Create realistic boundaries on what is OK and what is not.

You feel worthless and angry when they don’t change or listen to you. You focus all your energy and serenity on solving the problems of your partner.

No matter how hard you try, you aren’t going to fix your partner’s life or change them. You can encourage and guide them on the right path, but it’s not your responsibility. We are all on different paths; if they’re not on yours then it’s time to reevaluate how they fit into your life. Fixing them will only delay fixing your soul.

Tip: Talk about the things that are bothering you. Make a decision on accepting the response, or move on with your life.

You pick unnecessary fights and feel as though you need to punish them when they make a mistake

Stop treating them like a criminal if they genuinely aren’t doing anything wrong, because you will lose them. Don’t punish them for the mistakes of others in your past. Do you want to be a prisoner of your own anger? Is this about them, or is it about you?

Tip: Ask yourself: Am I being rational, or irrational? Let it go.

You turn situations that are not in your control into catastrophes. You feel angry, anxious, controlling and obsessive in your relationship

BREATHE, and let it go. Life did not come with a handbook, you create your own. Do not let anger and anxiety rob you of living a meaningful life. When you find yourself consumed with anger and anxiety, try and find something that keeps you calm and happy so that you can rationalize the situation later with a clear mind.

Tip: Watch your favorite TV show, call your friend, play guitar, go for a jog, write, or listen to some Taylor Swift.

This article was written by Salwa El-Boraei.

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