Do you want to watch a movie with friends but you are worried about who will serve dinner to your partner when they come home from the office? You cancel your plans and stay at home. This is not the first time you are doing it.
While it is true that your partner occupies a special place in your life, letting them become the sole priority is abusive to oneself as well as the other person. Becoming addicted to a single person often leads one to spiral into anxiety the moment one sees the possibility of a break-up or fight anywhere near the horizon.
Do you often find yourself looking at your partner's phone? Asking them to stop talking to a particular person you don’t like? Have you ever asked your partner to quit a job for no reason other than you feeling threatened by a person there?
This is co-dependency. Extreme possessiveness, low self-worth, and borderline sadism may often drive people to make such unreasonable demands from their partners. It is also a form of psychological violence.
It has been a hard day for you. You have returned from your office late and tired and want to order food from outside. Your partner walks in and asks you to get ready for a movie. You want to say ‘no’ but you are unable to do so for fear you may anger them or spoil their mood.
Saying ‘no’ causes stress to people who are dependent on others. They usually go out of their way to accommodate their partner’s demands and often sacrifice their own desires.
If you don’t like a shirt your partner is wearing, do you find yourself telling them the opposite? Instead of saying, ‘I don’t like the colour’, you pretend that it’s okay.
A person in a co-dependent relationship has trouble communicating how they feel. They are afraid to be honest with their partner for fear that they may upset them.
Communication becomes dishonest and confusing when you live in fear of the other person.
You are a homemaker and your partner wants to study. They ask you to take up a job so that they can focus on school. But you are unable to get a job and start blaming yourself for your partner’s failure to pursue higher studies.
It is important to remember that people in co-dependent relationships oblige to their partner's unreasonable demands. Not necessarily because of threat or intimidation. In most cases, it is out of a genuine need felt by the person to do so. This genuine need obviously stems from love and affection.
In many cases, failing to fulfil your partner’s unreasonable (and at times unethical) demands may trigger low self-worth, huge amounts of guilt and great mental trauma! The person’s own sense of conscience and confidence erodes.
Remember, a healthy relationship is about creating partnerships that are defined by mutual respect and honesty. If you think that your partner is not respecting you and not putting in the same efforts that you are putting in the relationship to make it work, talk to them.