5 symptoms that you are in a codependent marriage

A brief review for those looking to identify signs of a codependent marriage here.

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In every marriage there is give and take, sacrifice and compromise.  When this exchange becomes one sided, you might want to consider you are in a “codependent” marriage or better yet a marriage where your needs are not satisfied and your happiness is secondary. But what are some of the signs of a codependent marriage? We review here. Then, we invite your questions or comments about codependence recovery tools in the section at the end. Please know that we try to respond to all questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Is codependency a real condition?

You bet.

While The American Psychiatric Association does not list this behavior in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, let us take the stigma off of the word “codependent” and look at what it indicates; a person that puts their partner’s needs above their own and whose happiness depends on their partner’s happiness.

If a husband is mourning the death of his mother, it makes sense that his wife would be sad as well. If he comes home and had a bad day at work, it may affect his wife’s mood. However, if you are sick and your husband is angry because he cannot golf and you make accommodations so that he does not have to interrupt his social plans, there is something amiss. You just put your husband’’s wants and needs above your own even though your needs were obviously more important.

5 Symptoms You are in a Codependent Marriage

1. Your spouse’s opinions matter more than your own (especially in decision making).

2. You are focused on making your spouse happy even if that means you are unhappy. Ex. You do things you do not like or even abhor to make your spouse happy.

3. You find that you do not do anything without your spouse. In other words, you do not have your own identity.

4. You take on extra responsibilities that should be your spouse’s so that he will have more “free” time.

5. You go above and beyond for your spouse — even doing things you would not do for yourself.

If these examples sound familiar to you, you may be in a codependent marriage. If your personality is defined by someone else and your happiness has become less important than that person’s, you may be in danger of living life according to your partner. If your identity is lost and you no longer can distinguish your likes from your partners, these traits may be indicative of codependency. But do not fear! There are ways to get out of a codependent relationship.

Codependency and addiction

Another common type of codependent relationship is the one between an addict and their partner. Addicts usually have the floor and their partners are the ones following their lead.  Since addiction is a selfish disease by nature, the focus in the relationship tends to be on the addict and their addiction.

Change is possible

So, how do you stop being codependent?

If a person experiences these symptoms, they may be very happy in their own little world. However, if you are looking for information on codependency, odds are you are looking to make a change and not happy in your role as codependent. If you find yourself in this situation and feel that you fit the criteria for codependency, it may be a good idea to re-evaluate your own needs.

If you think that you may be codependent, please leave us your questions or feedback here. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly. You are not alone!

About the author
Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.
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