8 Red Flags You’re in a Codependent Relationship

When you first start a relationship, a little codependency can feel natural. But if you’ve been together and you still have any of these red flags, it may be time for couple’s counseling.

What it means to be in a codependent relationship

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If you find yourself constantly giving up what you want and need to please your partner or cover up for their bad behaviors, that could be a warning sign that you are in a codependent relationship, according to the counseling blog Harley Therapy. Codependency is an extreme form of sacrificing one’s well-being for someone else. Watch out for these 31 relationship habits that seem healthy but are actually dangerous.

You cover up your partner’s alcoholism or drug use

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If someone has an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or anything else that is harmful to their health, you may feel like you are doing them a favor by helping them out of a jam—but that’s codependency, warn the experts at Mental Health America. For example, if someone misses work because they went on a bender the night before, you might feel you’re helping by lying to their boss when they call. However, if you help an addict avoid facing consequences of that behavior, you’re just enabling the addiction.

You give up what you really want to appease your partner

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Your partner’s needs can become more important than your own in a codependent relationship. That can ultimately weaken the relationship and negate your own well-being, writes psychologist Amie M. Gordon, PhD, in UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine. Keep it up and you won’t have any energy or time to care for anyone else.

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