Most couples dream of finding their better half – the perfect person to make them feel whole and complete. While it is important to be compatible with your significant other, you have to make sure that compatibility doesn’t turn into codependency. One of the biggest lessons we teach in our Michigan couples therapy center is how to set healthy boundaries in a relationship. Let’s take a closer look at some signs of codependency so you can seek help when you need it.
Feeling Like You Can’t Live Without Your Spouse
This sounds like a fairy tale setup: two people whose lives are incomplete without one another. In all reality, this is just a sign that two people are incomplete in a relationship, which means that do not have a chance to fully admire who they are as individuals. You may have heard John Legend serenading his wife with the classic line, “All of me loves all of you.” This is the mentality you should have in your relationship. You are not two halves that complete each other. You are two complete individuals who appreciate one another in their entirety. By understanding the need for personal space and independence in your marriage, you can build a stronger bond moving forward.
Putting Your Spouse’s Needs First
Again, this probably sounds like a positive quality to have in a relationship. By acting selflessly, you show that you truly care for the person you’re with. That is not always the case though. While it is important to care for your loved ones, you must first be able to care for yourself. Think about the safety instructions you get on a plane: put on your breathing mask first, and then help the person next to you. If you first take care of your own needs (with respect for other people’s needs), you will be able to be an even better caretaker without acting through codependence.
Difficulties Making Decisions On Your Own
Some decisions are best made as a couple, like buying a new house or choosing where to go on vacation. However, you should be able to make decisions on your own. If you feel the need to consult with your spouse about every little decision, or you feel insulted when your spouse does not talk to you about small details, you may be in a codependent relationship. This may also be a sign of low self-esteem on one or both of your parts. During your couples therapy, you will learn techniques to build your self-confidence so you feel capable of making decisions on your own.
Telling Small Lies To Keep The Other Person Happy
People in codependent relationships often tell small lies to one another to keep each other happy. For instance, you might say that you like a certain restaurant that you really aren’t fond of just because your husband enjoys going there. Over time, the lying can become a habit, to the point that you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. Couples counseling will teach you effective communication strategies so you don’t have to lie to your spouse on a regular basis. You can have a difference of opinion without losing the relationship entirely. In fact, it’s best that you don’t agree on everything! Otherwise, you will never learn the value of honesty and respect in your marriage.
Neglecting Personal Hobbies Or Interests
Doing activities as a couple is a great way to build your marital bond and kindle your love for your spouse, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have hobbies of your own. It’s important to find things you like to do as individuals so you can maintain your unique identities. Even if you share the same interests, you might enjoy them at different times, like watching a sports game or playing cards with friends. You shouldn’t have to give up everything you love just because someone else doesn’t love it as much as you do. You can have individual hobbies and still spend time with your spouse as well.
Feeling Anxious Or Depressed When Your Spouse Is Not Around
Do you only feel happy when your spouse is around? Does it seem like that person needs to be with you in order for you to be satisfied with a situation? More importantly, do you feel like the only way for you to decide if you are happy about something is by getting your spouse’s approval? These are all signs of codependency that indicate a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. It’s perfectly normal to miss your spouse when he or she is away, but that should not stop you from enjoying life in the moment. Luckily, you can work through all of this and more in marriage counseling.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for codependency couples counseling in Michigan, feel free to contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers at (248) 244-8644. We will set you up with the best counselor for your individual needs so you can start to make positive changes in your marriage.