Codependent relationships are usually characterized by two roles: A needy person who depends on her partner too much, and a person who acts the care-taker, always comforting his partner at his own expense. In relationships, a common pattern is a clingy woman paired with a man who never asserts himself (though the roles can be reversed).
Codependent simply means that you depend too much on your partner emotionally. For her, this may mean that she relies on you for all her emotional needs, and “can’t live without you.” For him, it may mean he feels too responsible for her, always catering to her demands, and never asserting himself for fear of hurting her.
Are you a man feeling stuck in a codependent relationship? Maybe you wish she wasn’t so clingy — or maybe you want to leave the relationship entirely — but you “don’t want to hurt her,” as so many guys say about their clingy girlfriends.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s because you didn’t assert yourself whenever she showed herself to be overly needy or demanding. In fact, you may have inadvertently encouraged her to behave like this. Now you may feel stuck in patters that don’t allow for the things you desperately need:
* Some degree of independence
* Space to yourself
* Time to pursue friendships and hobbies outside the relationship
Have you ever felt that you are making major life choices based on her insecurities? Maybe she discourages you from taking a position that requires travel, or maybe she’s pressuring you to get engaged before you’re ready…
If you find yourself in this situation, you have to either:
a) Negotiate new terms for the relationship — terms that you find acceptable and don’t cause you persistent stress
b) Plan to leave the relationship
Otherwise, the constant stress of remaining in a codependent relationship will take a toll on your mental and physical well-being, and you will live a life of regret.