Question: What does it mean to be codependent in a relationship?

A codependent relationship is a kind of dysfunctional relationship where one person is a caretaker, and the other person takes advantage. Codependent relationships are extremely common among people with substance use issues. Codependency is not good for either partner.

How does a codependent relationship start?

A codependent relationship occurs when each partner abdicates responsibility for themselves. Generally, one partner is the taker while the other is the caretaker, although these roles can switch depending on the issue. For example, one partner might be a caretaker financially and a taker emotionally or sexually.

What causes codependency in relationships?

Codependency may arise when someone is in a relationship with a person who has an addiction. The partner may abuse substances, or they may have an addiction to gambling or shopping. The person with codependency may take on a “caretaker” role for their partner.

Why are codependents so angry?

Symptoms of codependency, such as denial, dependency, lack of boundaries, and dysfunctional communication, contribute to anger. Because of dependency, codependents attempt to control others in order to feel better, rather than to initiate effective action.

Do codependents lash out?

Instead, they stockpile resentments and/or are passive-aggressive. Their anger comes out indirectly with sarcasm, grumpiness, irritability, silence, or through behavior, such as cold looks, slamming doors, forgetting, withholding, being late, even cheating.

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