Are you a codependent and are you in a bad relationship – a checklist

I am a codependent but I strive not to be in a codependent relationship. I believe my nature (DNA) is codependent reinforced by an abusive childhood and hammered home by marrying a narcissist. No medical training just my experience talking. Better not Broken blogged about a checklist with some very strong ‘tells’ such as ‘does your partner use the choke hold in sex, does he own a gun’ and I felt my personal checklist was a little more subtle and promised I’d try to write it. I do hope I can separate the two things, although I will always be a codependent, I am trying very hard to not be in a codependent relationship so there are two checklists. So here goes.

Are you a codependent?
Are you told often you are too nice?
Do you love to solve people’s problems?
Do you shrink if people around you get angry – even if it’s not at you?
Are you always offering to help and then wondering why you did because it will make things difficult for you?
If anything goes wrong even if not your fault do you take the blame?
When you book tickets for friends do you pay the booking fee?
Do you find your days todo list is mostly what other people have asked you to do?
Are you unable to let yourself go and think about what you really want to do?
Do you have time for hobbies? Do you think your lack of hobbies makes you boring?
Would you give up your meal for someone else and hide the fact you haven’t been able to eat?
When someone lets you down do you strive to make them feel ok about it?
Do you excuse and defend others their bad behaviour?
Do you pick up the dog poo on a dog walk?

Are you in a subtle codependent relationship?
It was a whirlwind romance and you were swept off your feet.
If you are doing something together like cooking and it goes wrong, you take the blame and he lets you.
When you try to help with something they should be doing and it isn’t perfect they have a tantrum and make it your fault.
If you book a holiday on orders to their chosen destination you get anger and derision at your spending when the bill arrives.
Money, you are given an allowance it’s not equal despite your partnership.
They are not open about their income.
They hide things from you.
They have more than one mobile phone.
Your codependency is assumed – ‘I’m going out Friday’ Not ‘can you look after the kids please’
They conflict, in that they want a stay at home mum for kids but also a wife with a great job and respect.
When you get a job it is undermined.
If your boss is kind and you enjoy your job you must be having an affair.
They talk of support but they don’t do it.

They talk love but they don’t do it.

You are ostracised from your family.
You get the silent treatment.
They don’t feel the need to explain why they are late, you just have to accept.
If you try to ask (you suspect an affair) the response is if you ask again I will have an affair.
The home is never clean enough.
You are made to feel stupid, you watch the wrong tv.
You start looking into plastic surgery to make yourself better for them.
You are scared to get counselling because underneath you know the councillor will see what you are, and your partner doesn’t want you to.
They suggest you are depressed and you start to believe them.
They withdraw from sex.
You find the occasional sex is only ever about their pleasure, and if you fail to make them come it’s your fault.
They withdraw completely physically.
They tell you you are too needy.
You are always defending them, to your kids, family and friends.
They are too important to do menial tasks.
You have to sign documents without reading them.
You have to entertain all their important people and do all the work but they take the credit.

You feel small.

By no means an exhaustive checklist and entirely from personal experience. I am so hopeful that by knowing what I am I can change how I behave. Happy, healthy new year everyone!



21 thoughts on “Are you a codependent and are you in a bad relationship – a checklist

  1. betternotbroken

    This is a list that focuses on codependency and their feelings versus the actions of an abusive person, I hope it helps people. It would be exhausting to put all of the issues onto one list but you have given it a good start! Happy New Year.

    1. mathematicalpie Post author

      It does focus on the co dependent, as I’m talking from my experience. I do think my codependency combined with his N is an important factor. I’m not blameless but it’s not about blame but understanding ourselves. I can’t change someone else’s behaviour but I can change my reactions to it.
      This type of subtle abuse from my ex is very much about feelings, it messes with your head. My dads abuse was more obvious, nothing teaches you quite like physical pain, that’s how we learn not to touch hot things and protect ourselves. I knew my dad was an abuser from an early age, but I wasn’t aware my husband was till the end of twenty odd years, a news article on the radio talked about emotional abuse being made illegal and my 15 year old daughter looked at me and said that’s you mum.

      1. betternotbroken

        I am sorry to hear you have such vast experience with abuse. Focusing on “feelings” versus the actions of another or your own is a way so many people find themselves in and remain trapped in abusive situations. Do people really know what they are feeling? When they feel an intense “feeling” for a man for example, they then decide what that it, it must be love, in some cases it could be that the man in question presents the same patterns as previous abusers and that intensity is a result of past fear, pain and trauma. Other times we are just immature in thinking strong feelings = love, I have come to assess things based on actions. You cheat on me, you lie, you refuse to provide what I need, I don’t care what you “say” your feelings are and I stop “imagining” what they are. I am glad that you are able now to see it, it is very difficult to realize and process that someone whose feelings you have been focusing on for decades has been abusing you and I wish you strength and healing not only in 2015 but for all the years to come.

      2. chely5150

        In my personal experience, the way you begin to realize that you are NOT crazy is when you start to breakdown how you feel and the reactions to said abuse. It is what has opened my eyes. Yes I am a sensitive,, caring and loving person (who wears her heart on her sleeve) , who along with my spouse (felt fortunate that I didn’t have to go to work to make ends meet- He has good job but commutes a long way in extreme traffic) made the decision to give the love and care of a stay at home Mom to our sons. This was about 2 yrs into our relationship (married after two yrs. together). I realize now I didn’t know (the real) him. I knew the one that wore the mask that lived on the other side of our front door. Not the one he became when he walked through that door, each evening. And the Chinese water torture began. (Why is this? what is that? Never enough of anything to please him.) It is very effective and doesn’t take long to produce desired results; walking on eggshells, always worried that simple innocent thing will make him explode, questioning my thought and actions etc. Teaching my kids that it is acceptable by accepting it. Thinking I’m doing the right thing for my “family” . Yes I was conditioned to accept this from my childhood and most likely played into his hand but I will not accept that my “loving, nurturing, sensitive personality” is what caused the abuse to happen. Nope not at all, it may have been easier for him to bluff me But I DO NOT for a minute accept any responsibility for the abuse he has laid upon me & the boys for 20 years now. (but always in the nicest way – LOL) I accept that it went on for too long and that it has damaged my self, my children and yes even him. I say that because in his case it is the handing down of such behavior from his FOO. Why would he think anything is wrong? They are still together (his parents), have traveled the world, own many properties and have $$$investments and look on the outside like a perfect , happy family. In many ways they are. They have never been anything but nice to me, but simply because she didn’t fight against it or leave it became acceptable. That doesn’t work for me. One of the reasons there was so much fighting was I KNEW THE WAY HE TREATED ME WAS WRONG and I attempted to defend myself. Because I wasn’t going to accept it. But he was better than me and I stayed. Because there is much good in our lives. He didn’t constantly do it. But you just never knew when it would rear it’s ugly head AND NEVER WHERE ANYONE COULD OBSERVE IT BECAUSE THEN HE WOULD LOOK BAD. I’m not sure if it would of been better or worse if I had left years ago (as I did try). Because he would then control me through the courts, with custody, support etc and then take someone else on vacation. I grew up in divorced home and didn’t want that for my boys so I stayed. Knowing what I know now – I do wish I would of taken my chances and left. It damaged all of us. But it still looks nice from the outside looking in! My point (that I kinda got off of) is I don’t accept the term “co-dependent” as who I am. My behavior after years of this may resemble co-dependent behaviors but abusers should not be given a free pass, once again to shift the blame. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!
        My website is :https://chely5150.wordpress, if anyone cares for more of my story.

        I’m looking forward to reading yours as I just found you through BNB. Hugs to you chely

  2. betternotbroken

    Reblogged this on betternotbroken and commented:
    Sex, men are all about sex, all you need is sex, well until it is not about sex. Once again, those pesky gender stereotypes can lead to crazy making, what about when they do not want sex YOUR FAULT! Or is it? Shame on me but some of this made me laugh only because I have been there and escaped and found the light. I would add “boss” to be any male you speak remotely positively of or concede may have a rational point in an argument. I hope this helps.

    1. mathematicalpie Post author

      Thank you so much for the reblog. Sex is such a big issue and all it encompasses, starting from a hot look and an affectionate touch to full on… If this is all removed from a ‘loving relationship’ it’s very confusing, and once the N knows this hurts it’s used to maximum advantage.
      Yes ‘boss’ is an unfortunate term employer would have been better.
      Thank you again for reading, commenting, encouraging and reblogging, have a great 2015.

    1. mathematicalpie Post author

      I tried to be gender neutral but I’m writing from my experience as a woman so probably slipped a few times. Thank you for your compliment and for reading my blog. I do know a few women with narc traits, and knowing myself now I keep a strong limit on contact. The magnetism between a narcissist and supply is so strong that only awareness of what we are can help us resist.

      1. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

        I understand the problem being gender neutral when you are writing from the gender you are as of course that is the experience you have of the problem. I agree totally that the magnetism is strong and awareness does not come easily to most but once it does perhaps you can resist. I hope so.

  3. SilverGirl

    Great post – been there completely!
    Have to re-blog this one..
    I am not co-dependent anymore (pat on my back ..)
    Spent the last 5 years not in any relationships in order to heal and grow as an individual. I don’t need anybody now .. that’s the key.. to not need anybody.
    I have come to the point that I do want to share my future with somebody though.. and I will :o)

    1. mathematicalpie Post author

      Thank you. please do reblog. Have you read Onethousandsingledays blog? Sounds like she and you may have some common ground. I think it’s an excellent idea to get yourself sorted before meeting anyone again. When dominated so strongly combined with the nature to be submissive it can take a while to be able to search our hearts and minds for our own opinions again. Well done and thank you for reading my ramblings.

      1. SilverGirl

        Oh thanks, I’ll check out the blog.
        I thought I had re-bogged your post?? Will do now..
        Regarding being single … I was submissive and terrified of getting involved in similar relationship again (which would have happened, I’m was a narcissist magnet). Thank you mathematicalpie!

    1. mathematicalpie Post author

      And me that I no longer do! But I can see that these behaviours are little things that mount up. No black eyes or cracked ribs no obvious reason to say why would my lover hurt me?

  4. GigiGeorgina

    This is such a great article that deserves to be debated. By that, I mean it deserves to be discussed in schools and public places; it is a powerful piece.

    I’m sorry for the negative experience that has happened to you; no one who has a good heart deserves this experience.

    Although I’m not in a relationship, I’ve realised that from reading this article, I tick off half the boxes of the codependent list. Most people can relate to this and can always look to guidance from your powerful articles.

    Keep up the good work. 🙂

    1. mathematicalpie Post author

      Wow! Thank you for the compliments. I hope that by recognising the codependent qualities you have you can find some strength to resist the magnetism of someone who might take advantage of you and instead find someone who appreciates you and allows your life to be balanced. Wouldn’t be lovely if our children were more aware of relationships and what is and isn’t acceptable. Good luck,


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