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!