How to identify a codependent relationship and what to do about it

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Lifehacker recently offered advice for identifying a codependent relationship and tips for what to do about it. 

Tammy Nelson, a therapist and author, says a codependent relationship can be a reflection of low self-esteem and a negative self-image. 

"Symptoms of codependency include the need to fix other people, the inability to set clear boundaries, the perpetual sacrificing of one's own needs for your partners, and feeling resentful that your desires are never taken into account," Tammy said.

READ MORE | How to spot gaslighting in your relationship

Caring for your partner isn't always unhealthy, but self-sacrifice with little in return may signify that you're in a codependent relationship.

Another clear sign of a codependent relationship is if either partner's sense of worth comes solely from the other person. 

She recommends that, "to heal from codependency in a relationship, it is important to cultivate healthy selfishness."

"Being able to care for yourself first means having the capacity for self-care in order to be present for yourself, your partner, and your family."

READ MORE | 'Stop trying to change him, rather break all ties' - How to deal with a narcissistic partner

According to Tammy, this can include everything from eating well, resting, exercising, spending time with friends or finding new hobbies.

"This kind of self-love allows you to love others more fully and more realistically," she said.

Couples therapy could also help to develop and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationship.


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