Co-dependency is when you are in a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting their emotional and self-esteem needs, and you as an emotional sponge fit this need, an empath is a perfect source.  You are expending all your energy on meeting their needs, not yours you constantly make sacrifices in the relationship.  You often feel trapped in the relationship but because you are trauma bonded you can’t find a way out.

Here are the symptoms of co-dependency


  1. Low self-esteem. – Feeling that you’re not good enough or comparing yourself to others are signs of low self-esteem.
  2. People-pleasing. Because you want to please your narcissistic partner as a co-dependent you don’t think you have a choice but to please them. Saying “No” causes you anxiety. Some co-dependents have a hard time saying “No” to anyone. They go out of their way and sacrifice their own needs to accommodate other people.
  3. Poor boundaries. Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides up what’s yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money, and belongings but also to your feelings, thoughts, and needs. That’s especially where co-dependents get into trouble with your narcissistic partner, you have blurry or weak boundaries. The trauma bond makes you responsible for the narcissist’s feelings and problems. Before your relationship with a narcissist, you could have had and held very strong boundaries – and you can again.
  4. Reactivity. A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. So, if your narcissist partner says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements.
  5. Caretaking. Another effect of poor boundaries is that if your narcissistic partner has a problem, you want to help them to the point that you give up yourself. It’s natural to feel empathy and sympathy for someone, but co-dependents put the narcissist ahead of themselves. You keep trying to help and fix the narcissist, even when that person clearly cannot be fixed.
  6. Dysfunctional communication. You have trouble when it comes to communicating your thoughts, feelings and needs. You know, but you won’t own up to your truth. You’re afraid to be truthful because you don’t want to upset someone else. Instead of saying, “I don’t like that,” you might pretend that it’s okay or tell someone what to do.
  7. Denial. One of the problems people face in getting help for co-dependency is that you’re in denial about it, meaning that you don’t face your problem, you deny your feelings and needs because you are too busy stroking the narcissist’s ego.

Researchers also found that co-dependent symptoms got worse if left untreated.


But to end the good news is co-dependency and associated symptoms are reversible.


Copyright JH DivorceCoach

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