When the love of your life becomes the center of your world to the exclusion of everyone and everything, you are by definition codependent. There is a humongous difference between a loved one augmenting your life versus one becoming your only reason to wake up in the morning. Fortunately, there are indicators to let you know when things have gone too far.
If you find it impossible to say “NO,” the desire to please everyone means that you have lost the ability to set limits. If you are doing so much that your time, resources and life are centered around making everyone happy, eventually you will pay a high price for this. Failing to set limits on what you can do, and cannot, is disastrous. Having poor boundaries is a key sign of codependency.
Helping Vs. Obsession
Being a perpetual care giver that never stops caring means that your basic needs are being grossly ignored. Helping and assisting others is acceptable. However, when it reaches a point where you are not sleeping, eater properly or taking care of own basic needs, giving has turned into an obsession.
Some people have a desperate desire to control others. That need to have this kind of power is a sign of codependent behavior. And, that control is not limited to others. When control takes on a life of its own, and you feel the need to micromanage your own existence, an extreme has been reached. There are far reaching negative consequences that appear on how you view yourself, and incidentally, others.
Mistakes are a Part of Life
No one has a life minus errors in judgment. Reflecting on the past and learning from missteps is healthy. But, when all you do is focus on errors to the exclusion of the positives, your world becomes a negative space. Nothing works out and every choice becomes a bad one when all you see are poor choices and bad outcomes.
It’s OK to Be Alone
Being in love and falling in love are wonderful. When you absolutely must be in a relationship at all costs, that kind of desperation is a ticket to trouble. Wanting a person in your life this badly leads to selecting possible the worst person possible to have as a partner. The signature sign of codependency is the desire for a relationship, and always remaining in one, at all times. There are times in life where you will be alone. Should the idea of being single, even for a bit, scares you, that is a tell-tale sign of over dependence on another.
If you will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid abandonment, there is an issue here. At some point everyone has to face the loss of someone dear in their lives. It is a horrific pain. But, if that pain for you is so great that you are ready able and willing to do “anything” including breaking the law or self-harm, this fear is a sign of dependence that is all consuming and dangerous. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s possible to heal emotional pain and move on, and we can help support you in the healing process.