Partners in serious long-term relationships should not be dependent on each other. The best way to handle relationships is to want your partner but not to need him or her. Being dependent on your partner actually worsens and hurts relationships. Co-dependent relationships are toxic in their nature because partners form them for personal interests. True love is when partners are with each other because of each other. But it often happens so that partners use each other and form infantile relationships. Being in need is not attractive. And when you love somebody you should not really require anything in exchange because love is not a currency. Read the following info to know why co-dependent relationships are the worst.

co-dependent relationships

What is a co-dependent relationship?

Partners in a co-dependent relationship are helpless or unhappy without each other. It means that their happiness depends not on them but on each other. The right way is to be happy but not ask for happiness. And to love is better and more important than to be loved. A lot of people ask for love but are unable to give it. A co-dependent relationship can also be flawed when partners are together for reasons other than love. It can be because of status or money.

The best example is the long history of masculinity. In what is generally known as patriarchic age, women depended on men. Women married men for their money and to have support. Therefore, such relationships lacked love because partners pretended to love each other to survive. However, one should be completely happy and secure on his or her own before forming serious long-term relationships. Otherwise, a relationship becomes infantile and looks more like a parent-child relationship. But the equality is the key to a successful relationship. Partners can only be happy together when they are equally happy without each other. Otherwise, they tend to become insincere about the whole thing saying they want each other when, in fact, they need each other to survive.

Co-dependent relationships are relationships without love or with a little amount of it. One partner pretends he or she loves the other one because the relationship provides him or her with help. Therefore, one actually loves help that is provided and not a person providing it. Another partner who provides this help also doesn’t put an effort in a relationship because he or she knows that the other one is not going to leave because he or she needs help. Thus, inequality appears like in the parent-child relationships in which a child cannot be equal to a parent because a child depends on parents to survive. Therefore, a child loves parents for what they give and not because of the free choice.

Co-dependent relationships disallow personal growth. It is bad for both partners not only because love plays a secondary role. The one who helps is not progressing because of the provided help. Energy or effort spent on this help is the one the individual doesn’t use for himself or herself. The other dependent partner doesn’t evolve or grow because instead of becoming self-sufficient, he or she kind of parasites on the other one. Therefore, this partner doesn’t work to solve a problem but makes another partner solve it. Being dependent means not being equal. And happy relationships are all about equality. Being dependent makes personal growth impossible. And providing help also exhausts the partner emotionally and psychologically. Love in such relationships is insincere.

Why and How to Leave a Co-Dependent Relationship?

co-dependent marriage​The best advice for partners in co-dependent relationships is to break up. It may be difficult but it will definitely benefit both partners. The breakup should be a mutual decision. However, breakups are rarely mutually agreed upon. Most often a dependent partner would prefer to continue a relationship because he or she feels helpless without it. And the partner providing help is going to feel guilty. Therefore, it is a tough decision for both partners. There’s also a chance that partners can improve their relationship and stop being co-dependent. Nevertheless, it requires reconsideration of the whole structure of a relationship and building new, more solid foundations for it. Read the following to know how to stop being co-dependent in a relationship.


First thing partners need to do is to answer a question, what is co-dependent relationship? Next, they should actually realize that their relationship is co-dependent. The best way to do that is to have a serious conversation. Both partners should analyze their life together and provide arguments. Acknowledging the problem is the first step towards solving it. Without a serious talk, partners are most likely to continue being together for better or for worse.

Points of Dependency

It is important to understand how and why partners depend on each other. Love is not an answer. Partners may rely on each other for financial or social purposes. Perhaps, they experienced something in the past that keeps them together even without love or happiness. In order to know how to stop being co-dependent both partners should grow up, become confident, and develop better personalities.

Being dependent means being weak. The weaknesses of each partner should be thoroughly examined and taken care of. In case one of the partners doesn’t work and requires his or her partner’s financial support, the partner who doesn’t work should get a job. It will only benefit both partners because one will become self-sufficient while the other could have more money for his or her own purposes. Often partners just don’t realize why and how they depend on each other. They confuse love with status, money, social benefits or other kinds of support.


There is one more thing you need to do to know how to fix a co-dependent relationship. This option is not a breakup but taking a pause in relationships. Psychologists advise to stop seeing each other for at least 6 month so both partners can clearly think. It is a healthy opportunity for becoming independent. And when both partners become independent, they can consider being together again. During the pause both partners can see objectively what was wrong with their relationship. It helps figuring out the problems, and look at them from a new, more rational perspective.

Seek Help

Another great option is to visit a couple’s psychiatrist. Involving a third party can also improve a relationship. A psychiatrist does not have a personal interest. Therefore, he or she can see better what is wrong with relationships. A psychiatrist can also tell each partner how to be independent but stay together. Psychological help can provide both partners with motivation and enthusiasm for personal growth.


You already get the answer to the question, what is a co-dependent relationship? And you know that it is not healthy. Breaking up might be harsh but it is the most certain option to deal with the whole situation. Specialists agree that it really is better to be alone than in bad relationships. Relationships that don’t work cause partners to suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression. They lack motivation and emotional strength to actually do what they want and be themselves. It is unhealthy because both partners make each other miserable and don’t help out of good will but because of necessity.

Signs of a Co-Dependent Relationship

Frequent arguments with no substantial reason are definitely among the most common signs of a co-dependent relationship. A lot of couples in toxic relationships seem to look for a fight. They search for an opportunity to start arguing even for the smallest reasons and without real need. Therefore, life together becomes unbearable because partners fight all the time. Another sign is the frequency of these arguments. They tend to happen more and more often with time. Another sign is the feeling of anxiety or stress and depression in one or two partners. Speaking in broad terms, if partners don’t feel happy together, then their relationship is unhealthy.

how to fix a co-dependent relationship​ Finally, some people comment that a dependent partner can more likely to excuse such things as cheating or even violent behavior because he or she is in the unequal position. Therefore, if partners allow infidelity or inadequate behavior, it means that they are dependent. Moreover, a partner who provides help can think that the rules don’t apply to him or her. It can cause this partner to do inappropriate things because he or she thinks that they go unnoticed seeing as how another partner is dependent.

Cheating is also a sign of a co-dependent relationship. Partners who cheat on each other prefer to love other people but stay together because of the provided help. Cheating is not healthy for any relationship. Cheating indicates that a partner doesn’t receive love in a relationship. Therefore, he or she starts to look for it in other places. But because this partner is dependent or feels responsible for other partners, it makes him or her continue being in a co-dependent relationship.

Can a Co-Dependent Relationship Be Saved?

Statistics show that in most of the cases a co-dependent relationship cannot be saved. But there is no definite answer equally applicable to everyone. But honestly, even if it can, it shouldn’t be saved. The whole life of partners can go awry because of their dependency on each other. They will never grow up and be infantile unable to evolve, progress, and develop towards better things. Still, all couples are unique and original. Perhaps, it happened so that dependency is really needed. Therefore, it should be eliminated if partners want to be happy with each other. The best options were described earlier and above. Talking, investigating, taking a pause, and seeing a psychiatrist are definitely the best options. After all, there’s no need to break up immediately if you can try another thing before.


So, there is no happiness in relationships that are co-dependent meaning when partners mutually depend on each other. There is no real love in co-dependent serious long-term relationships or co-dependent marriage. These toxic relationships should be finished or changed. Just keep in mind that it is better to be alone than in a relationship that doesn’t work. Being happy is a prerogative of each and every individual. A happy person is independent. He or she can and should be self-sufficient. In dependent relationships, love is insincere because dependency substitutes love.

Being with another person should because of this person and because of what he or she provides you with. The happiest relationships are those in which partner don’t need each other but first and most of all want each other. There’s a difference between want and need. And real love is based on desire and not on necessity.

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