For Men – 11 Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship – And How to Get Out

It’s often obvious that a needy, demanding woman who clings to a man has codependent tendencies.  However, a relationship consists of two people, and HE is no less responsible.  In fact, his behavior can also be labeled “codependent.”  Two people who have codependent tendencies may act in opposite ways: While one is needy and drains her partner, the other may have a enlarged sense of responsibility to his partner, and is overly sensitive to her needs and demands. 

In fact, people with opposing codependent styles tend to attract each other.  These opposing psychological profiles have been termed “takers” and “caretakers.”

Codependent relationships are complicated, and they’re often characterized by manipulation, lack of boundaries, repressed emotions, emotional volatility, jealousy

issues, verbal abuse, etc.  Both partners tend to have complicated back-stories, which often serve to justify abnormal behavior.  If you’re a man feeling stuck in a codependent relationship, realize that your happiness is worth the effort it takes to move on. 

First, take a look at this list, which identify just some of the signs to look for:

  •    You feel that you’re responsible for her, and it’s your job to make her happy and solve her problems
  •    You suppress your emotions and avoid confrontation
  •    You have the sense of sacrificing the life you want so that you can be with her and take care of her
  •    You feel trapped at times, and have the sense that you are planning an eventual escape
  •    You feel tremendous guilt at the thought of abandoning her
  •    She is extremely jealous and makes it difficult for you to interact with other females or have female friends
  •    She has an intense fear of rejection and abandonment
  •    She lives her life in way that depends on you for many of her needs, as opposed to being independent and having a variety of fulfilling relationships   
  •    She has expressed that she wouldn’t be able to live her life if you betrayed or abandoned her
  •    She depends almost exclusively on you as her source of happiness and validation  
  •    She dominates and manipulates you through her emotional response, which is often too extreme

These are just some of the signs that are easiest to spot from the man’s point of you view.  If you feel that you may be in a codependent relationship, or you feel as if you’re trapped and there’s no way out, most like.  Being in a codependent relationship makes for a stressful and unhappy lifestyle.  And yet, your avoidant tendencies may keep you from following through with a break up or separation.

You may be planning to break up for a long time, but you just keep holding off — many men wait years, or even a lifetime, remaining in such a relationship.  It’s important that you don’t dwell on planning, and you take certain actions, fast.  If you feel ready to begin the separation process, DO NOT hesitate: The longer you wait, and the more time you both invest, the more difficult it becomes.

You may want to consider getting the help of a counselor.  Be sure that the counselor doesn’t assume that you want to maintain the relationship if you’re choosing to move on; many counselors operate from the assumption that the relationship should be “fixed.” 

Finally, many men are in dire need of a map that: 

1) Identifies what is dysfunctional in your relationship

2) Affirms your right to leave an unhappy relationship

3) Guides you through the break up in a way that minimizes pain and hardship for you both