Codependency is a common occurrence. This term refers to a relationship in which one partner literally puts all his strength. The other one doesn’t lift a finger.

If you recognize yourself in this description, this article will come in handy.

Caring for each other and wanting to help are valuable components of any relationship. However, in some cases, overprotection can put an end to any romance.


Sometimes we all really need help and sympathy. We need a shoulder to lean on, a person to cry on. In some life situations you have to borrow money.

Relationships assume that aid will be equal on both sides.

An unhealthy relationship is one in which one person continually helps the other but gets nothing in return. Megan Byrne, professor of psychology at California State Polytechnic University, argues that such behavior is a sign of a codependent relationship.

There are many signs that you are in an unhealthy relationship. Yes, even in the position of “giver”.


Here is some of them:

  • Helping a partner is not pleasant. Rather, you feel obligated to do something for his well-being.
  • You are constantly worried about him.
  • Are you sure that without you he would be lost.
  • You demonstrate your love and affection by concessions and indulgences to him.
  • It seems to you that taking care of him exhausts you or does not leave time for yourself.
  • You spend so much time caring for others that you sometimes forget your own needs.

You can notice that in almost all your relationships everything happened the same way: you gave your all, and he bathed in your attention, favorably accepted him and did absolutely nothing for you.


Professor Byrne says it’s because you yourself are somewhat attracted to people who are prone to such a relationship strategy. This happens for several reasons. First, you are sure that you are good at helping others to arrange their lives. Secondly, it shows your need to be important to someone, to be a heroine. Such a model of relationships makes you feel needed, gives you the satisfaction of realizing yourself as such an “omnipotent”.

Anyone can learn healthy relationships.


The main thing is to understand yourself and understand why your ability to help others makes you feel so good and useful. And also – to realize that your behavior can always be corrected.

After this important step, you should make it a habit to take more care of yourself. A good way to improve your relationships with other people is to increase your self-esteem.

Professor Bern’s advice

  • Find a support group
  • Learn to negotiate for mutual assistance
  • Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Find books on psychological self-help