Codependency in a Marriage

Many relationships that are toxic can involve codependency in a marriage. How do you know if there is  codependency in a marriage? Some things to look for would be:

  • are you only happy when your partner is happy?
  • do you go out of your way to please your partner even if it means you’re neglecting your own needs?
  • do you try to change your partner?

Those are just a few traits a codependent can have in a relationship. Codependency in a marriage or any relationship is very unhealthy and can take a toll on both parties. A person that is codependent can be driven by any one of these compulsions:

  • working excessively
  • drinking a lot
  • drug use
  • physical abuse toward others
  • eating disorders
  • sexual addictions
  • frequent hand washing
  • addicted to money

The thing about a person that is codependent is they normally are bound and tormented by the way things were in their dysfunctional family. Things may of happened in their childhood which keeps them in that moment in their mind. If they were criticized a lot as a child, one comment directed to them that may not of been meant in a harsh way, may be taken as that. The codependent may do as much as they can to please the other person just to avoid any kind of disagreement.

The codependent usually has low self-esteem. The person usually doesn’t speak up and has a very poor self-image. They don’t have much courage to have a talk with their spouse at times. If the codependent’s spouse is happy then they feel happy. Their happiness depends on the other person’s happiness. If their spouse has a bad day so do they. The codependent may even think it was their fault their spouse had a bad day. 

Not only does the codependent feel responsible for the other person’s happiness but they also feel responsible for the person’s feelings, thoughts, actions and the person’s ability to stay away from trouble. The codependent really thinks they are in control over all of this in the other person. 


The codependent worries a lot and about everything. The person will worry about changing things that are out of their control.They will most likely have self negative talk which in return won’t help them to be successful. They may speak about the future but in a negative way.

If any of this article sounds familiar to you, it’s most likely a best idea for you and your spouse to go for professional counselling together. Codependency doesn’t just go away but, the good thing is there are ways to make things better. The first step would be to become aware the you or your spouse is codependent. Sometimes the other person can become codependent just because they are around the codependent person every day.

If you would like to do some more research on codependency in a relationship below are some links to some other resources to help you:

codependency in a marriage

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