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6 Ways to Avoid Being Codependent in Your Relationship

A relationship is supposed to be an equal partnership. Both of you are doing your best to pull your own weight and help along. Occasionally something will happen that forces it to be one-sided, like one of you getting the flu, but those are the exception to the rule. It can foster resentment and a loss of respect if one of you is constantly dependent on the other. Here are some things you can do to make sure that neither of you is being overly codependent:

Get a job

This is the easiest way to feel taken advantage of. If you are the one bringing home the bacon and they just surf the web all day it can be very frustrating. If you’re dating, are you the one paying for everything? If it’s already serious, encourage them to pursue their passions. If they don’t have a job, do they have any hobbies? Can those hobbies be monetized? If not, maybe encourage them to get out and work so that you have more money on hand. Even if it’s not as much as what you make, it’s a start. And of course, you should be looking for ways to make things easier if you’re the one without a job.

Have boundaries

Even if you’re serious about your relationship, you have to give each other space. It’s okay if you aren’t snuggling every minute you have together. You should have time to explore interests, maintain other relationships, and even just watch something on your own streaming account sometimes. When you’re at work, try to keep texts to a minimum so that both of you can devote all of your energy to the tasks at hand. You may be excited to have a large quantity of time together, but having personal space will increase the quality of your time.

Balance responsibilities

If you’re in a committed relationship, you need to divvy up the responsibility of living together. There will be times when neither of you wants to clean the toilet, but you need to mete out tasks so that everything functions normally. Some tasks can be done together, or different ones at the same time, to optimize efficiency. If both of you really despise cleaning the toilet, find a fair way to take turns. It’s not sexist if the woman always cooks and the man always mows the lawn, but it’s unfair if one person is always doing everything at home and waiting hand and foot on the other while they do nothing.

Take turns on fun

You have a lot of things that you enjoy doing together, but you should take turns. If you’re always doing what they want to do it can lead to dissatisfaction and feeling neglected, even if both of you have fun. What you do, where you go, and what you watch shouldn’t always be decided by one person. If both of you get a chance to pick, it will make it easier to grow closer to each other because you are sharing interests, or at least getting to understand each other better.

Leave sex out of it

If you’re having sex, don’t use it as a bargaining chip or as a reward on a regular basis. Sex is an expression of the feelings you have for each other, and unless you’re trying to have kids it devalues both of you if it’s just a means to an end. There are a lot of reasons that affect how often you have sex, but using it to get something you want should never be one of them.

Say no sometimes

Having someone who will do anything for you is the best thing in the world, but it’s unfair to actually expect them to do everything. You may get tired of always doing the grocery shopping yourself or getting them a drink or whatever the task may be. If you are busy or tired (not just fed up), feel free to say no. You are partners, and sometimes a partnership means that you switch hats and trade chores for a spell. It’s good to do because it helps both of you appreciate how much you do for each other. It encourages gratitude and sympathy for the sacrifices you make to be together.

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