Posted in Dating / Relationships, Mental Health

Signs She Wants You Co-Dependent

While I am certainly not brooding, the more I look back on my marriage the more I realise how toxic it was. One of the main issues for my ex-wife is her unhealthy co-dependency issues. Although it largely focused on an overbearing mother, there were signs for many years that she wanted me in an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with her. Here are the signs that your wife or girlfriend wants you to be co-dependent.

Women can be abusive too

She Asks Your View So She Can Talk You Out of It

You’re rarely allowed your own point of view when you’re with a woman who needs you co-dependent. By presenting you the illusion of choice when she asks your opinion on something, she has already made her mind up about an issue. She will ask your opinion, your view or what you think. Then she will immediately set about deconstructing it to tell you why you are wrong and why you should go along with what she wants (or in the case of my marriage, her mother). It’s entitlement, pure and simple, but it’s one of the key indicators that she doesn’t really want you to be your own person. She’s controlling of your body and your mind.

She Expects You to make All the Sacrifices

And oh boy does she know how to use emotional blackmail to get it. You’re not allowed to have time to yourself. As far as she is concerned, that’s selfishness. Yet it’s perfectly fine for her to have time to herself. She doesn’t like you going out with friends, even for an hour, and she will sulk when you come back. She never goes out herself because she expects you to fulfil all of her emotional and social needs, but she won’t look elsewhere f or it. As far as she is concerned, friends are an extension of your relationship and not separate from it, but they must be joint friends or her friends.

Nothing is Ever Her Fault

The co-dependent is the master/mistress of emotional blackmail. It’s her favourite tool. Coupled with this is the insistence that everything is your fault – she will even blame her own shitty behaviour on you. This is a way she maintains control. This is a way she aims to keep you down. When she has you walking on eggshells, when she has you watching every word or she’ll fly off the handle into another day-long sulk and all you can do is apologise repeatedly (even when it was her fault), you’re well on the way already.

A Lack of Boundaries where Others are Concerned

The woman who wants you co-dependent has no concept of the boundaries of your relationship. She acts as though you are both the same person. Turn her down for sex and the sulking starts. If she has co-dependent relationships with others (usually a parent – as with my ex and her mother) she will also allow that other person unprecedented access into your relationship. She has no concept that you have personal boundaries and that there are boundaries you should have as a couple. As far as she is concerned, her every whim (or the whims of the other person) deserve being catered to. She will also present this demanding attitude as “compromise”. But will she ever compromise from you? No, and if you ask, that makes you selfish.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

2 thoughts on “Signs She Wants You Co-Dependent

  1. Sounds like co-dependence with a healthy dose of lacking in emotional intelligence (EQ). If there is one thing I cannot tolerate any longer, is emotional blackmail/manipulation. Since my divorce, I have established some serious boundaries. I have yet have to exercise them because I’m not dating but I’m armed and ready… my new mantra is: Don’t be afraid to walk away.

    1. I won’t put up with it any longer either. Very low tolerance for that sort of thing. I would just walk away in future if any of it happened again.

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