Does codependency make saving money virtually impossible? In the classic co-dependent relationship the “relationship rescuer” is constantly spending their money to bail out the active addict/alcoholic.
This can be clearly seen in the payment of traffic tickets, court fees, re-payment of friends for loans, lawyers and jail bail. But what if, it is more subtle. What are the warning signs that you are codependent in you monetary habits?
Co-dependency is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. Mental Health America
Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you treat your finances in a dependent way.
Do You Ignore Your Needs?
Ignoring your own needs is common among codependents. If you are still in an “actively using” relationship (the other person is actively pursuing their addictive behavior) these questions may apply to more than just your savings account.
If you are presently not in a codependent relationship or the person or family you are intimately attached too is sober then the signs may be more subtle.
Check your bank account and your calendar. Are you spending on your needs as well as the needs of others? What is the ratio of spending on others verse yourself?
Who or what do you spend money on?
Knowing where your money goes will help establish if you are trying to control or manipulate a relationship with codependent behaviors. Keep in mind that you do not have to wait for someone else to change before you create better money habits.
If you are not taking care of your physical health, taking a rest day, vacations or breaks, this is a warning sign. When was the last time you saw the dentist or the doctor for a routine check-up?
Gifts and Extras
Do you lavish gifts on others? Do you feel embarrassed, if someone wants to pay for your lunch? throw you a party? or give you a gift?
Are you constantly setting up the “perfect birthday party” for a friend or loved one. Do you overspend on holidays so that January is a struggle to catch-up on bills?
Controlling Other’s Finances
Do you tell others how to manage their money? Do you worry about how much your spouse is spending? Do you cover bills or expenses for other’s, if you decide they just can’t afford it? Do you want to know where all the money goes?
Do you spend time agonizing over how bills will get paid? Do you demand equal work outside the home? Do you want oversite over all your loved ones spending? Is there a constant power struggle over money?
Does more money equal more power in your personal relationships?
Peace At All Costs
Do you cover another’s bills just to keep the peace? Do you do without so their will be enough to pay the bills?
Do You find a way to just take care of it financially without making a scene–ask for help from family, work overtime, pull from your personal savings account?
Neglect Your Health?
Let’s face it, health care is expensive. If you do live with an active alcoholic/addict who is self-medicating, neither one of you may be seeing the doctor.
If you are both sober, is your partner going to the doctor two times more than you are because you are worried about him/her and the bills?
Are you avoiding your own issues by focusing on another person’s health issues? Have you just given up and decided not to bother with your own health?
Do you Make Excuses to…
Your children on why “we are choosing not to buy something”? When you know poor money management is the issue?
Are bill collectors either on the phone or in person?
Are you telling your friends that you can’t join them for dinner, a movie or a night out (sometimes this is for fear your partner will act inappropriately) because of lack of funds?
Is Getting it Right Killing You and Your Savings Account?
Do you spend your time fantasying about the right house? Right meal? Right relationship? Do you throw money at these areas to make it right for you and those you love?
If just a little more cash will make it all better, do you do it? Even if you don’t have it?
First Figure Out the Areas You are Chronically Devaluing Yourself In
This is where you need to look at your overall spending. Where your money goes is what is most important to you. I found that I was neglecting my health mainly because I just did not want to deal with it. Would I let a friend or loved one do that, No Way!
Try stepping outside yourself and looking at your life as a friend. If you have a good trusted financially savvy friend, you might ask them what they see. Not a gripe session about never having enough, but ways in which you have not set yourself up for successful money management.
If you are brave enough, ask them to repeat back to you things you have said over the years about money. Look for patterns and repeated excuses for not saving money.
Review Your Contributions to The Family or Relationship Budget
All contributions are not monetary. A value can and should be placed on duties that keep the family running smoothly. Review with yourself and a trusted friend how much is reasonable for you to be responsible financially, or time wise or emotionally.
Do not default to the co-dependent mantra, “if I don’t who will?”
This is an excuse and pity party all in one. This only keeps you in a control cycle. Maybe no one will and it will all fall apart. Maybe it needed to fall apart.
If this happens, take a breath, wait a few days, then readdress the financial issue.
Always, always remember other people do not have to get with the program before you do something about your issues. Your happiness or financial well being does not depend on another person.
You always have other options-