Love, it is true, is selfless. When we have children, their needs must take precedence over ours. We are not going to let our baby cry for hours because he is hungry in the middle of the night because we want to sleep. When we are tired or would rather be doing something else, we will drive our children to activities. Parenting responsibly is part of what it means to love our children.
However, we may be codependent if we consistently put the other person first in our relationships, even if it means sacrificing our own health or well-being. So, in this piece, we’ll discuss ways to stop becoming codependent in our relationships.
What Are the Signs of a Codependent Person?
Codependence is defined by the American Psychological Association as being mentally dependent on another person who has a pathological addiction or a mutual, emotional dependence between two people on one another.
This means that codependent behavior can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Also, the other person may or may not promote it. In fact, some people suffering from addiction may not want to be in a codependent relationship because it could jeopardize their ability to continue using. Some codependents become so reliant on the addict that they would go to any length to keep them happy, including enabling the addiction.
Some of the signs of codependence include:
- Self-esteem issues
- Absence of boundaries
- Excessive emotionality/overreactions
- a strong sense of self-control
- Communication stumbling blocks
- Thoughts and behaviors that are obsessive
- Intimacy issues
- An intense desire to be loved
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is probable that you are codependent or that one or more of your relationships are codependent. However, in order to increase your emotional well-being, you must look for strategies to stop those codependent behaviors in your relationships.
How to Stop Being Codependent
It will be difficult to stop the cycle of codependent behavior in your relationships. But it will be worthwhile when you succeed. This is due to the fact that you will be able to reclaim complete control of your life. And you’ll be able to form healthy relationships that will help you grow as a person.
#1. Be Truthful to Yourself
The first step in working on your codependent habits is to be absolutely honest with yourself. The notion that admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery is true. There is a reason that adage has been around for so long. To overcome codependence, you must first recognize that you are codependent. And it will require a lot of guts to do so. It’s a difficult thing to admit.
In addition to acknowledging this to yourself, you must also admit it to your partner or anyone you are codependent with. If you and your partner are codependent on each other, you will both need to recognize this. To fully resolve the codependence in the relationship, you must also be willing to make adjustments.
It is nevertheless critical for persons who are codependent on someone else but are not codependent themselves to admit their behaviors to the other person. This is the first step in changing the dynamics of your relationship. It’ll also allow you to open up about how you’ve been feeling and why you’ve acted the way you have. It also allows you to express how you want things to change and improve.
#2. Allow things to Be
One of the most difficult aspects of being codependent is that things in your relationship seem to affect you more than other people. You may find yourself feeling excessively emotional as a result of what others may seem to be a trivial issue. But the feelings you’re having are very real to you, and they’re important to you as well. This is one of the behaviors associated with codependence.
When you learn to let go of those sentiments and emotions, you may let go of some of your codependence. It is not easy to simply ‘let it go,’ and you may find it difficult to do so. When an event occurs or your partner says something that has a profound impact on you, it is important to allow yourself to feel the feelings. Just because you’re learning how to control your emotions doesn’t imply you should disregard them totally.
Allow the emotions to come in and acknowledge them. Instead of letting them take control, take a few moments to concentrate on what the circumstance truly requires and reply in a more calm and controlled manner. You will be able to receive a better response from your partner if you communicate your sentiments and emotions in this manner. That implies you’ll be able to talk about things instead of arguing or getting upset. Also, after some thought, you’ll realize that some of those things can simply be let go of.
#3. Invite Your Friends
In most circumstances, bringing friends into your relationship is a bad idea because it might cause friction between you and your partner. If you are in codependent relationships, it may be necessary to bring someone into the scenario to help you stop it. Remember that eliminating codependent tendencies is difficult, and having a supportive buddy might mean the difference between success and failure.
You want to choose a friend who will be encouraging and supporting rather than one who would berate you if you make a mistake. Trying to stop a codependent relationship necessitates a significant amount of hard work and effort on your part. It is entirely understandable and expected that you will find it difficult. Even if that happens, the perfect friend will be there to keep pushing you ahead.
#4. Establish Firm Boundaries
Boundaries are one of the most difficult aspects of working through codependence, but they are also one of the most important. Establishing limits entails selecting what you will and will not do for your relationship. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has an addiction, this may imply putting a stop to certain behaviors that you used to accept or ignore. If you and your partner are both codependent, it could involve setting boundaries to keep their emotions from bringing you down.
Setting your limits is necessary, but it is also incredibly personal. You are the only person who can decide what boundaries you are willing to establish and when you want to establish them. It’s also critical to keep pushing yourself while you fight through your codependence. You may not be ready to take the last steps right away, but as you continue to work on your thoughts, feelings, and yourself in general, you may find that you want to establish even more hard limits.
#5. Take a step back
You may need to step away from the codependent relationship, whether temporarily or permanently. Once again, you are the only one who can decide whether or not the relationship you are in has a chance to succeed. Still, there’s a good possibility you’ll need a break before you can return to the relationship with a clear brain.
Walking away temporarily allows you to work on yourself in a variety of ways while not having to work on your partner as well. It relieves you of the burden of having to make decisions every day that are either in accordance with your new goals or not. And it provides you the power to be strong and unwavering in your decisions. Simply having the conviction of your beliefs and desires will help you improve.
You may return to the prior relationship if you have become stronger in your own life and are further along your ex-codependence journey, providing the other person knows that the relationship will be different. However, whether or not you decide to return is ultimately up to you.
#6. Seek Counseling.
Counseling is an excellent approach to acquiring some of the techniques covered in this article. Working with a counselor will provide you with greater insight into your own ideas and feelings. You’ll also learn how to be more honest with yourself and your spouse. You’ll also learn how to let go of some of the overpowering emotions that can otherwise get the best of you.
A counselor will provide you with the flexibility and chance to sit down and express your thoughts and feelings in a secure setting, as well as feedback in the form of exercises, strategies, and other tools. These things are meant to give you the courage you need to start taking control and making decisions that will aid you in your life.
Seeking professional treatment may be the next obvious step if you want to learn more about how to stop codependency.
Seek professional treatment if you feel you are codependent in your relationship and are struggling to make positive changes. You can begin by talking to your doctor about how to stop being codependent in your relationships, or you can immediately contact a mental health expert.
Consider online therapy if you are not comfortable communicating with a therapist in person or if you are apprehensive to attend a group. You can communicate with a therapist from the comfort of your own home through video, live chat, or messages on one of your personal devices.
How to Stop Being Codependent in Relationships FAQ’s
What is the root cause of codependency?
Childhood is usually the source of codependency. A youngster is frequently raised in a family where their feelings are disregarded or punished. This emotional neglect can lead to low self-esteem and shame in the child. They may assume that their wants are unimportant.
What does a codependent relationship look like?
A person in a codependent relationship typically has difficulties conveying their own thoughts and feelings, and instead begins to take on those of others in order to feel accepted, connected, and self-worth.
Why do codependents love narcissists?
People suffering from codependency may create relationships with those suffering from NPD. Typically, the two partners establish complementary roles to meet the requirements of the other. The codependent has found a companion into whom they can pour their hearts, and the narcissistic has found someone who prioritizes their wants.