Every healthy relationship consists of equal parts of give and take. But when one person wants to give more to feel needed and ignores their own needs, and the receiving person keeps taking without providing anything in return, it can lead to a toxic cycle of codependency.
If you think that your relationship might be one-sided, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of codependency. In this article, you can learn how to overcome codependency and build a stronger and healthier relationship with your partner or family member.
How To Overcome Codependency
To overcome codependency and heal your relationship, you must first start with yourself. Here are some of the steps you can take to rise to the challenge.
- Take Breaks From Your Partner:
It’s vital that if you are in a codependent relationship to realize that there’s a world outside of the relationship: being together 24/7 is not always necessary to find a sense of fulfillment. You can find happiness in being alone, and that alone time is what is needed to find yourself again. Whether the apart time is spent going out with friends, taking walks, or trying out a new hobby, finding time away from your partner is a healthy way to heal.
- Establish Clear Boundaries:
Everyone who struggles with codependency tends to have a hard time setting boundaries. They don’t know where their needs stop and where the other person’s needs begin. And they often thrive when they feel needed all the time.
You can avoid making this mistake by setting clear boundaries from the get-go. Communicate clearly with your partner or family member the areas they can be involved in and those they cannot. In this way, you can separate your needs from your partner’s. This way, our boundaries become a healthy way for you and your relationship to grow.
Sometimes, it helps to talk to people about the problem. By finding peer support, people in codependent relationships can share their experiences with like-minded peers and get valuable insights from other people’s own experiences.
Perhaps seeing the situation from another person’s perspective can shed light on the problem and offer a new paths to heal a codependent relationship.
Finally, you can try counseling on your own or with your partner. Like peer support, counseling provides an outsider’s perspective so people in codependent relationships can have a more objective view of what’s going on in their relationship. Plus, feedback from a professional can point them toward change and healing.
What Is Codependency?
Codependency happens when a person sacrifices their wants and needs to serve someone else. These relationships can form between romantic partners or in family relationships between a parent and child or between siblings.
Often, people accept their codependent actions as normal behavior because they think that it’s a way of being selfless toward someone they care about. But when the giver’s selfless acts lead to sacrificing all their needs for the other person in the relationship, their health and well-being can deteriorate along with their relationship.
If you suspect you are in a codependent relationship, you're not alone. In fact, it is estimated that at least 90% of relationships are in some way codependent. Don't be afraid to reach out and seek help, it's far more common than you would expect.
Codependency and Addiction
While codependency primarily refers to relationships between people, it can also apply to other things like addiction.
When a person is codependent, they can feel addicted to certain feelings, such as:
- Desperation to please
- Obsession over giving rather than taking
- Not wanting to have personal space
- Feeling comfortable with the current situation
- Feeling stuck but content
- Wanting approval for their self-worth
These feelings are signs that you may be suffering from codependency. If you are experiencing these feelings, they are red flags. So, it’s important to take a look at your feelings and behavior so that you can make a plan to heal yourself and if possible, your relationship.
How Rehab Can Help Treat Codependency
If your codependent relationship becomes too difficult to manage, a helpful solution is to go to rehab. Specialized centers can provide the right care and treatment to help individuals suffering from codependency.
Some of the treatments they may recommend include psychodynamic therapy, couples therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. If a person becomes codependent on substances, rehab can also provide the best solutions to conquer those problems as well.
No matter what type of codependency you may have, there’s always a way to control it and create a life that you can truly enjoy.
Here at The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center, we specialize in managing recovery from codependency. If you or a loved one is suffering from a codependent relationship please reach out to us and see how Ohana can help you today.