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Codependent Relationship: Should I Give Up or Not Yet?

A couple in a codependent relationship clinging to each other
In a codependent relationship, one is fraught with needs that feed the other’s fixation on being needed.

Is it just clinginess or are you actually in a codependent relationship?

Codependence can at first hide in sheep’s clothing. Sometimes one partner can be going through difficulties that the other lovingly helps with. But the romance fades away when this scenario becomes a mainstay and the problems multiply instead of getting solved.

Codependence is an unhealthy form of relationship wherein one is a taker, who is fraught with needs that in turn feed the caretaker’s fixation on being needed. Takers impose their needs and solely depend on their partners to address them. He or she can often be struggling with substance abuse that fuels obsessive demands in the first place.

On the other hand, caretakers are anxious to satisfy the needs of their partners because it is the only thing that gives them life and purpose. Often, they are people-pleasers, compulsively looking to others for approval and a sense of worth. They use the relationship as a coping mechanism to fill their self-esteem.

Instead of a healthy give-and-take relationship between couples, it becomes a one-sided affair, wherein only one gives and gives until he or she is eventually depleted. This raises the need for intervention lest the toxic behaviors destroy not just the relationship but the persons themselves.

This dynamic is often seen between couples but can also exist between friends and family members. Codependency in marriage may be particularly challenging since the couple is already legally bound to be responsible for each other.

Because of the apparent mutual satisfaction that this arrangement brings, it is often difficult to remedy. The two codependents in a relationship might be unwilling to receive help and worse, they might be oblivious to the problem.

Can a Codependent Relationship be Saved?

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a codependent relationship will help you determine if you are in one and if it can be fixed. These indicators include:

  • Going out of your way to address the wants and needs of your partner at the expense of your own needs

  • Extreme hunger for approval and being needed

  • Difficulty expressing your feelings, desires, and needs because of guilt and wanting to please the other

  • Deficient communication

  • Staying in the relationship even if the other one is doing harmful things

  • Obsession, finding no other satisfaction outside of the relationship

  • Wanting to take control

  • Poor self-esteem

  • Lack of boundaries

Can you heal codependency while in a relationship? The answer to this question depends solely on the couple. Mutual commitment is crucial in ensuring that a codependent relationship can be saved. But if one or both sides are not cooperating, it is impossible to treat codependency.

Moreover, If one is into substance abuse, willingness to stop is essential. The same goes for the other partner, who may be suffering from a compulsive need for approval. A certain degree of sobriety and lucidity is needed to have a good grasp of the problem and take action to change.

Above all, identifying that codependency exists in the relationship is the first step in restoration. Once the couple accepts the problem and agrees to take the steps toward healing, there is clearer hope for the relationship to be restored.

Two codependents in a relationship sit on a bench arguing
Two codependents in a relationship need to acknowledge their codependency behaviors to start healing

How to Repair a Codependent Relationship

If you want to learn how to stop codependency in a relationship, the resolution to change as a couple is a must. Acknowledging that you have such a problem is a big step. Be open to admitting that your relationship is not as healthy as you imagine it to be and that you have things to work out in yourself and not just your partner.

It helps to look at your relationship from a distance to objectively see what is wrong and what are its effects on your life. This holistic perspective will make you appreciate the weight of the situation and the value of going through the process of healing.

Psychotherapy is an essential treatment in how to heal from a codependent relationship. The root cause of this problem often involves a person’s childhood and history, which therapy can properly address. This healing will help unbind the knots of the past that are harming the present relationship.

These actions can help you as you start your healing journey:

1. Discover your self-worth

An unhealthy dependence on someone includes making the other person define your worth. But your value should never depend on what anyone has to say. Your worth is inherent in who you are as a unique human being. You have a priceless dignity that no person has the power to give or take away. Discovering this takes time and courage but once you detach your worth from another person, you will be a more autonomous and happy person.

2. Identify and express your feelings

Because you are so engrossed in another person, you often ignore your feelings and thoughts. You don’t give yourself a chance to acknowledge and communicate these because you think they are not important. Remember that whatever you feel and think are valid and they are worthy of attention. Start by putting into words what is in your heart and mind and then speak about them to someone who listens and you can trust.

3. Ask for your needs

You are not a superhero who can do everything. Learn to give yourself a break. There is nothing wrong in having needs or making yourself a priority. On the contrary, it’s more normal to acknowledge our weaknesses and limitations and to ask for help.

4. Make your own decisions

Although couples sometimes need to make decisions together, there are instances when you have to take matters into your own hands. You are the only one who can take control of your life and not anyone else. Practice thinking about what is good for yourself and decide on it without putting priority on the approval of your partner.

5. Set boundaries

Setting boundaries includes refusing to comply with the other’s wants if you don’t agree, accepting that you have different opinions, and giving space and time for yourself. Knowing yourself, your rights, and your responsibilities independent of the other person prevents abuse and ensures self-development.

Man and woman breaking up from a codependent relationship
The steps on how to leave a codependent relationship are not easy but do not be discouraged because it will be worth it.

How to Leave a Codependent Relationship

Even if you put all the effort into learning how to repair a codependent relationship, it can sometimes end up futile. Continuing a relationship while working on yourself is understandably demanding.

Some couples need time and space away from each other to focus on their healing. This separation can be temporary or permanent. At the start, you might have no idea how to leave a codependent relationship. But choosing to leave when it is for the good of you and your significant other will prove to be fruitful in the long run.

However, it is never easy to let go. Take note of these tips to help you on how to get out of a codependent relationship.

1. Acknowledge the problem

A problem recognized is a problem half solved. When the situation and its consequences are clear to you, the decision to leave will make more sense. It is truly a painful moment but appreciate yourself for being courageous enough to admit your problem and responsibility. You can’t solve a problem that you don’t think exists.

2. Speak clearly with your partner about your decision

When you decide to leave, communicate it with your partner. Calmly and clearly explain to him or her as necessary your reasons and plan of action. Discussing it will aid both of you to have a peaceful closure. If you have fears or reservations about the conversation, you can ask a friend or a counselor to give you support.

3. Don’t make excuses

You might be tempted to water down the situation or justify your actions or those of your partner. Having already admitted to the problem, don’t waste your time with excuses. There is no shame in facing the truth. The more honest you are with the problem, the more ready you are to solve it.

4. Remind yourself why you’ve made a good decision

Faltering from your decision will occur now and then. But that is not a reason to be discouraged. Calmly remind yourself of why you made that choice and reaffirm that you did the right thing. Coming back to these reasons will strengthen your resolve when it is difficult to leave.

How to Heal from a Codependent Relationship

Getting out of such an unhealthy relationship is a feat you must congratulate yourself for. Not everyone is brave enough to make that decision. And when one does, it is often accompanied by sorrow, confusion, loneliness, and despair.

This may make you doubt if you chose well but do not be swayed by this momentary regret. The pain of staying in a dysfunctional relationship is always greater than the pain of leaving one. Acknowledge the hurts and sadness and then pick yourself up and continue your little steps toward peace and freedom.

Now that you’ve walked away from that codependent relationship, it’s time to focus on your healing. Restoration may not happen in a snap. But when you’ve started the journey, you will eventually get there.

Open yourself to therapy and take advantage of this time to be in touch with your inner self. Expose the hidden wounds and allow yourself to go through the healing process. When the going gets tough, remember these helpful points:

1. Appreciate Yourself

Self appreciation might be awkward if you’re not used to it. Maybe you don’t think you deserve praise. But it’s only because you have forgotten to look at your wonderful self with all your amazing personality, gifts, and attractiveness. They’ve always been there and it’s always been true that you are awesome even during those times when no one appreciated you. Tell yourself how gorgeous and talented you are and don’t be ashamed to accept compliments from others as well.

A group of friends having fun in a trip
Surrounding yourself with friends is one of the ways on how to heal from a codependent relationship.

2. Find Support

We can never go through life alone, especially its difficult parts. Share with your trusted friends and counselor your ups and downs. Have an accountability partner, who would check up on you and help you be faithful to your resolutions. Surround yourself with family, friends, or a community that appreciates you and encourages you on your journey.

3. Have Fun!

Allow yourself to enjoy the things you’ve always liked, which you often deprived yourself of while in a codependent relationship. There is no shame or guilt in this because your wants and needs are valid. Pick up that hobby you haven’t done for years, go on a trip, try out a new sport or artistic activity, play music, dance, and sing! Life is wonderful and you deserve to enjoy it.

4. Be Patient and Hopeful

You’re well on the way to healing and that’s great. But don’t be surprised to see bumps and bends on the road. The healing process can be heavy at times. When doubts, regrets, or temptations to give up come to your mind, be patient with yourself. Remember the reason why you left that codependent relationship and see that you’ve already gone a long way since.

You’re now a way better person than you used to be.

Look toward the future and continue moving forward even if you have tiny steps. With healing comes hope. Better places and relationships are waiting for you and it’s only a matter of time before you get there.

Part of why codependent relationships don’t work is the lack of genuine personal fulfillment. When you’re always giving without receiving anything in return, you will end up feeling empty. It’s impossible to go on in that state for long without breaking yourself and your partner.

A relationship works out if there exists a mutual sharing that enriches both couples. Without this reciprocal nourishment, it will eventually die, bringing the couple down to its demise.

Healing from a codependent relationship is needed for both parties to save themselves. And sometimes, you need to give up the relationship in the process. But in the end, losing it will be better than losing yourself. Growing and healing from this experience will only bring you to a better version of yourself and a better partner in the future.

Newest, beautiful, single women now added for week of Wednesday, 12 June, 2024 - Tuesday, 18 June, 2024
Your opportunities here are truly worldwide. Explore our site deeply to see how you can realize that!