When you’re in a relationship, you want to make your partner feel happy and supported. But at some point, you might recognize a toxic pattern where your responsibility to the other person gets out of hand. But you continue to stick around in this precarious situation.
At first, codependency can sound like a positive term because it seems to reflect an equal amount of give and take in a relationship. But the definition shows a different reality. Codependency is a condition where you form a dangerous emotional attachment to another person and excessively rely on them.
You and your partner could be in a codependent relationship, especially if one person is hindering the other’s improvement. Part of being stuck in codependency entails enabling someone when they practice destructive habits. To help you assess your relationship, here are a few ways to identify your state and tips on overcoming codependency.
Signs of a Codependent Relationship
To evaluate your level of dependency on others, examine your relationships to check for warning signs. Here are three signs that can indicate you are in a codependent situation.
1. People Pleasing
Chasing after the approval of others might show an underlying issue — a dislike of self. When you feel you’re not worthy or good enough, you can cling to how others see you. You want to please everyone in your life, and you go to great lengths to steer clear of disappointment, which can tear you down.
2. Unclear Boundaries
When you are willing to tolerate unhealthy behavior from your partner, your boundaries often become muddled. Encouraging or rewarding hurtful actions or comments causes further harm to both parties.
When you don’t know when to say no, you start to put up with upsetting habits and fail to draw the line when it’s necessary.
3. Failure to Confront Serious Problems
You might be unwilling to admit there’s something wrong in your relationship. You ignore or deny warning signs others notice about your partner, and any discussions on the issue can produce a sense of anxiety that prevents you from facing the problem.
Dodging confrontation can leave you stuck and closed off from your friends and family.
Steps to Overcome a Codependency
Removing yourself from a codependent relationship is challenging when you have invested time and energy. But separating yourself from an unhealthy lifestyle can enrich your life and set you up for restoration. Overcoming codependency is an involved process, but here are three steps to get you started.
1. Practice Positive Self-Esteem
A damaged identity needs repairing, so focus on affirming yourself rather than waiting for outward validation. Cultivate self-love so you can revive your confidence, and reorient your thoughts to encourage and uplift yourself, instead of criticizing your actions.
2. Nurture Your Interests
Rather than letting your relationship dominate your thoughts, take some time to honor your desires. Participate in hobbies that give you joy and fulfillment. Caring for yourself is vital, so allow yourself to concentrate on personal time.
3. Develop Healthy Limitations
Establish sensible boundaries for yourself, and don’t be afraid to implement these in future relationships. In your next relationship, place importance on a proper amount of dependence in the right situations, but don’t overstep. Limitations can keep your life balanced and preserve your emotional health.
Attain Freedom From an Unhealthy Situation
Codependency goes beyond supporting your partner and moves into an unhealthy state of caretaking. While sacrifices can be appropriate in relationships, make sure you aren’t enabling your partner.
You can flourish in a relationship with helpful boundaries, necessary confrontation and a beneficial sense of identity. Overcome codependency today to begin healing.
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