Codependent relationships are unhealthy relationships that include warning signs of low self-esteem, a denial of problems, and poor communication. They involve a party in the relationship being unable to have relationships or a life outside of the other person. This is incredibly unhealthy and can damage friendships, your work life, and your relationship with family members. If you or someone you love are in a codependent relationship, there are some steps that you can take to fix it.
Define Your Boundaries
Codependent relationships don’t have clear boundaries. People in these relationships think that being so involved with their partner helps them, but it actually causes more damage. Relinquishing the control that you and your partner have over each other can give you both more room to breathe in the relationship, teach you to trust each other, and allow respect to grow.
In a codependent relationship, the partners are often dishonest with each other about personal beliefs and feelings so as to not push each other away. It’s much healthier to be open and honest in communication. Be open about problems that you’re having, and share your thoughts and opinions. This can be really hard to do at first, but will lead to a much better relationship in the long run.
Practice Self Care
Ignoring your own needs and wants and only catering to your partner is a sign of being in a codependent relationship. You need to take the time and make the effort to focus on yourself and do the things that you like to do. You may have been neglecting your health, passions, or friends, but spending time repairing these parts of your life will benefit you in the long run. You’ll have to find the delicate balance between taking care of yourself and taking care of others.
Going to a therapist or meeting with a codependency group are great ways to get support from others. Seeing how people in similar situations are managing to cope and then thrive will inspire you to get help and to change the unhealthy aspects of your relationship. You’ll be able to work through changing your relationship for the better and will benefit from a support group.
Remember that being in a codependent relationship, while it may feel good part of the time, isn’t healthy for you or for your partner. Getting help, spending time taking care of yourself, and learning to express your feelings are great ways to take care of yourself and heal your relationship.