How to stop being codependent in your relationship
Are you the codependent one in your relationship? Codependency is not healthy. One member of the relationship tends to feed off the other and two individuals cannot thrive in such a relationship.
For you to develop a healthy relationship, you can stop being codependent in your relationship and become an independent, thriving individual.
First, let’s look at how you can recognize if you are codependent in your relationship
- Your communication with your partner is dysfunctional. You struggle to express your thoughts and wait for your partners to articulate your thoughts for you. You don’t say what you feel and imply instead.
- You feel the need to be in control because it makes you feel safe and secure. You feel the need to make people behave the way you want them to and if they don’t it doesn’t sit well with you.
- You constantly experience negative emotions. You live in constant fear of being judged, making mistakes, fear of being abandoned and your relationship is simply not a happy place for you.
- You are constantly going out of your way to please your partner and care little for your needs. You deny yourself happiness to make the other person happy and feel unappreciated when they don’t acknowledge your efforts. On the flip side, sometimes you can be codependent in your relationship if you constantly want your needs met and care little about the needs of your partner.
How can you stop being codependent in your relationship?
Stop always trying to please
Codependent people feel as if they have to compensate for something. As a result, they are constantly trying to please others. If you find yourself constantly trying to please your partner to get their approval, you are codependent.
Such behavior results from a childhood where you felt ignored and you felt the need to please others for them to like and approve of you. If your parents did not appreciate your efforts, you might find yourself carrying this wound into adulthood and constantly trying to please others.
Work on reparenting your inner child
To stop from being codependent in your relationship, work on reparenting your inner child. Recognizing this is the first step towards healing. You can learn to focus on your strengths so that you feel adequate enough that you don’t want external approval. While you slowly work on this, you improve your independence and become less codependent.
Remember you are a separate individual from your partner
One of the signs of codependency in a relationship is when you always find yourself constantly attaching yourself to your partner. If you constantly want to have the same friends, spend all your time with them, share hobbies and interests, and you are simply tied to the hip, then you may be codependent.
In a healthy relationship, both parties acknowledge that you are unique individuals and you can detach yourself from your partner and that’s fine. Don’t feel the need to control your partner so that they have to do things your way. Remember before you met them they had a life and you two have different upbringings. As a result, you have to let them exist as unique individuals and try to find a separate life for yourself as well.
Become more self-aware
Remember the phrase ‘when you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything?’ when you are not self-aware, you don’t know what you stand for, you are likely to seek guidance from others on what to stand for.
Self-awareness is about knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, personality, likes and dislikes, and accepting yourself for who you are. When you are not self-aware, you find that you need to rely on others to give you direction. Before you know it, you are so dependent on this person and cannot decide something on your own. You have developed codependency.
However, self-awareness comes with self-acceptance which leads to high self-esteem and confidence. You know what you want and you don’t need another person to give you direction. Do you know those people in a relationship that always do things together, but it is clear that one person does not enjoy the activities? Only one person enjoys and the other always follows to fit in?
That shows lack of self-awareness. A well-aware person will say, ‘No, I actually don’t enjoy this activity. Why don’t you go ahead with your friends, I’ll do my thing and we can meet up later?’ this level of self-awareness will help you reduce codependence and forge your own path.
Create boundaries and respect your partner’s boundaries
Codependent people tend to violate boundaries. If you are codependent in your relationship, the boundaries your partner has created are blurry to you and this can lead to your partner feeling disrespected.
For example, if your partner wants to spend some time alone, but you take to so personally and take offense, you could be having a boundaries problem. If you find it hard to function when your partner is away for a short period, this is codependence.
Learn that in a healthy relationship, it is alright to have boundaries. If your partner wants to spend some time alone, it is ok and you should allow them to do so. This is especially common for introverts who get exhausted by social interactions and prefer to spend time alone.
To stop being codependent in your relationship, learn to respect your partner’s boundaries and be comfortable setting your own boundaries. In any healthy relationship, boundaries are necessary.
Stop being codependent in your relationship through reparenting
Try to find out why you are codependent on your partner? Do you feel the need for security, acceptance, and approval? What makes you want to cling to them so much? Try to get to the root of this and develop an understanding of why it is that you become codependent.
Only when you identify the problem can you try to solve it. You can solve the codependent challenge through reparenting. I have explained how to reparent yourself and heal your inner child. As I had mentioned earlier, codependent habits largely are a result of our childhood.
When you find the root of the codependency, you can work on healing your childhood wounds and become a more independent individual. Here are some books to help with reparenting.