How to Get Out of a Codependent Relationship

Codependency is one of those buzzwords we use a lot when talking bout toxic relationships. But most people have no idea what the word even means – let alone how to recognize that you’re in one and get out of it. This article will teach you the signs and fixes so you can lead a healthier life.

First up: what does codependency mean? Essentially, a codependent relationship is one in which you are completely dependent on one another. Generally, this means that one partner has given up self-sufficiency and autonomy to the other partner. And contrary to popular belief, a codependent relationship isn’t all the fault of the partner who’s given up control. Both people have to fall into these bad habits to work.

While there are several indicators you might be in a codependent relationship, here are a few of the most common:

  • You think you can’t be happy without the other person. Thinking it’s impossible for you to be happy without your partner isn’t love; it’s unhealthy.
  • You take responsibility for your partner’s actions. If your partner is spiraling into unhealthy behavior and you make excuses or apologize for them because you love them, you might be in a codependent relationship.
  • You take care only of your partner. Healthy relationships are inter-dependent, meaning you take care of each other and of yourselves. Taking care of your partner is great – but if you’re neglecting yourself in the process,  that’s a problem.
  • You never say no. Do you only go on vacation where your partner wants to go? Are you always the one picking where to eat? If one partner always gets his/her way, you’re probably codependent.
  • You’re always anxious. In a healthy relationship, you should feel secure in your love for one another. If the defining feeling in your relationship is anxiety, you might be codependent.

If you recognize these signs, don’t panic! If you’re in a codependent relationship, you may have your parents to thank. People with unhappy childhoods are at higher risk for ending up in codependent relationships, namely if your parents were excessively controlling, depressed, or addicts – among other things. But this isn’t a death sentence for your relationship! It’s possible to turn a codependent relationship into a happy one if you try these tips.

  • Get educated. Codependency is a complicated topic that can take many different forms. So if you think you might be codependent, do a little bit more research. Many experts recommending Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
  • Talk to your partner. Once you’ve done more research, it’s time to bring this up to your partner. Keep in mind that this will likely be a tough conversation – especially if your partner doesn’t think anything is wrong. And if your partner doesn’t want the relationship to change, you may need to break up to save your own health.
  • Spend time apart. You need to spend time away from each other to remember that while you may enjoy having each other in your lives, you are capable of being happy without the other person. You should also spend more time with friends and family so you have other people supporting you besides your significant other. Perhaps this is a good time to take a break?
  • Develop your own hobbies. You don’t have to do everything together – and if you hate fishing, it’s totally fine to let your partner go off and do it on his/her own. Cultivate your own hobbies so you have things you can enjoy that have nothing to do with your relationship.
  • Take responsibility. In a codependent relationship, it’s easy to get trapped into pawning responsibility off on others. But you have to take responsibility for your own actions and feelings. So if you’re constantly giving, stop blaming others for taking and remind yourself that it’s OK to take time for yourself.

Getting out of a codependent relationship is a tough process. But with hard work and understanding, it can be done. And if you end up breaking up, knowing that you’re at risk will help you recognize the signs early in your next relationship.

Liked this? Check out How Social Media Can Help Your Relationship!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: Jason Clapp via Compfight cc

Codependency is one of those buzzwords we use a lot when talking bout toxic relationships. But most people have no idea what the word even means – let alone how to recognize that you’re in one and get out of it. This article will teach you the signs and fixes so you can lead a healthier life.

First up: what does codependency mean? Essentially, a codependent relationship is one in which you are completely dependent on one another. Generally, this means that one partner has given up self-sufficiency and autonomy to the other partner. And contrary to popular belief, a codependent relationship isn’t all the fault of the partner who’s given up control. Both people have to fall into these bad habits to work.

While there are several indicators you might be in a codependent relationship, here are a few of the most common:

  • You think you can’t be happy without the other person. Thinking it’s impossible for you to be happy without your partner isn’t love; it’s unhealthy.
  • You take responsibility for your partner’s actions. If your partner is spiraling into unhealthy behavior and you make excuses or apologize for them because you love them, you might be in a codependent relationship.
  • You take care only of your partner. Healthy relationships are inter-dependent, meaning you take care of each other and of yourselves. Taking care of your partner is great – but if you’re neglecting yourself in the process,  that’s a problem.
  • You never say no. Do you only go on vacation where your partner wants to go? Are you always the one picking where to eat? If one partner always gets his/her way, you’re probably codependent.
  • You’re always anxious. In a healthy relationship, you should feel secure in your love for one another. If the defining feeling in your relationship is anxiety, you might be codependent.

If you recognize these signs, don’t panic! If you’re in a codependent relationship, you may have your parents to thank. People with unhappy childhoods are at higher risk for ending up in codependent relationships, namely if your parents were excessively controlling, depressed, or addicts – among other things. But this isn’t a death sentence for your relationship! It’s possible to turn a codependent relationship into a happy one if you try these tips.

  • Get educated. Codependency is a complicated topic that can take many different forms. So if you think you might be codependent, do a little bit more research. Many experts recommending Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
  • Talk to your partner. Once you’ve done more research, it’s time to bring this up to your partner. Keep in mind that this will likely be a tough conversation – especially if your partner doesn’t think anything is wrong. And if your partner doesn’t want the relationship to change, you may need to break up to save your own health.
  • Spend time apart. You need to spend time away from each other to remember that while you may enjoy having each other in your lives, you are capable of being happy without the other person. You should also spend more time with friends and family so you have other people supporting you besides your significant other. Perhaps this is a good time to take a break?
  • Develop your own hobbies. You don’t have to do everything together – and if you hate fishing, it’s totally fine to let your partner go off and do it on his/her own. Cultivate your own hobbies so you have things you can enjoy that have nothing to do with your relationship.
  • Take responsibility. In a codependent relationship, it’s easy to get trapped into pawning responsibility off on others. But you have to take responsibility for your own actions and feelings. So if you’re constantly giving, stop blaming others for taking and remind yourself that it’s OK to take time for yourself.

Getting out of a codependent relationship is a tough process. But with hard work and understanding, it can be done. And if you end up breaking up, knowing that you’re at risk will help you recognize the signs early in your next relationship.

Liked this? Check out How Social Media Can Help Your Relationship!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: Jason Clapp via Compfight cc

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