Do you want to know how to stop being codependent in your relationships or any sphere of life? It is not going to be easy, but it is possible.
We all want a relationship that makes us feel complete, which we desired, where we feel loved, and, most importantly, what makes us realize our worth. But when this relationship becomes toxic and does the exact opposite to us than what we expected, that is when the problem starts.
When our relationship makes us feel worthless, and we do not realize the importance of our existence, that is when we should understand that it is time to discuss and convey the problems to our partner. Being in a toxic relationship is against the goals of a relationship because we do not feel complete and worthy.
Nowadays, due to many factors, there has been an increasing amount of relationship problems. One such problem is codependency. It is increasing day by day, and not only does it cause harm to the relationship but the individuality of the codependent person as well.
What is Codependency?
Codependency is when one or both the partners are overly dedicated to each other that the codependent one is not left with their own life. In such kind of a relationship, the codependent partner’s only motive in life becomes the happiness of their partner.
They do not want to indulge themselves in any activity which is not related to their partner. Every other thing feels useless because all they want to do is make their partner happy and please them by putting all their effort into their happiness. They start losing their self-worth and the mere cause of their existence.
As the name suggests, they become dependent upon each other for themselves. The one who is codependent dedicate all their efforts and time in pleasing the other one, and the other one too, after a while, gets dependent upon the opposite partner for the fulfillment of all their needs and gradually loses their independence as well.
That is how codependency works where, on the face of it, it seems like only one person who is grossly involved in the opposite partner’s happiness is being dependent. Still, both of them are being dependent because the one who is getting an advantage is also gradually becoming dependent on the other one for their needs and requirements.
Although it may seem like a phase, it can be lifelong because the codependent partner gets so much involved in their counterpart that they may forget their own life. They cut themselves off from every other thing because they cannot think of and concentrate on anything else as the only motive of their life revolves around their partner.
Codependency can become a mental illness if not addressed in time and can leave a lifelong impact. Nowadays, depression caused by relationships leads to many suicidal thoughts. This is how grave the situation can become if the codependency is not cured in time. Codependency also leads to damage to other relationships that are with friends, families, etc. and eventually, there is no one left in their life other than their partner who is also a toxic person if that partner is enjoying it.
Codependency also leads to career damage because a codependent person cannot concentrate on anything other than their partner and career is not different. With time, they become lonely because there is no one left in their life as they have cut themselves off from everyone, and there is also no one left to get them out of their relationship rut and make them understand the toxicity of their relationship. So, when someday their partner leaves them, they are left with no one to support them and to share their feelings, and they become prey to depression, and gradually, their life seems worthless, and suicidal thoughts start to emerge in their minds.
What causes codependency?
There can be many causes for the development of a codependent attitude of a person, but most of it comes from their early life. While these causes may vary from individual to individual, some general causes apply to most of the codependent persons.
- The family background of a person impacts the behavioral aspects of that person significantly. It is rare for a person to become codependent if that person belongs to a mentally healthy family.
- When a person grows up in such a dysfunctional family, they start believing that they are not important, and their feelings and existence are of no value. It makes them develop a trait where they do not share their feelings with anyone, including their partner.
- Overly harsh parents make their kids please them. While growing up, they want to please their parents, and in a relationship, they want to always think about the happiness of their partner.
- When the parents expect impossible things from their children and want them to become a perfect person, this leads to codependency in a relationship. In such a surrounding, they think that they are the problem and incapable, dumb, bad, unworthy, and all the negative traits.
- When the parents are not capable, and the codependent person has to take up the role of the guardian for their siblings, they acquire this trait of a caretaker, and the same follows to adulthood and, as a result, the codependent behavior in a relationship.
Signs of a codependent person
At first, it is tough to recognize a codependent person because it may seem like the person is just madly in love with their partner. Still, when this behavior increases day by day, and that person starts losing individuality, that is when it becomes apparent that that person is becoming a codependent person.
- The person becomes grossly involved in the happiness of their partner, neglecting their joy and individuality.
- Cut themselves off from every other relationship, that is, family, friends, co-workers, etc.
- Do not concentrate on their career, and the graph of their career lowers day by day.
- They become very much of an anti-social and lonely person because they are only left with their partner.
- Do not give importance to themselves or feel very guilty when they do so.
- Even when someone tells them to stop their codependent behavior, they continue their unhealthy behavior. They may also realize this codependency, but there is always this conflict in their mind about whether to leave the relationship.
- Tends to keep aside their feelings and needs and desires.
Can codependency be addictive?
The answer is yes. Codependency can gradually become addictive. The person at first may seem to be in love and look like they are doing things out of love, but in actuality, it is their codependency, which is making them do so. A codependent person also does not share their feelings with their partner about their needs, feelings, and desires because they do not even think of themselves.
A codependent person thinks it as wrong to share their needs and desires. They feel guilty when they do not dedicate even a moment to the happiness of their partner. Even if anyone tells them about their strange behavior, they find this fact hard to digest. Also, even if they realize it, they have a conflict in their mind whether they should get out of the relationship because they have been so much engrossed in their partner that they just do not know how to overcome this behavior.
The fact that even when they realize that they are showing an unhealthy behavior, they continue it and also the fact that there is always this conflict in their mind despite knowing everything is a clear sign that codependency can be addictive.
How to identify a Codependent behavior pattern?
In a Codependendent behavior pattern, one would notice the following characteristics.
- A codependent person has difficulties in decision making, communicating, undervalue themselves, poor self-esteem, inferiority complex, sense of guilt, and the biggest of all; they are identified by their partners.
- They realize that they are being neglected and also losing their importance, but they become so much obsessed with their partner that it becomes challenging to pull them out from what they have become.
- A codependent person is unable to find satisfaction outside the life of their partner. Many times they also recognize their unhealthy behavior but still choose to stay in the relationship and continue being codependent.
- They give support to their partner at the cost of their health – be it mental, physical, or emotional.
- Codependent people feel a conflict in their mind to leave the relationship. They become so much dependent that even when they realize that they are unhealthy, they choose to stay in that relationship.
7 Ways to Stop Being Codependent
If you’re wondering how to stop being codependent in a relationship, you will need to understand the how and why of the issue. After that, follow these steps.
Realize your worth
Realize your worth because it is all about self-worth. Think about your own life, think about other aspects of life as well because there is a whole world outside the relationship, and such a relationship is not worth it where you do not have your importance.
Start loving yourself because self-love is all you need right now. Start from little things like a day out on your own, shop, get a spa, pamper yourself, and start pursuing hobbies.
Seek professional help
Even if you find it hard to stop despite knowing everything, seek some kind of counseling or therapy because external support can actually work.
Talk to someone
Talk to someone very close to you like your parents or a close friend and try to understand whatever they are saying, seek their help, you can also talk to your partner about the way you are feeling.
Try to separate yourself from your partner. Start with one day. And then increase the time span. Start thinking of other aspects of life and extract happiness from other things.
Learn to say NO
Start being strong and learn to say no, even if it hurts initially, you will gradually start feeling your strength.
Focus on yourself
Start indulging yourself in other essential things like your career, your health, and your hobbies. When you distract yourself from some other things, you automatically start to overcome your codependency problem.
By following these ways, you can stop being codependent in relationships and start living your life to the fullest. Relationship means to love and receive love, and it is not a fulltime job. Self-love is also a kind of relationship. Be where you feel strong because it is your life, and you should spend it on your terms. Love everyone, but give yourself the priority.