If you find yourself making lots of sacrifices for your partner’s happiness, but not getting much in return? If that kind of one-sided thinking pattern sounds like yours. You don’t have to feel trapped. There are lots of ways to change a codependent relationship and get your life back on an even track.
As someone who spent a lot of time helping other people, I never presume to judge or tell people what they “should do”, “have to” do, or “need” to do. Only the person who will live the situation my choose. These are individual choices that can only be made by the person who must live them.
But when people are ready to make a change, they can often be trapped. Not just by their love for their hurtful partner, but by fear.
Ending major relationships means big changes. Where and how we live, what we own, how much money we have, whether we’re alone or not.
It’s natural to be afraid. It’s sometime like leaping off a cliff in the dark. We are most often afraid because we don’t know what will happen.
Without any specific thoughts, our minds love to wander off into all kinds of extreme outcomes. Things that really just aren’t going to happen.
So overcoming fear – finding the courage to make changes – is about learning. It can take time, and it does takes little bits of courage to ask the questions. But if we chip away at it, we can build a picture or what a new life will be like. And we can fill that picture with facts and not imagined fears.
Those facts, and that true vision of what we’ll do and what things will be like, undercut the fears and make it possible to face the change.
What Is a Codependent Relationship?
The first step in getting things back on track is to understand the meaning of a codependent relationship.
Experts say it’s a pattern of behavior in which you find yourself dependent on approval from someone else for your self-worth and identity.
One key sign is when your sense of purpose in life wraps around making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner’s needs.
“Codependent relationships signify a degree of unhealthy reliance, where one person doesn’t have self-sufficiency or autonomy,” where one or both parties depend on their loved ones for validation and fulfillment.
Anyone can become co-dependent as in most behavioral issues environment in our formative years has children and our adolescent periods play a significant role.
Most research suggests that people who have parents who emotionally abused or neglected them in their teens are more likely to enter codependent relationships
“These kids are often taught to subvert their own needs to please a difficult parent. It sets them up for a long-standing pattern of trying to get love and care from a difficult person, They’re often replaying a childhood pattern filled with development gaps,”
How to Know You’re in a Codependent Relationship
Watch out for these signs that you might be in a codependent relationship:
- Are you unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of a specific person?
- Do you recognize unhealthy behaviors in your partner but stay with him or her in spite of them?
- Are you giving support to your partner at the cost of your own mental, emotional, and physical health?
- People around them have given them feedback that they are too dependent on their partner or if they have a desire, at times, for more independence but feel an even stronger conflict when they attempt to separate in any way.
- They feel anxiety more consistently than any other emotion in the relationship, and they’ll spend a great deal of time and energy either trying to change their partner or trying to conform to their partner’s wishes.”
- Impact of a Codependent Relationship
Giving up your own needs and identity to meet the needs of a partner has unhealthy short-term and long-term consequences.You can become burned out, exhausted, and begin to neglect other important relationships And if you’re the enabler in a codependent relationship — meaning you promote the other person’s dysfunctions — you can prevent them from learning common and needed life lessons.”
How to Change a Codependent Relationship
Breaking up isn’t necessarily the best or only solution. it’s important to set boundaries and find happiness as an individual. Also setting relationship goals that satisfy them both. It’s also important to spend time with relatives, friends, and family to broaden the circle of support,” “Find hobbies of your own. Try separating for certain periods of time to create a healthy dependence on one another. But do keep in mind that your actions may unintentionally worsen a codependent relationship,
“Sometimes people delude themselves into thinking they are helping a codependent partner by continuing to cater to his or her needs. But ask if you are truly helping or simply not giving that person to grow emotionally