5 Tips for Overcoming Codependency for Mutual Recovery

When you are in a relationship and you seem to be giving more than you get in return or you sacrifice for the relationship and your partner chances are you are in a codependent relationship. Codependency is a wide spread phenomena. It happens when one partner depends on the other for approval and validation. That approval and validation define you. This is an extremely unhealthy form of relationship. Many people in codependent relationships describe themselves as being unhappy and unable to leave.

According to the University of California UC Davis Healthcare System, anyone can find themselves in a codependent relationship, although it is very common for people who were emotionally neglected as children to wind up in one. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome a codependent relationship.

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How to recognize a Codependent Relationship

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more women are codependent than men but both sexes are susceptible. It is best to look for codependent characteristics. There are three key characteristics of a codependent relationship. These three are:

  • Lack of satisfaction – if the only satisfaction that you find is through the other person and your life does not bring you any satisfaction on its own.
  • Unhealthy behaviors – if you see that your partner’s behavior is unhealthy and even though you know that you should leave you cannot.
  • Physical, mental, and emotional health – if you are routinely asked to give more than you comfortably can, your relationship negatively impacts your health.

These three characteristics need to be present in order for a relationship to be termed a codependent one. Thoughts of the relationship or ending in produce a profound anxiety.

The majority of codependent relationships involve some form of abuse. One or both partners are physically, emotionally, or financially abusive. Many of them also abuse various substances. Regardless of the reasons it is important to understand how to overcome a codependent relationship.

1. Realizing that you are Codependent

overcoming codependency

Overcoming codependent behavior is a big step in recovery.

When you realize that you are in a codependent relationship you can overcome the codependency. Some of the signs of codependency are:

  • You are constantly taking responsibility for others action.
  • You depend on a relationship even if it is not a good relationship or it is an unhealthy one.
  • You feel guilty when you take a stand in a relationship.
  • You gravitate towards people who you thing will need you or need to be rescued.
  • You do not have personal boundaries.
  • You try to take care of everyone around you.
  • You have low self-esteem.
  • You are a people pleaser.

There are many other signs but if you fit in one of these categories, there is a good chance you are codependent. By recognizing this, you can seek treatment and overcome the codependency.

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2. Raise your Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a large part of overcoming codependency. Many researchers believe codependence is a self-esteem problem. When you are in a codependent relationship, you start to feel as if you are worthy of a better one. They take the abuse because they have such low self worth that the abuse becomes normal. This is often reinforced by the person who you are in the codependent relationship with. There are many resources for self-esteem building, including counseling and workshops. A few of the things that you can do to raise your self-esteem are:

  • write down and recognize your strengths,
  • be aware of negative thinking,
  • create a feeling of self-awareness, forgiveness, and improvement, and
  • keep things in your life uplifting.

These are only a few self exercises you can do to improve self esteem.

3. Observe and Learn

Look for the codependent behaviors in your relationships. Once you learn to recognize them, you should be able to analyze them. By observing and learning from your relationships, you can correct them before they become a problem. You will find that there are people in your life that are givers and ones that are takers. By recognizing the people who are takers, you can make sure they do not take advantage of you.

4. Allow the People Around you to Deal with their Own Consequences

By allowing those around you to suffer the consequences of their actions, you help yourself by not being sucked into their issues and help them to learn a lesson from their actions. If you can learn to recognize when someone needs your help and when they are just using your help to get them out of trouble, you can stop codependent behavior. You cannot control the another’s actions. You have to let them take both the consequences of their behavior and responsibility for their actions.

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5. Sever Ties

Unfortunately, there is a point where no matter how much work on yourself you do, you have to sever ties with the person that is hurting you. When someone is using you and you bring it to their attention, they should be willing to stop. This is not always the case. In some instances, staying in the relationship is so detrimental to your health and self esteem you have to leave it. When you recognize this, it is time to leave the relationship.

Regardless of the reasons why you are in a codependent relationship, it is important to know that there is help. Many people cannot overcome codependence on their own. They need the help of others. Since a codependent person is normally, a giver this is difficult for them. Learning how to ask for help when you need it is a very important part of overcoming codependency.

the Take-Away

Codependent behavior is common for people who have an addiction and those who are love ones of addicts. These behaviors can hinder recovery efforts and cause serious issues.