Why You Should Break Away From Your Codependent Relationship
Not every relationship is going to be good for you, even those that you desperately want to make work. Sometimes, it is in the letting go that can help you get back on your feet and put you in a clear mindset. When you are clouded with a codependent relationship, you are not living up to your full potential as an individual.
For those who are in a codependent relationship, their behaviors and thought processes tend to be a bit more complex than those who are engaged in a healthy relationship. For example, two of the biggest fears that people in these kinds of relationships have is abandonment and vulnerability. Whether it stems from actual abandonment that occurred in the past, or being left in a position where they were extremely vulnerable, people can begin to obsess about their relationship by depending entirely on the other person in an attempt to avoid experiencing those feelings ever again. This often includes behaviors such as trying to rescue the other member of the relationship to feel validation and/or staying in the relationship even if they might feel that it is no longer healthy.
While it might be the most overwhelming and drastic change you can make, learning how to step away from your codependent relationship can be the key to your success as an individual, and make you stronger and more independent.
Tips to Break Away from Your Codependent Relationship
- Overcome denial: Whether you believe it or not, there will be a straw that breaks the camel’s back in your codependent relationship. It might be one year or 25 years into your relationship, but it will occur. When it does, you need to determine your self-worth as an individual as opposed to a caretaker for your significant other. Be honest with yourself about what has been keeping you tied to an unhealthy relationship so you can begin to learn how to combat those issues on an independent level.
- Be assertive: Don’t allow your significant other to make you feel threatened or worthless. It is usually those types of behaviors that keep people in codependent relationships, but remember — you are trying to get out of one. Do so by standing your ground in terms of what you need from a partner as well as yourself. Clearly state what is acceptable and unacceptable in your book and go from there.
- Detach: Detachment can be extremely difficult for you, especially if you are used to being in a codependent relationship. It can be scary and overwhelming, but to protect your mental health it is crucial that you begin detaching from your significant other. This can even include removing anything that reminds you of them from your living area to avoid feeling vulnerable enough to start up the relationship again.
- Care for yourself: Whether it is through therapy or a self-help book, learn how to care for yourself. Forget worrying about everyone else. Rather, focus on what you need to develop into a stronger individual to avoid ever winding up in a codependent relationship again. This can include anything from finances to employment, and finding what will work best for you so you can live happily and healthily.
Not all codependent relationships are easy to break away from. Many times, couples in these relationships break up just to make up. To ensure that you do not fall into that pattern, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a codependent relationship so you can begin to find your independence again. It is time to regain your power by letting go of your unhealthy relationship and working toward finding love in a positive way.
Contributed by Michelle Bazinet.
Since 2004, Lori has worked with the behavioral health treatment community to bring awareness about mental health disorders and evidence-based treatments. Lori strives to help people better understand mental illness and provide support to those needing help and their families. As a mental health advocate, Lori works to be a voice for those suffering from substance abuse, dual diagnosis, borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, trauma, or any other disorder.