A codependent relationship is an unbalanced one. Where one partner is clinging and constantly needs support and reassurance, the other partner is always having to be the hero, the giver, and sometimes the enabler. Codependent relationships are more common than you think and more toxic as well. Here’s how to restore balance if you happen to find yourself in one.
- Validate your own feelings. When your happiness relies on your partner, you’ll never be satisfied. To correct this imbalance in your relationship, it’s important to change your focus. It’s easier to focus outward for validation. Looking inward and seeking inner peace by focusing on yourself will help you to be confident enough to be able to validate your own feelings. Focusing inward will make you feel good without approval from your partner.
- Be comfortable with saying no. Codependent partners always seek guidance from others. They can make people feel responsible for their own choices. If you find yourself constantly making decisions for your partner and constantly having to give them what they want, that’s called unhealthy helping. Naturally, it makes you feel important, but it can also make you feel drained. This unhealthy helping is detrimental to your partner’s growth. To create balance in this situation, you have to get comfortable with saying no and allowing your partner to take some responsibility for themselves.
- Don’t tie self-worth to your relationship. It’s important to learn to love yourself. When there’s a lack of self-love, it’s easy to put your partner’s needs before yours and make excuses for them when they don’t treat you right. When you love yourself, you can freely walk away from a situation that you know is wrong. You gain strength and confidence that will not leave you concerned whether your codependent partner will leave you or not.
- Express your concerns. In codependent relationships, it’s common for partners to not want to share what they think and feel. This usually happens because of fear of not being liked. When you live in a place of fear, you’re constantly carrying heavy emotions that you try to suppress and it stops you from being your true self. Communication is key for balance in a relationship so voice your concerns without fear and if they don’t respond well to what you have to say, consider if it’s a relationship you want to be in long-term.
- Share your future plans. Making plans with your partner gives you both something to look forward to. Also, it’s something you can work towards together. When working towards this goal, don’t overdo your share of the work because overdoing is very common for codependent relationships. This goal you will be working towards needs to be a joint effort. It gives your partner the opportunity to prove to you that they care about the relationship as much as you do.
- Listen to your inner dialogue. When you know something isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Your inner dialogue can save you from a lot of pain. When you have a codependent partner, it’s easy to make excuses for them because you love them. When you start making excuses for them, you end up lying to yourself to justify their actions and that’s not good for you or your partner. Trust yourself and do what’s right for you. Lying to yourself just to keep your partner around will make your relationship unbearable to want to stay in long-term.
- Assert your boundaries. Codependent partners next tend to take advantage of loved ones and usually cross their boundaries. To gain balance in your relationship, it’s important for you to assert your boundaries. You having boundaries lets your partner know that you have respect for yourself and they need to have respect for you. Assessing how your partner crosses your boundaries lets you know whether the relationship is able to progress or not. It also lets you know how much your partner respects you.
- Stop the repetitive routine. For a codependent relationship to improve, there needs to be a drastic change. When you keep doing the same thing, nothing will change. Something different needs to be done to get a different outcome. You can’t change your partner’s actions but you can change your own. Start by thinking of the things you do in your relationship that you know creates an unhealthy environment for you and work on changing it.
- Have space and reflect on your relationship. Time apart from your partner may be the best thing for you both. It gives you breathing space to collect your thoughts and reflect on your relationship. During your space apart, weigh out the pros and cons of your relationship. Ask yourself many questions that will help you make a decision as to whether it’s a relationship worth saving. Having space will give you a new perspective and you may end up finding a solution that is beneficial for you both.