The term codependency comes up often in the context of addiction. The term was coined by Dr. Gillies, who noted that drug addicts often had spouses who were highly dependent on them (the addict), unwilling or unable to function without attention or care from the addict. In this article, we will discuss what codependency is, how it is sometimes, and how to overcome codependency in your life.
What is codependency?
The term codependency refers to a relationship dynamic in which two people both need one another for emotional support, validation, and security. In short, codependency occurs when one person is overly dependent on someone or something else for emotional support. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it allows for close relationships between individuals.
However, codependency is problematic when the other person is unable or unwilling to make decisions without your input. Both people in an unhealthy codependent relationship are often resentful and feel they are being taken advantage of. This can be both emotionally unhealthy and psychologically damaging to both individuals. While codependency can occur between friends, family members, or romantic partners, it can happen in any relationship. Often, codependent relationships are marked by constant arguments, broken promises, and hurt feelings.
How to Overcome Codependency in Your Life
Overcoming codependency is difficult, but not impossible. Here are some tips for overcoming codependency:
Accept that you have a problem with codependency. You can’t get over it unless you acknowledge you have it in the first place. However, do so slowly and carefully as you might be in denial about your problems with taking care of other people too much. Accept that you need to change your ways and work on yourself to fix this issue.
Identify the problems in your codependent relationships. Codependency issues impact the lives of its sufferers, often setting them up for eventual failure in their personal and professional lives. Be honest about how things are going and admit when you need help or support. Do not expect to be helped by others if you do not work on yourself first.
Seek help from a professional counselor, support group, social worker, or therapist who can help you deal with your codependency issues beyond yourself. If you try to fix the problem yourself, you might find it difficult to overcome. You may need outside views and assistance to help you deal with codependency and help you realize the full extent of the problem in your life.
Work on building healthy relationships with other people. You must help yourself for the people around you to help you with overcoming codependency, but they can also serve as an example for how not to behave with others. Learn to be a good, balanced person in all of your relationships.
Seek outside help when you need it. Sometimes, people may choose to remain in an unhealthy codependent relationship because they value the relationship and want to be close to the other person. However, if this is not possible for you, it’s okay to apologize and move on healthily. You should not be expected to remain in an unhealthy relationship for any reason. Please do not allow yourself to depend on someone who does not want or depend on you; it is both unfair and unhealthy.
Professionals are available in multiple fields, from social workers to therapists. Consider seeking professional help from someone who is trained to help you. A professional can also serve as a good source of perspective on your codependency problems and offer some coping techniques for when you feel yourself getting out of control. Be prepared to listen and take the advice of your professional to get the most out of your experience with therapy or counseling.
When in doubt, trust your instincts. If you feel you are being taken advantage of by someone, that is a clear sign that you need to take a step back and reassess the dynamic in your relationship. You shouldn’t have to worry about being taken advantage of.
In conclusion, codependency is not always a bad thing. However, codependent relationships can be unhealthy if you want to overcome codependency; learn how to accept that you are codependent and take steps to recognize any unhealthy aspects of your relationships. You should also seek professional help for your relationship issues, for their own sake and your own; we can help, call now 732-392-7311.