Do you often wonder whether you might be the victim of a codependent relationship?
Technically, you can be in a codependent, unbalanced relationship with anyone – from siblings to parents, friends and even colleagues or bosses – but when referring to romantic relationships, it means that you often rely on the other individual for approval and ultimate happiness.
In other words, you become so wrapped up in that person, that you lose yourself and your own identity, and your partner determines all (or most) of your needs.
Codependent relationships frequently involve one partner trying to control the other. In my professional opinion and personal experience, it’s definitely a dysfunctional place to be in over the long run. Also, some people remain in relationships too long as they are fearful of being alone – or they may feel responsible for their partner’s happiness, security or well-being. Others might decide to leave but repeat the same self-destructive pattern in a different or newly-formed relationship.
So what can you do if you feel unable to risk leaving a relationship that is unhealthy for you? For starters, it’s crucial to acknowledge that you might be experiencing codependency. Fear doesn’t fade away on its own; instead, it often morphs into something else. So this first step is vital to creating a path to healing.
As a Registered Nurse, Neurolinguistics and Certified Gemstone and Diamond Practitioner, and someone who has experienced firsthand the toxic effects of codependency, I suggest first taking a moment to consider whether you are “hooked” on that high or feeling that being in love brings pain.
Or are you in a situation where you’ve been sad and unhappy for so long that you’ve become completely numb to the pain?
If your answer is “yes,” you might be self-sabotaging your opportunity to have a healthy relationship where you can have your needs better met. The fear of being alone, for example, could actually be preventing you from discovering the love and happiness that a balanced, mutually beneficial relationship provides. The type of healthy relationship you ultimately deserve.
Are You in a Codependent Relationship? A Definition and Questions to Ask Yourself
Are you still unsure whether you might be in a codependent relationship? Consider this definition published by one expert on Psychology Today:
“Codependent relationships are close relationships where much of the love and intimacy in the relationship is experienced in the context of one person’s distress and the other’s rescuing or enabling. The helper shows love primarily through the provision of assistance and the other feels loved primarily when they receive assistance. The intense shared experiences of the other’s struggles and disasters and the helper’s rescues deepen the emotional connection and feelings of intimacy.”
Essentially, codependency is a psychological term that refers to individuals who feel immense amounts of dependence on specific loved ones, and who feel responsible for the feelings and/or actions of those loved ones.
Here are a few questions I like to ask clients when they find themselves in the position of being in a codependent relationship:
- Do you often feel responsible for other people’s feelings, actions, choices and wants?
- Do you commonly feel compelled to help others solve their problems?
- Do you find it easier to express anger about injustices done to others than about injustices that affect you?
- Do you feel most comfortable when you are giving to others?
- Do you feel guilty when someone gives to you?
- Are you ever able to not talk, think or worry about others and their issues?
- Does your interest in your own life diminish when you are in love?
- Do you frequently put the wants and needs of others before our own?
How to Reclaim Healing, Healthy Love
For those individuals who are codependent, there are numerous strategies you can take to overcome codependency.
In addition to seeking professional help or using Gemstone and Diamond Therapy techniques, there are countless resources and books available by people who have overcome the challenge of codependency. The most essential aspect to keep in mind is that while everyone has loved ones and feels responsible for those loved ones, it can be unhealthy when one’s identity and emotional health hinges on another person.
At the end of the day, I believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions and feelings.
Here are some tips to get you started on the road to healing and happiness:
- Tell yourself that it’s okay – and healthy – to accept help from others. This can be difficult, as many of us like to think we can handle anything that comes our way. However, accepting help is actually a sign of strength versus weakness. Therapy, friendships, and resources can be beneficial to support you in your journey.
- Imagine being in a loving relationship that meets both of your needs. If your current relationship is destructive, try to examine your own behaviors and determine what you can do to turn things around.
- Challenge your beliefs about your self-worth. Remember, you never have to prove anything to another person about your self-worth and value. You know yourself better than anyone else does.
- Be aware of your negative self-judgments. In addition to being kind to others, always be kind and compassionate to yourself.
The Bottom Line
The key to removing yourself from a codependent relationship is to be able to look forward and to live wholly in every moment. Even if I’m feeling down one day, I know that everything in life is developing and unfolding as it should.
If you have your own back and accept self-worth, I can promise you that you can handle whatever comes your way. When you trust yourself, it’s much easier to enjoy daily life and end living in fear.
If you find yourself wondering if you might be in a codependent relationship and would like to learn more about identifying the signs, Burn Bright Today is here to help. Contact us today to begin your journey as you learn how to spot the signs of codependency and how we can help reverse the problem.