Codependency is a compulsive relational pattern characterized by one or both partners enabling self-destructive behavior, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, and/or under-achievement.
In codependence, the scales are always imbalanced, blocking opportunities for mutual satisfaction and self-sufficiency.
Relationships are essential to our mental/emotional well-being and it’s not easy finding people we can depend on.
However, healthy connections strive for a balance between freedom and reliability.
Here are a few indicators and steps on how to break the cycle of codependency:
1. Notice and prioritize your experience.
Fears of abandonment, hypervigilance, withdrawal, guilt, anxiety and feeling drained by a friend, family member or partner can be an indicator of relational imbalance.
Interdependence requires all parties to take accountability for and strive to obtain their individual needs.
No more dismissing physical, mental, and emotional necessities for the sake of another person OR waiting for someone else to change your circumstances.
2. Ensure reciprocity and diversity.
Codependence thrives in needy relationships.
We should never feel like one person is the glue holding our mental, emotional, financial and/or social foundation together.
It’s important to have purpose and motivation outside of your primary relationship.
Learn how to develop and maintain different circles of community with mutually satisfying goals and values.
An expectation of constant validation and accessibility is an indicator of codependent patterns.
If a relationship makes you feel guilty for having other connections or priorities, you need to establish clear physical and time boundaries (even if the person is in a perceived emotional crisis).
4. Be firm yet hopeful.
Codependency is a learned behavior not a chronic illness.
All relationships are subject to change and evolve if both parties are committed to doing the work and rebuilding based on mutuality not control.