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If you want to learn how to stop being codependent for the sake of your relationship, you’re in the right place. Here’s how to have your own life.
There are a number of reasons you became a person who relies on someone else for, well, basically everything. But at least you recognize that and want to learn how to stop being codependent so your relationship can return to something healthy.
Being overly dependent is never a good thing. You basically lose sight of who you are and end up taking on an identity that’s solely tied to your partner. And where codependency is involved, it’s extra bad for you because you’re BOTH doing this. For obvious reasons, this can mess up more than just your relationship.
Codependency in a relationship will completely ruin it
And it’s not just because you aren’t truly being yourselves. It also has a lot to do with the pressure you put on your partner and vice versa. Because when you’re fully dependent on each other, you never really live your own lives.
This could lead to a feeling of not being fulfilled in life and ultimately, resentment. You’ll go through life with only each other and pull away from everyone else who matters and as much as it can seem romantic, doing this is toxic. [Read: 10 scary signs of codependency in your relationship]
How to stop being codependent and get to healthy place in your relationship
If you’re in a very codependent relationship, things need to change. It’s not healthy for either of you to continue on like this. But the good thing is that you recognized this codependency as a bad thing. The next step is to treat it. Here’s how to do just that.
#1 Talk to your partner. You really need to discuss what’s going on. They might not even realize the codependency that’s happening and that means it’s up to you to set things straight.
First, talk about what’s going on and then explain why it’s bad. You can use your own unhappiness as a means of getting them to actually listen, since many people will go on the defense or pretend it’s not unhealthy with something like this. [Read: 10 ways to be a better listener in your relationship]
#2 Get them to recognize the issue. This may just be the hardest thing you’ll do. With codependency, most people don’t ever see an issue. The fact that you think it is and can recognize that is a big deal.
For that reason, it may be very hard for you to help your partner realize the issue. Do your best to talk things through and help them see what a healthy, happy relationship should look like.
#3 Agree to work together. You have to come to terms with things together. You can’t be the only one working to fix this. It’s going to take the both of you putting forth your full effort to make this happen. So if they’re having a problem agreeing, things will be very difficult to fix.
#4 Reach out to family and friends. You need to start building up those relationships again. If you’re codependent, you’ve probably lost touch with a lot of your old friends. Make sure they know you’re still there and willing to have a relationship. Just know that they may harbor resentment for you. [Read: The signs of toxic family member so you can cut them loose]
#5 Make more plans without each other. The whole idea behind learning how to stop being codependent is looking at your life as two beings coming together, not two people forming a single unit. You need to spend time apart.
Start making plans without each other. It’s okay to be apart. Even if you think it would be fun to do something together, do it with someone else instead. This really helps you both get away from depending on each other for fun.
#6 Get your own, separate hobbies. Most codependent couples have the same hobbies. They do everything together and while it may seem like a lot of fun, it’s not helping. So try some new hobbies and have it be just yours. There’s something really special about having a unique, interesting hobby your partner doesn’t partake in.
#7 Spend time apart as a whole. Do you spend all day together or every single night? What about the weekends? If you’re spending every moment of your free time together, it’s time for you to start thinking about spending a lot of time apart. [Read: How taking a break and spending time apart works in a relationship]
#8 Learn how to be happy away from your significant other. You need to know how to be happy while not being with your partner. It’s perfectly fine that they make you happy. What’s not okay is that you’re now solely dependent on them making you happy.
Be away from them. Figure out what makes you really happy even when you’re not together. This will help you realize that it’s okay to be away from them.
#9 Ask friends for help. Be aware that your friends may be upset with you. Codependency makes you forget everyone and only focus on your partner. And that means you may not be that great of friends with them anymore.
Open up to them and confess your mistakes. Tell them you really want to work on getting things back on track and having a healthy relationship. If you’re lucky, they’ll want to help.
#10 Learn how to spend time alone. This means you and only you are there. No friends. No significant other. Everyone has to know how to be happy and enjoy their alone time. It’s healthy for people to be alone and if you can’t be, something could be wrong emotionally.
So spend more and more time alone. Focus on doing things that make you happy. Maybe it’s video games or doing your nails with a facemask. Whatever it is, enjoy yourself and relish in time to think for yourself. [Read: How to make the most out of your alone time]
#11 Learn what healthy relationships look like. You really have to read up on what a healthy relationship is supposed to be. As much as you might think being happy to be with your partner 24/7 is a good thing, it’s not. Know what makes a healthy relationship and work toward that.
#12 Get professional help when needed. Sometimes you can’t get rid of that codependency on your own. You may need professional help in the form of counseling and that’s perfectly fine.
It’s better to get the help you really need than to let your relationship suffer for it. Open up and talk to someone whose job it is to fix stuff like this. Your relationship and whole life will be better off because of it.[Read: 10 relationship hang-ups and how to deal with them]
Codependency can get dangerous if you’re both always on top of each other with no one else in your life. It gets even worse if the codependency has toxic habits, like drugs or alcohol, attached to it. Use these tips to learn how to stop being codependent and make a change now.