Is your relationship with your partner a two-way street, or do you feel like your partner expects you to give and give without ever returning the favor? Such an imbalance is called codependency, and it can leave you frustrated and unfulfilled. Fortunately, you can make lots of positive changes to a codependent relationship to help get you back on the right track.
What Is Codependency?
Codependency is a lopsided relationship pattern in which one partner’s self-worth and identity relies heavily on the other. If all your happiness derives from sacrificing your needs in the pursuit of satisfying your partner’s whims and desires, you may be in a codependent relationship.
Even relationships that begin as healthy and well-balanced ones can become codependent over time if one partner becomes overly clingy or loses their autonomy to the other. Some mental health specialists believe that codependent people with abusive or emotionally unavailable parents learned their behavior in childhood, after years of trying to please the difficult adults in their lives.
Red Flags of Codependent Relationships
If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you might be in a codependent relationship.
- Are you unable to find satisfaction in your life outside a specific person?
- Do you recognize unhealthy behavioral patterns in your partner, but stay with them despite these problems?
- Do you support your partner at the cost of your mental, emotional and physical health?
- Do you crave more independence, but feel internal conflict when you try to pull away from your partner?
- Have others told you that you seem too reliant on your partner?
- Does your constant effort to conform to your partner’s wishes make you feel anxious or burned out?
How to Repair a Codependent Relationship
It might seem as if breaking things off with your partner is the only way to change a codependent relationship. However, if you’ve been together for many years, you might want to try to salvage the situation. In that case, the first thing you need to do to find happiness is to set reasonable boundaries that help you define yourself as a separate individual.
Sit down with your partner to talk about what you each want most for your relationship. Write down your goals and discuss what it would take for you to achieve them. To broaden your circle of support, ensure you’re both spending quality time with people outside your immediate household. Create a healthy separation between you and your partner by finding independent hobbies you can enjoy doing without relying on each other.
Can Long-Term Treatment Benefit You?
If your life has taken a turn toward codependency – especially amid COVID-19 quarantines – you may also have developed corresponding mental health and substance abuse issues. Holistic addiction treatment at Vista Taos Renewal Center can help equip you with the tools to overcome these challenges and discover more personal fulfillment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.