How to overcome codependency in relationships?[Causes|Symptoms|Recovery]

Have you ever felt like you are living to please others thereby neglecting to satisfy your own needs?  If yes, then you certainly are codependent and you in a situation where you need to know how to overcome codependency?

Codependency relationships (emotional attachment) is an addictive relationship that is far from love. The dependent person is diluted in the other losing sight of their ideas, values, projects, and, ultimately, their individuality.

There are people addicted to different substances (alcohol, cocaine, tobacco.

Also, there are also individuals who suffer addiction to certain emotions that some people or situations trigger in them.

alcohol consumption in codependent relationships

We must not confuse love with affective dependence. This is precisely what happens in many relationships, friendships, etc. The fear of loss, abandonment and many other aspects give rise to addictive love relationships and, I would even say sickly.


What is codependency?

Codependency concerns every person who sacrifices their time, effort and even their money to solve the problems of others or save a partner or friend. 

A person who is codependent will have a tendency to enter into relationships with people who have many emotional, social, family or financial problems. 

Therefore, in addition, the codependent tend to ignore the problems of his own life.

emotional dependence codependency

If you live with a person dependent on a drug and you are always ready to go to the rescue of a third party thus sacrificing your own development, if you feel responsible for everyone and everything because others do not feel responsible for Nothing, then you can be codependent.

Specifically, it can be a spouse, parents, children, friends, family, work colleagues, doctors, therapists.

Codependent relationships

Codependency is a learned behavior, transmitted from generation to generation in families. 

Codependent relationships occur when one of the parties has behavior and emotional state where the ability to have mutually satisfactory and healthy relationships is affected. 

It is also called relationship addiction because codependents often maintain or form a unilateral relationship that is emotionally abusive or destructive. 

Codependency was first identified about 10 years ago, as a result of years of research and study on the interpersonal relationships of family members of alcoholics. 

Codependent behavior is usually learned through observing and imitating family members who are codependent.

Codependent Behavior

Codependents have low self-esteem and usually turn to external things to feel good.

They have difficulty being themselves, so some people sink into alcohol or drugs to feel better. 

And as they make a greater effort to feel better, this leads to consuming more and more drugs or alcohol, and finally succumbing to addiction.

Keep in mind that not only alcoholics and drug addicts can be codependents. 

Some people also hide their low self-esteem by being ludo paths or workaholics or being related to sexual activities indiscriminately.

Those who are in codependent relationships generally have good intentions.

However, trying to do their best to take care of others may have difficulties.

The problem here is that the caregiver’s role becomes counterproductive and compulsive, leading the codependent to adopt the role of martyr. 

Codependents are wives who hide their alcoholic husbands or mothers who create excuses for their children to miss school. 

They may also be the parents who make the purpose of moving some things to keep their children away from suffering the consequences associated with criminal behavior.

But the worst part is that recurrent rescue attempts to validate the destructive path of the person in need, making him even more dependent on his caregiver.

 And as the needy person calls the codependent more and more, a sense of satisfaction and reward develops from the needy. 

When the caregiver becomes compulsive, the codependent no longer feels that he has something to say in the relationship, feeling helpless in the process but unable to correct the situation; breaking with the endless cycle of need and being needed.

And because they feel helpless, codependents see themselves as victims and gravitate towards others who feel and see themselves.

What causes codependency?

Is your happiness supported by another person or partner?

Are you in a relationship in which you make yourself feel good and in reality, it gives only pain and sorrow?

If your answer is “YES” for the above-mentioned problems, then that is something you have to solve in your life.

I will explain to you how to overcome emotional dependence and how to take an initiative to motivate yourself to lead a life that will keep you happy.

Trust me, if you make it and take it as a real remedy, you will start living a much better, healthier and happier life.

The idea here is that you be happy with other people, but without needing them to feel good.

The biggest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself.

Types of emotional codependency with characteristics

Two types of effective dependence exist, each with different backgrounds and consequences:

  • Instrumental dependence: This results in when you seek help to achieve goals. For example, You need a two-wheeler but need to ask for money to buy it. In this type, the sub-goal is money and the final goal is the two-wheeler.
  • Emotional (psychological) dependent: The goal here is the response of others, irrespective of the way you reach them. In the type, there is a need for affection and an emotional-affective codependence that is satisfied by the emotional responses of other people.

What do you understand now?

The second type is dependent on the first, right? That is, if you are instrumental dependent, you will also be emotional.

You wish to have a two-wheeler and submit this proposal to your partner because he is the earning member. If the response is “No”, then it turns to type to that is emotional codependence.

I have explained this difference to you so that you can better understand your behaviors and begin to solve them.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with loving a person to the point that anything would be done for him while that “doing anything for him” does not affect in any way either the identity of each one, or the principles, neither to the goals nor to what each one is essential.

Attachment, unlike love, is defined as the inclination, dependence, hobby or addiction towards something or someone. 

Therefore, attachment (which forms codependent relationships) is a cause of suffering because it enslaves people by preventing them from seeing reality; from that point of view, there are no large or small attachments since all are equally negative.

Attachment is a feeling of belonging, possessiveness, fear, and interest. 

It is the sick love towards the other person that causes the loss of the north of one’s life because of being aware of the other.

When we feel attachment we breathe the same air of that person, we want to control what he does, says and thinks, we would almost like to get into his own skin to understand everything about the other person.

Thus, we become an appendix of the other person,

It is not unusual to have many people around us who live in sick emotional relationships from which they do not want or cannot escape.

More specifically, it could be said that behind all attachment there is fear. And is that the person who is attached to another, is never prepared for the loss, because he does not conceive of life without his source of security (“without him/her I die”).

In codependency relationships the person gives more of himself to the other, dedicating all his time and energy to maintain the states of exaltation in his relationship.

He tries every day to consume more doses to be happy, entering the vicious circle of the addict, with feelings of exaltation when under the influence of the intoxicating and low when the intoxicant withdraws.

Codependents are ” affective addicts, who depend on others to live, seek gratification in others as drug addicts .” 

They are individuals who feel a great fear of abandonment, they need to hold on to others even when the company causes them pain.

On the other hand, the co-dependent partner encourages addictive behaviors because he needs them to assert himself. 

These types of behaviors are executed by people even without realizing it, since they have been behaviors acquired throughout their lives. 

But the time comes when one of the two begins to break this pattern, starts the withdrawal and produces the crisis, which leads them to question themselves, seek help and discover the addictive patterns.

As human beings that we are, it is important to understand that healthy relationships are relationships in which the person assumes responsibility for their own lives and their actions.

He accepts that in the relationship they will experience happy moments but at the same time suffering, and that happiness is not in the other, but that it depends on each one of us.

In short, they are relationships in which there is no fear but freedom and independence.

If someone is in a situation of emotional attachment it would be important to seek help. 

The first thing is to recognize that there is no perfect and magical relationship. 

Understanding that stopping dependence does not mean being cold or indifferent, or leaving emotions aside. 

It is learning to live a love that does not enslave, is to love without fear, without anguish and is to become aware that the loved one is important but it is not the only thing that one has in life. 

Obviously, you cannot control the lives of others, only your own. 

To do this, you have to know yourself, learn to decide what you want, what pleases you and have your own activities, since the couple is not the only thing around us.

The fact that you love your partner very much and that you tickle your belly every time you see it does not mean that you suffer from attachment. 

The pleasure of loving and being loved is to enjoy it, feel it and taste it.

But if you feel an uncontrollable void every time you say goodbye to your partner.

If the well-being received from your loved one becomes indispensable to continue living or the urgency to see him does not leave you alone and your mind wears out thinking about him, you can possibly consider yourself “dependent on love.”

We must remember that desire moves the world and dependence slows it down

The objective is not to suppress the natural desire that arises from love but to strengthen the ability to detach when necessary. 

The “feeling of love” is an important variable when having a partner, but it is not the only one. 

A good relationship should also be based on respect, sincere communication, desire, tastes, values, humor, sensitivity, and friendship, among others.

Love is energy, it is feeling. 

Money can’t buy it. 

Sexual contact does not guarantee it.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the physical world but, nevertheless, it can be expressed. 

What is love in a codependent relationship?

Love is the demonstration of affection, passion, and admiration for the loved one.

It must be conceived in a controlled way, with a sense of self and others, with an effective distance between what is the person and the couple. 

This conception harmonizes us by being together and allows us to be independent and maintain control of our personal life, ideas, and projects.

So, we must know that wanting something with all the strength is not bad, making it essential, yes. 

Seeking oneself, loving oneself and accepting oneself are the basis for establishing healthy and realistic relationships with others. 

The power of a couple, even if it sounds topical, is not the one with the most money, nor the strongest, nor the most intelligent, but the one that needs the least. 

The important thing about a relationship is not who takes the reins but how they get along.

What is to be independent?

Being independent does not imply heartbreak. When someone is independent, what they are cultivating is a reasonable love, a thought love, an intelligent love. The idea is not to stop being passionate but to live the passion in such a way that one does not enter into a “temporary madness” in which one ceases to be himself to blend in with the other.

Symptoms of Codependency

Codependency symptoms can be witnessed when the emotional dependence on the couple goes from being healthy to negative or pathological.

It is necessary to detect some symptoms that make it evident.

Among the main symptoms of a person who is experiencing this type of dependence, are the following:

  • Live constantly worried that your partner will leave you, to betray or reject.
  • Invest most of your day in thoughts related to your relationship related to the fear that causes you to end at some point, even if everything seems to be going well.
  • Feeling uneasy when you’re away from your partner
  • Set aside your family and friends for being only with a partner
  • Allow your happiness depends solely and exclusively on your relationship
  • Want to be with your partner all the time and not give your space or give it to yourself either
  • To think that if your partner leaves you your life would not make sense
  • When your emotional state depends on how your partner behaves with you. So if sometimes he behaves indifferently, others affectionate, sometimes bad, etc. You live with constant emotional ups and downs.
  • You don’t let your partner see his family and/or friends, you just want him to be with you.
  • You set aside your goals and personal interests to please him or just to have more time with that person

It is very important to know that if you have experienced these symptoms you must eliminate emotional dependence, for the good of the couple and the emotional stability of both.

Below we explain how to overcome emotional dependency with your partner.

How to overcome codependency in 7 key steps-emotional dependency

1. Recognize emotional dependence: In all disorders acceptance is one of the essential steps to begin treatment and change the way we act. 

In emotional dependence, sometimes it is very difficult to accept but not impossible.

Ask yourself, how many times have you controlled your partner for no reason, and if you distrusted him for no reason. 

Also, surely your friends will have noticed this dependence so talk to them and be very sincere. With this acceptance, you can gradually emerge from that dependence and be much happier with yourself.

2. Spend time with yourself: It is important that you dedicate time to yourself.

If you have confidence in yourself, you will have much more self-esteem, and you will also pass it on to your partner.

This trust will make you feel less vulnerable, and see you able to do things for yourself without relying on anyone.

3. Do sports: Sport helps to have much more confidence in ourselves.

 It fills us with vitality and adrenaline and also gives us a lot of energy and good humor. The sport changes our physique but also our mentality.

The most important thing is that you be constant and that if you can make a group of friends in the gym or go jogging with some friends. You will get more distracted and feel much more confident about yourself.

4. Read a lot about motivation: Books that talk about self-esteem and motivation will help you follow a path away from emotional dependence. 

Many books on everything that talks about mindfulness will help you strengthen your personal identity, and get to feel more respected with yourself.

5. Learn to be alone: It is one of the keys that you must eliminate in emotional dependence.

 Think that even if you love your partner very much, you may not be with that person at some point, so always try to think for yourself. 

Give value to the moments in solitude, and learn to live with you and your friends.

6. Be careful with emotions: Many times we are guided by what we feel, and sometimes it can be dangerous. 

Always think things twice, and look at the objective point when making decisions. Even if you love your partner very much, sometimes try to be much more rational, and think of yourself.

7. Surround yourself with good support: It is essential that in these situations the emotional side grows in the injured person. People who have greater family support can overcome this dependence much earlier.

They are also the same people who can make you see if you are going through a disorder of this type and if you need help.

How to deal with the impact of the codependent relationship breakup

Finally, to avoid falling back into dependence on the relationship, it will be important to create a physical distance with the other person. 

You should do your best to spend less time with her and keep yourself busy with your own needs. Some recommendations are to change floors or begin to interact with other people.

On the other hand, you must also accept the sadness and discomfort that you will experience in the face of rupture and separation. Experiencing these feelings, instead of repressing it, is essential to move forward. 

Only then can you avoid falling into feelings of distrust or fear of other people or possibilities of starting a new relationship.

breakup in codependent relationships

Little by little, sadness and discomfort will fade away while satisfying your needs will bring you even more happiness. 

However, having good social support is essential to turn pages. Hence it is recommended to spend time with your family and friends. These can help you in your difficult times or when you have to make a complicated decision.

Finally, do not forget that it is very important to spend time alone to process everything that has happened and manage your emotional world. 

In this way, you can heal wounds, recover your self-esteem and be prepared to live happily, either from singleness or in a new relationship.

What to do to change your mindset and overcome a break

To overcome a break in a healthy way it is important to change your attitude and evolve towards a growth mindset. To make the change you can do the following:

Honestly analyze the reasons for the break

In all kinds of relationships, all the people involved have a part of responsibility in the problems that arise. In same-sex relationships, the same thing happens. Take your share of guilt, but run away from victimhood.

Charging with more responsibility than you have will not do you good and will not solve anything, rather it will harm your image of yourself and make it difficult for you to maintain healthy relationships in the future.

Find out what personal flaws triggered the problem

There are many personal factors that can trigger a couple conflict that ends the breakup. Some are transitory, other times the problem comes from external issues. The important thing is to know what failed and to what extent that can be avoided or changed in the future.

Many times circumstances do not favor relationships.

The break is a common experience

Despite the pain you feel from the breakup, remember that you are not the only one who has ended a relationship. You are not the only one left or cheated or the only one who has had to break up with your partner. No matter how much pain you feel, you can also overcome it, as so many people have done.

Find something positive to learn from the experience

After overcoming a break you learn many things. But don’t get carried away only by the negative. That relationship has offered you many good things. Do not focus only on the negative. From the negative, you can also learn in terms of looking for solutions. But if you focus only on that, pessimism and fear will invade you, which will make your future relationships difficult.

Regardless of the way it has been produced, after a breakup, there is always hope

Not to recover the relationship, but not to give up on you in that bitter end. In life there are cycles and love is still one of them so that, anchoring in it when the relationship is over, will only increase your feeling of drowning. So keep swimming.

Finally! Ask yourself! AM I CODEPENDENT?

  • – Visualize yourself or yourself in a healthy love relationship where your needs are taken into account. How would it be?
  • – What prevents you from having such a relationship?
  • – What is your share of responsibility in this dysfunctional dynamic with your partner?
  • – Do you remember some interactions you have with your partner that occurred in your family?
  • – How is your self-esteem? How do you talk to yourself?
  • – How much more time do you plan to lose being unhappy?

Codependency recovery- Psychological therapy for codependency

The psychotherapy for codependency can help people understand why to overcompensate, because that meets the needs of all of them less, or placed in the last place. 

The therapist can help the person identify codependent tendencies, understand why certain behaviors were adopted from the beginning, and develop self-esteem (affirmation) so that he can heal and transform old patterns caused by unresolved problems. 

Codependency can be treated with individual therapy or couple therapy. 

The approaches recommended are systemic therapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral, counseling.

These are some of the aspects that are worked on in the treatment of codependency and allow overcoming codependency:

First steps

To overcome codependence, the first step is to break the denial, and face the problem honestly. 

freedom in codependency break up

There is a probability that you have rationalized and justified or even spiritualized your dependent style. 

For someone who has spent much of his life using denial to ward off pain, shame, fear of rejection, this can be a scary experience. 

You will need support from people who can provide safe relationships, or who show interest in getting out of the dependent situation they are in.

Face unresolved childhood problems.

Seriously considering past experiences that have contributed to your codependency is a way to begin to break the denial of the problem. 

This consists of an exploration of aspects of your family history. 

Because codependents have learned to deal with problems through disconnecting their emotions, this exploration cannot be just intellectual. 

It must include a process that identifies your true feelings as a child. It also means being completely honest about your family and origin.

It is likely that you have protected your family for decades, and feel very guilty if you admit that you were hurt in your growing years. 

But you will not be able to change your problems unless you are completely honest with yourself, regarding both the negative and the positive aspects of your childhood experience in your family. 

This type of work is not simple and usually takes time. It is advisable to do it in a safe space with a psychotherapist.

Detach yourself from unhealthy involvement: relearn to help

freedom from codependence

Detachment is also a necessary step to overcome codependence. 

Detachment consists of separating from what one is obsessed so that we can work with ourselves. 

This does not mean that the solution is that the codependent has to separate from his dependent partner.

Rather, while the codependent is excessively involved or attached to a problem or person.

The separation has to do with giving up this excessive involvement and concern about trying to change, control or satisfy someone else.

This requires releasing the energy you are using to worry excessively about another person. 

It has nothing to do with a violent, indifferent withdrawal, or evading responsibilities with others. 

What it has to do then?

It has to do, rather, with giving up efforts to assume the responsibilities of other people, so that they can learn to take responsibility for themselves, in the same way that you are learning to take responsibility for yourself. 

Think that as long as you try to repair someone, he won’t need to repair himself, and we won’t need to repair himself either. 

That is, a circle is generated that leads to both diverting attention from what should be taken care of.

An example may be not getting involved in the behavior of your husband or wife that can make you lose your job (even if you lose it); have separate bank accounts and let your partner suffer the consequences of their financial irresponsibility.

 Also say no when asked to take charge of responsibilities that are the tasks of others. These steps can be difficult, but they are necessary to break the codependency cycle.

It is important to confront the reality that the codependent far from helping is causing the dependent person to continue in a state of needing help. 

In a sense, the person has to help “stop helping” (stop doing what he has considered helping and relearn to do so).

Setting limits is necessary to overcome codependence

By setting clear limits, you force others to learn to take responsibility for their own lives by facilitating self-reliance. This also allows you to invest more time and energy in yourself instead of someone else. 

It is important to differentiate between support and repair. Support includes empathic listening and encouragement. 

On the contrary, pretending to repair someone is to meddle and solve problems for people who are able to solve them themselves.

Improve self-care (and others too)

To overcome codependency, it is necessary to be more aware of your own feelings, thoughts, and needs.

Learn how to communicate them and make them visible in relationships. 

But it is also necessary to learn to take care of the other.

You have to realize that your excessive worry and involvement do not really help the person you love and intend to care for.

On the contrary, you are preventing the passage, you are helping to not attend to what He has to attend.

In this sense, you have to understand that the excessive care of the other really has to do with your need to be needed. A necessity (or addiction) is necessarily unhealthy. 

This leads us to consider that in a codependency relationship, both have to overcome unresolved problems, specifically problems of loss of freedoms.

The dependent person is not free to choose in their relationship with alcohol, for example, and the codependent person is not free to choose if they help the dependent excessively; He needs the other to need it. 

All this, these unresolved problems that each one drags from their own past, somehow unites them, but also confronts each one individually to the challenge of overcoming it, and therefore of growing.

Many people think that being in love necessarily means suffering but it is because they don’t know anything else. 

If you feel that you are losing or have lost your individuality, you are socially isolated, you lie about your partner to your friends and family, you have the impression of being trapped in a relationship that does not suit you, etc. 

Don’t wait any longer to ask for help. 

Remember that asking and accepting help is brave behavior, not a sign of weakness. Go to a professional, a group of anonymous codependents, or at least talk to a friend, but don’t be alone with your suffering. There are many expert professionals at various rehabilitation centers such as the meadows who can help you get out of problems of codependency.

You can then leave a comment or share your experience if you wish.

Please follow and like us: