A codependent relation will not only ruin the life of the codependent person but also the person who is not codependent. Codependence or codependency is not healthy for the relationship or for either of the partners.
Codependence is very common in marital and romantic relationships but it may also develop in friendships, among siblings and in a parent-child relationship. Those facing codependence need to realize that they are codependent. That is the first step. Most people don’t even realize and thus don’t take any measures. They also don’t seek any professional help either. After realizing the reality that one is in a codependent relationship, it is necessary to accept the fact that it is unhealthy, undesirable and thus should be done away with. One doesn’t always have to walk out of the relationship altogether but codependency must be checked and completely done away with.
Here is a brief but comprehensive guide on facing codependence.
1. The first objective while facing codependence should always be drawing the line beyond which one would not be codependent any longer. The eventual objective is to get rid of codependency but that is a long term goal and not an immediate aim. It is not possible to break free from codependence straightaway. The only way to do that is to end the relationship which is easier said than done. Thus, the first step to facing codependence in a planned manner is to remain in control. It is necessary to draw the lines or the boundaries which will restrict the codependent behavior of the person. Over time, the severity of codependency will be brought under control. The reality of codependence or the psychological condition of the codependent person cannot be changed overnight but bringing things or codependent behavior under control will certainly put things in the right perspective. As codependent behavior takes backseat, the person or the individuality of the codependent person will become more important. Having significance for self is the first step of facing codependency to get rid of it eventually.
2. The second step of facing codependence involves freeing oneself from seeking approval from others. In most cases, a codependent person defines himself or herself from the perspective of the other person in the relationship. Their equation with the other person or the codependence on the other person begins to define the individuality and the very existence of the codependent person. Hence, it is necessary to free oneself from this tendency to be approved, to be defined by the other person. When this is achieved, facing codependence or even getting rid of it becomes possible and easy.
3. The two aforementioned steps will only be achievable if the codependent person considers himself or herself to have some degree of self importance. Considering oneself important is quintessential to being in control and to stop from seeking approval from others. Thus, one has to develop self confidence and should try and shape up his or her individuality. There is more to a person than what the relationships define for him or her or how the world perceives them. Self importance or at least paying attention to oneself will be the point of commencement.
4. One should also have some purpose if one has to succeed in facing codependence. Without purpose, the codependent person will find purpose in codependence itself. For instance, if a person is married to a narcissist or if a mother is dealing with a son who is an alcohol addict and if the married person or the mother doesn’t have any purpose then indulging in codependence will become their purpose. Over time, that codependence will start to become the topmost priority and steadily will become the only priority in their lives. Gradually, nothing else will matter for the codependent person. It is this lack of purpose, objective or a dearth of ambition for oneself that also triggers codependence in some cases. While not all purposes have to be professional or financial, there should be some objectives in life that one would wish to accomplish and those goals should be beyond the scope of the relationship in context.
5. Facing codependence is an uphill battle. It is very difficult, especially for those who don’t have anyone to confide in or anyone whom they can trust and be harmlessly dependent upon. It is normal for people with almost no closed ones around to become codependent. In such situations, one should find company in friends or relatives or people who have been around for a while and can be trusted. These people can play an important role in helping someone through codependence and also to influence their emergence out of codependence.
Professional intervention is always recommendable and it should be imperative if someone has been severely codependent on another person.