In our last post in this series on codependency, we look at how to create a healthier space in relationships so as to lessen codependent habits.
It is important to note that when trying to create a healthier relationship, both parties have to be on board. If only one person is doing the work to create structural change, it is not effective. In many circumstances, the only choice that remains is to leave a codependent relationship.
When we notice that codependency might be an issue, we can:
- Get informed. Read the literature, have conversations in which you address what you think might be going on between you, seek outside guidance if you need it.
- Set boundaries. This is perhaps one of the most important strategies for breaking codependent habits. It will require you to think about what boundaries need to be set and then work to maintain them as consistency is key. “I am not going to lend money/support this person any longer.” “I am not going to engage in constant conflict with him/her.” “I am not going to answer 2 am texts/angry texts/texts sent during work hours.” “I am going to spend time with my friends.” “I am going to spend time alone each week.”
- Be prepared for testing. When we put boundaries into place that are now threatening established patterns, be ready for some push back. It is bound to happen initially as change tends to be avoided. Again, consistency is key.
- Spend some time apart with the goal of pursuing your own interests. In codependent relationships, there is often an imbalance to time spent together. Find things that you enjoy doing on your own so as to appreciate a sense of independence.
- Find worth in yourselves so as to create interdependency, not codependency. As in every relationship, we need to be self-reflective and aiming for growth so as to find security in ourselves; only then can we truly find security in others.
- Make the decision to end the relationship. Although difficult and painful, sometimes it remains the only choice. What doesn’t change only repeats itself. Once free of the codependency, clarity will help to build your sense of self back up to where it needs to be. We are best served at that point to remain relationship free for awhile to allow some time to heal.
This concludes our series on codependency, from recognizing it, to moving towards change both in self and relationship for a healthier you. 🙂
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@imattsmart