Fort Wellness Counseling

How To Not Be Codependent In A Relationship

how to not be codependent in a relationship

Wondering how to not be codependent in a relationship? Sometimes known as “relationship addiction,” codependency is a behavioral condition impeding someone’s ability to develop a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.

Codependent relationships are incredibly common among people with substance abuse issues. And often, one partner takes care of the other to the point where they start enabling addictive behaviors.

However, not all codependent relationships are like that. While codependency stems from substance abuse, it is also a common trait among those who have experienced early life trauma. Additionally, certain personality traits — like chronic anxiety, for example — make someone more susceptible to codependent tendencies.

Codependent relationships occur between friends, romantic partners, family members, and any other kind of close relationship. However, it can be tough to know whether you’re experiencing one.

In today’s blog post, our professional counseling team is revealing some trademarks and signs of codependency, as well as how not to be codependent in a relationship. Stay tuned!

Signs of Codependency

Wondering whether you’re in a codependent relationship? Below are some signs of codependency to keep an eye out for:

People Pleasing

It’s completely normal to want people to like you. And of course, we all want our loved ones to be happy! However, there’s a major difference between having those normal tendencies and feeling the need to please everyone all of the time.

Lacking Boundaries

People in codependent relationships often have difficulty recognizing, respecting, and reinforcing boundaries. Usually, one person doesn’t recognize the relational boundaries and the other person doesn’t insist on them. As a result, one partner becomes controlling and/or manipulative, and the other is compliant and unassertive.

Lacking Self-Image

Another sign of codependency in a relationship is lacking self-image. One partner might have incredibly low self-esteem, and they might define themselves in relation to the other person. If they aren’t characterizing themselves as someone’s partner (or friend, or mother, or whatever), they don’t know who they are or should be.

How to Not Be Codependent in a Relationship

Suspect that your relationship might be codependent? Check out these tips on how to not be codependent in a relationship:

Focus on Yourself

Curious about how to not be codependent in a relationship? Start by nurturing your self-love. When we’re focusing all our energy on other people, it undermines our ability to love ourselves. Therefore, bolstering your own self-approval helps you release the opinions of others. Not only that, but it helps you establish a strong sense of self (that’s completely unrelated to the relationship in question).

Discover Your Own Needs

One way to overcome codependency is to understand know your own needs. It’s important to distinguish your true needs from feelings of fear and/or avoidance. Do you absolutely need to avoid making that mistake? Or ensure that no one dislikes you? Or, perhaps, should you be offering yourself grace and allowing yourself to be human? If this sounds familiar, then we recommend slowing down, soothing yourself, and checking in with what you need to overcome your codependency.

Practice Clear and Direct Communication

An important step in overcoming codependency is learning how to communicate effectively. (AKA you want to leave as little room for interpretation as possible.) If someone asks if you’re free tonight — and you aren’t — explicitly tell them that “no, you’re not free.” Instead of beating around the bush and making excuses, be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. Then, communicate exactly that.

Stay in Your Lane

If you can’t stop worrying about what others think of you, remind yourself that you have no control over what goes on inside of somebody else’s head. Instead of focusing your energy on other people, trust them to solve their own problems. Then, redirect your energy onto yourself and what you genuinely need.

Release Attachment to Outcome

Releasing attachment requires a willingness to accept the unknown. Simply put, you must be okay with living with uncertainty. Part of what fuels the codependent cycle is a fear of disappointing someone whose opinion matters to you. However, overcoming codependency means learning how to tolerate the possibility of disappointment. If you’re struggling to do so, working with a mental health professional can help.

Best Therapist Fort Worth, Texas

Wanting to overcome codependency in your relationships? You’re not alone. The qualified professionals at Fort Wellness Counseling have helped thousands of couples break their codependent habits and cultivate healthy, thriving relationships. Now, we’d be more than happy to do the same for you.

If you want to know how to not be codependent in a relationship, stop by our office or contact our team today. We’re committed to creating a safe space for transformation, growth, and healing. And we’ll equip you with proven strategies and tools to accomplish long-term change.

Ready to experience freedom in your relationship? Book an appointment today.