Just realised you’re in a codependent relationship? Try these 7 steps to end codependency in a relationship before you throw the towel in.
Being codependent isn’t always doom and gloom, don’t get me wrong, when the crazy strikes it’s awful. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just because you’ve just found yourself in a codependent relationship does not mean you have to walk. You can work it out, you can have a healthy relationship. You can be happy together!
Toxic relationships, addictive relationships and all other shitty relationships you can get involve two people. When you both know that you love each other to the moon and back but the arguing, spiteful actions and tit for tat behaviour is tearing you apart, it’s time to change. Most people find stuff like this when it really is make or break. That’s great, you’re now at the point where the relationship is causing so much pain it will force you both to change.
- Check you are experiencing a codependent relationship. When a codependent relationship is at its worst both parties blame. This leaves you in a state of confusion because nothing is your fault, everything is just a reaction. Everyone is acting from their damaged sides, no one is rational and no one takes responsibility. A relationship with a narcissist is totally different. Never try to fix a relationship with a narc!
- Agree you BOTH want to end the codependency in the relationship. First and foremost, you both need to agree that you are both wrong.There are things you both do that are not cool. Blame, shame, hold a grudge and play the victim? You each go away and work out what you are doing to keep this toxic relationship alive. Take responsibility for your part and then you can change it.
- Agree you BOTH need to change. And agree it’s going to take you both effort. You have to both want it the same, or it just wont work. There is no point Brian doing 95% of the change and Wendy doing 5% you have to meet 100% in the middle. Brian, step up and respect yourself, if Wendy can’t be assed, walk away. Wendy, too much water under the bridge? Step up and respect yourself…walk away.
- Draw a line under everything. Literally everything, every crap thing you’ve both done, every nasty thing you’ve said. When in victim mode we have a tendency to say “you’ve done blah, blah, blah”, “I can’t believe you blah, blah, blah”. We totally forget that we said “why don’t you just piss off and live with Eric then”. In our heads, we are not to blame, but actually you cannot argue on your own. That is a fact. You have to both solemnly swear to bury the whole turd and not leave the tip hanging out of the ground (you don’t want to trip up on it).
- Set out some boundaries. What are deal breakers? What are the things you actually cannot cope with? Each of you need to set your own boundaries. This is the perfect time to grow together and knowing your boundaries and your partners will help you both to keep them. If the other person realises they’re treading on boundaries or one of you is being weak figure out why.
- Talk, talk, talk. Change can be really hard, for everybody. Us codependents really love control and no surprises. When the other person does something they’ve said they won’t, pull them up and then forgive. Talk about it and put your heads together. How can you reduce this for next time? How can you change your reaction? Are you being reasonable? Then move on.
- Enjoy your new healthy relationship. Having a relationship that was codependent turn into a healthy one is amazing. You have both seen the most awful behaviour from each other, torn each other apart on more than one occasion. Yet here you are with a person who accepts that you can be vile, accepts all your flaws, and still loves you. That doesn’t mean they love that part of you, or that you do. But there is a freeing closeness that comes from having someone see the horrible person you can be, but trusting you don’t want to be like that.
Always be kind and always forgive, if you can’t it’s time to move on.