Dr. Lalitaa

What are Codependent Relationships and how to change?

If a child is raised in a family where they feel responsible for meeting their parents needs, they do not learn to recognise the importance of their own.

This child will continue to repeat this same pattern into adult relationships leading them into codependent relationships and can feel resentful when they keep giving giving giving and not being appreciate for what they do.

Codependent relationships are characterised by a dysfunctional pattern of behaviour in which one person becomes excessively reliant on another for emotional or psychological support. These relationships often involve one person taking on the role of the caretaker or rescuer while the other person assumes the role of the dependent or “needy” individual. Codependency can occur in various types of relationships, including romantic partnerships, friendships, family dynamics, or even in a professional setting.

It is important to understand codependent relationships because they can have significant negative impacts on both individuals involved:

  1. Lack of Boundaries: Codependent relationships often lack healthy boundaries, leading to enmeshment and blurred lines between each person’s individual needs and identities.
  2. Loss of Identity: The codependent individual may prioritise the other person’s needs over their own, losing sight of their own desires, goals, and personal identity in the process.
  3. Dependency and Control: Codependent relationships can create a cycle of dependency, where one person relies excessively on the other for emotional support, and the caretaker may seek to control or fix the dependent person’s life.
  4. Unhealthy Communication: In codependent relationships, open and honest communication may be hindered due to fear of conflict or rejection. Feelings and emotions may be suppressed or ignored to maintain a sense of harmony.
  5. Reinforcement of Dysfunctional Patterns: Codependent relationships can perpetuate unhealthy behaviours and patterns, reinforcing the belief that one’s worth is tied to how much they can “fix” or take care of the other person.
  6. Diminished Self-Worth: The codependent person’s self-esteem may become reliant on the approval and validation of the other person, leading to feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

Understanding codependent relationships can help individuals recognise and break free from harmful patterns. By becoming aware of codependent tendencies, individuals can work towards building healthier relationships based on mutual respect, balanced give-and-take, and a strong sense of self-worth. It allows them to focus on their personal growth and well-being, fostering healthier connections with others based on genuine love, empathy, and support. Therapy or counselling can be valuable resources in addressing codependency and learning healthier relationship dynamics.

NOW that I understand what do I do to CHANGE? 

Overcoming codependent relationships requires self-awareness, commitment, and a willingness to make positive changes. Here are some steps to help you break free from codependency:

  1. Self-Reflection and Awareness: Take time to reflect on your relationship dynamics and acknowledge the patterns of codependency. Recognise how these patterns may have developed and how they are affecting your emotional well-being.
  2. Set Boundaries: Establish and enforce healthy boundaries in your relationships. Learn to say “no” when necessary and prioritise your own needs and feelings.
  3. Focus on Self-Care: Prioritise self-care and engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment. Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  4. Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Identify healthier ways to cope with stress and emotions, such as mindfulness, journaling, or seeking support from friends or therapists.
  5. Seek Professional Help: Consider seeking therapy or counselling to work through codependency issues with the guidance of a trained professional.
  6. Practice Assertiveness: Learn to communicate your needs and feelings assertively and honestly without fear of rejection or conflict.
  7. Challenge Negative Beliefs: Identify and challenge any negative beliefs about yourself and your worth. Replace them with positive affirmations and self-compassion.
  8. Establish a Support System: Build a strong support system of friends, family, or support groups who can provide encouragement and understanding during your healing journey.
  9. Reconnect with Your Identity: Reconnect with your passions, interests, and goals to regain a sense of individuality outside of the codependent relationship.
  10. End Toxic Relationships: If necessary, consider ending relationships that are consistently unhealthy and codependent, even if it’s challenging to do so.
  11. Practice Patience: Healing from codependency is a process, and it’s essential to be patient with yourself. Allow yourself time and space to grow and make positive changes.

Remember that overcoming codependent relationships is a journey, and progress may not always be linear. Be kind to yourself and celebrate every step forward in your journey towards healthier and more fulfilling relationships.


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