Are you feeling trapped in a codependent relationship that is draining you physically, mentally, and spiritually? A relationship is meant to benefit both people. However, it becomes toxic when a person demands your undivided attention and you find yourself looking for a way to detach yourself from them.
What is codependency?
In a healthy relationship with a partner, relative, or friend, you can depend on each other. However, a codependent relationship is one-sided, with one person constantly attending to the needs of the other. A study published by Dr. Ingrid Bacon explains that the main signs of this toxicity are the following:
- Chronically sacrificing yourself for the relationship
- Focusing on their needs while neglecting yours
- Constant conflict due to control problems of the other person.
- Difficulty expressing and recognizing your emotions.
It’s an unfair advantage when you’re giving your all and everything you have is falling short. Codependency is often linked to substance abuse and other self-destructive behaviors. Some of these people have narcissistic personalities and they take advantage of those who are loving and selfless.
Here are some ways to disengage from codependency
When the only thing that unites you is codependency, the relationship feels more like a prison. You may feel like you can’t cope with your toxic partner, relative, or friend. You owe it to yourself to speak up and get rid of this burdensome situation.
These toxic relationships generally involve mental, psychological, verbal, and physical abuse. Neither of these are good for your physical and mental well-being. Here are some ways you can shake off this overly toxic situation.
1. Evaluate your options
Often a codependent relationship it will create misconceptions about your life. Maybe the other person makes you feel like you have no other options. They might even tell you directly.
Before you can love another, you must love yourself. Realize that you deserve to have a relationship that works for you, not one that is based on obligation. You have every right to separate from a toxic relationship.
Remember that you have options to be with someone who gives as much as you. If your current person wants to wallow in self-pity and toxic behaviors, it is your choice. It is also your choice to walk away and heal.
2. Have a conversation
If you’ve been in a codependent relationship for a while, it probably won’t be easy to suddenly break up. However, you can make the transition easier for both of you by talking about it. Do it at a time when both of you are calm and there are no distractions.
Be honest and say how you feel. Try to actively listen to what your partner has to say. When you bring everything out into the open, you are less likely to have misunderstandings.
3. Defend your position
Some people are so needy in a relationship that they can only think of themselves. Does this description fit your partner? You have spent so much time doing for them that you have lost yourself in the process.
If you have decided to separate from a toxic person, be firm in what you say. If you stay in a relationship in the hope that their self-destructive habits will change, you are only hurting yourself. It is time for your needs and dreams to be addressed.
What if your relationship with a family member is codependent? Although you will always be related, you have the right to set limits and enforce them. Let them know that while you will always love them, it will no longer be a part of their selfish ways.
4. Try to stay calm
There is no easy way to break up a relationship, especially a codependent one. As you discuss your decisions with your future ex-partner, your emotions are likely to be overdone. Expect them to feel shocked, sad, or angry. If it turns into violence, go immediately and seek help if necessary.
Try to be as calm as possible in the conversation. They can try all kinds of manipulations, like lighting gas or laying blame. According to an article published by Sharon Martin at PsychCentralThis is the typical behavior of a toxic couple.
It’s best if you don’t lose your cool and give in to their manipulation. If emotions rise, you may be tempted to cry, yell, or curse them. These may be the emotions your partner displays.
However, if you speak calmly and don’t play the blame game, your partner can listen and reflect on your quiet mannerism. You cannot reason with someone in a shouting match.
Just because you’re keeping it sane in this conversation doesn’t mean you’re giving in to them. If you are trying to break away from a toxic relationship with a lover, family member, or friend, be honest. You have every right to express how you feel and that you are tired of being taken for granted.
This is not the time to keep score or recall every case of your faults and shortcomings. Try to focus the discussion on your feelings using “I feel” statements. For example: “I’ve thought about it a lot and I feel like I owe it to myself to quit. I cannot continue to be a facilitator of self-destructive habits and I deserve happiness. “
Your feelings and decisions are not up for debate. Of course, they will try all the tactics to make you feel sorry for them. Let them know that this is a time when you need to consider your own needs.
6. Set limits
You have the option to disengage from a codependent relationship with a lover or friend without facing them again. However, it is not so simple whether it is a parent, a brother, an adult child or a relative. Genetics can hook you up for a lifetime, but you still have a say in how you deal with that person.
You must discuss the toxic relationship and be clear about the limits you set. Let them know how you want to be treated. For example, tell them that while you love them, you will no longer rescue them from their financial crises due to poor money management.
If they can’t abide by your terms, you won’t partner with them until they do. They may feel hurt for a moment, but it is the only way you can repair the relationship. You don’t need to be a savior for someone who constantly takes advantage of you, even if it’s family.
7. Review of the relationship
Breaking up from a codependent relationship can be a devastating loss. By reminiscing about the past with the toxic person, you can try to sweeten up all the pain. They may have had good times together, but the good things don’t negate the negativity that makes it impossible to stay together.
Yes, it helps to focus on the positives and grow from them. However, don’t use them as an excuse to stay in an unsatisfying relationship. Be as transparent with yourself as you are with your toxic person.
8. Consider spending time alone
In a study published by the Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, Christopher Long and James Averill affirm that loneliness can be beneficial. It gives you a quiet moment to boost your creativity, freedom and intimacy. These are vital components in your decision to end a one-sided relationship.
Most people cannot afford to rent a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. Any place where you can retreat to peace and quiet will help. Turn off your phone and other technologies and try to focus on what you need.
9. Improve your internal dialogue
How would you feel if someone treated you the same way you treat yourself? Would you be pleased or hurt and insulted? Walking away from a codependent relationship may require you to change your internal conversation.
A toxic partner would make you feel like everything is your fault. Soon, the voice in your mind may start to tell you that you are constantly making mistakes and that you are not good enough. This negative self-talk can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental problems.
It’s time to be your advocate and put yourself in a positive light. Remember that you are beautiful and worthy of love and a full life. It is not your fault that a toxic partner, relative, or friend does not change.
Stop listening to the past negative conversations in your mind and replace them with positive and inspiring ones. By using the law of attraction, the Universe agrees with your statements and makes them so. It may take time to change your internal dialogue, but you will be glad you did.
It is challenging to part with a toxic relationship, especially if it involves family or someone with whom you have a crush. However, you should consider your mental health needs above anyone else. Codependency is a big problem and you will feel free once you break the chains that bind you.