Breaking Out of an Unhealthy Codependent Relationship

Sometimes it can be hard to determine if you’re in an unhealthy codependent relationship. But, unfortunately, once you realize you are in one, whether it’s them or you, it can be even harder to break out of it. Let’s first look at the signs of an unhealthy codependent relationship and then discuss ways to break out of one.

Signs of an Unhealthy Codependent Relationship

Unhealthy codependent relationships often involve a power imbalance. Here are some signs to watch out for.

  • You feel like you need to save them in some way. Your significant other may be experiencing financial issues or require anger management. In an unhealthy codependent relationship, one person may feel they need to step in as a caretaker figure and pick up the pieces.
  • You drastically want to change who they are. Sure, opposites can attract, but you shouldn’t have to change things like character and morals.
  • Self-care makes you feel selfish. Time away from each other is a good thing, and time away from your significant other to do something that makes you happy is a great But if you can’t tear yourself away from them for even a couple of hours, you may be unhealthily codependent.
  • You have a tough time being alone. Sometimes we would rather pour ourselves into another person than deal with our own stuff, but this is a sign of unhealthy codependency.
  • You notice a change in their behavior when you try to set healthy boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries is wonderful, but if you try to do this and see a difference in their behavior, it could be time to reevaluate the relationship.

Breaking Out of an Unhealthy Codependent Relationship

Acknowledge, Acknowledge, Acknowledge

You can probably guess where we’re going with this, but the first step in breaking out of an unhealthy codependent relationship is acknowledging that you are in one. Unfortunately, most people don’t even realize their relationship is unhealthily codependent until they’ve enlisted the help of friends or family. The important thing is that you see it and understand that staying in an unhealthy codependent relationship isn’t good for either party.

Calm Yet Firm, and Never Waver

Once you’ve acknowledged that your relationship is unhealthily codependent, it’s time to have a calm, mature, and firm conversation with your significant other to explain your concerns and needs. Be honest without being accusatory, and if you are worried about your safety, make sure you have a friend or counselor present.

All About You

After you break out of an unhealthy codependent relationship, it’s normal to want to jump into another relationship. But this is not time for a relationship with another person; it’s time for a relationship with yourself. So get to know yourself, take yourself on dates, and figure out your place in the world.

Work Through It

You recognized you were in an unhealthy codependent relationship, broke off the relationship, and now you’re learning about your awesome self. These are all exciting milestones, despite how scary they might feel. As you continue on your journey, keep learning about codependent relationships, work through the feelings you experience on the way, and validate your self-worth. The goal is to break the cycle.

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