Can a codependent relationship be fixed

How to Become Less Codependent in Your Relationship — Kristin Davin, Psy.D.

How to Become Less Codependent In Your Relationship

It's hard to be in a relationship and not feel the urge to be overly involved in your partner's life, but it can cause problems for both parties if you are not careful. Although it can be difficult to recognize when you're being codependent, especially if you're not used to being alone and not dealing with things on your own, you CAN become less codependent in your relationship.

In a codependent relationship, you tend to the needs of the other person and are viewed as the ‘giver’ in the relationship and when you don’t feel needed by the other person, you tend to feel worthless and sad. Contrary to that is the enabler who is viewed as the ‘taker.’ They will continue to take from the giver.

This type of relationship often becomes unhealthy and is reinforced over time. Although these relationships are often unhealthy and are not sustainable long-term there are ways you become less codependent in your relationship. Here are seven steps you can take right now.

How Does Someone Become Codependent?

Codependency is often rooted in adverse childhood experiences (ACE). You have become codependent when you took on an inappropriate emotional responsibility or you were ‘parentified’ (being placed in a parental role at a young age) in order to survive a traumatic upbringing.

When this happens you learned to neglect and forsake your needs for the sake of your parents.

Unfortunately, this becomes a learned behavior that on the one hand helped you survive your childhood, but set you up to struggle to maintain healthy relationships as an adult. And all too often, your parent is either over or under protective which encourages in unhealthy ways for the child to become codependent.

But having an awareness and understanding of codependence can help you find clarity and peace in your relationships, which can be the path to being less codependent. Don’t forget - change IS possible.

8 signs of a codependent relationship

1. It’s a dysfunctional relationship. Both of you feel they cannot exist without one another. Being codependent creates a circular relationship where one person needs the other person who then needs their partner to be needed.

This is very unhealthy and is reinforced over time, by both people. This also creates a relationship that has unhealthy communication and where one person needs the other person who then needs to be needed.

2. There is unhealthy emotional bonding. People in codependent relationships sometimes suffer from emotional bonding. You are both so emotionally attached to each other that you can't function without each other even if this attachment isn't healthy or good for either one of them.  

3. There is an imbalance of power. This occurs when when one person is giving too much energy and time to the relationship with an excessive focus on the other person. This person often will take advantage of this - often unintentionally. This tends to maximize their needs and desires forsaking the other person’s needs and desires.

4. You want to change them. When we realize our partner is different from us, often in critical ways, you might want to change them so that the differences and often the strife is less. This never works. A person can only change if they want to. There is nothing a person can do to change another person.

5. You lack of self-care. You forsake what you want to do to spend time together. There might be things you want to do, but don’t do them because you want to spend time with them. Spending time with your partner is good and can be healthy - within healthy limits and boundaries. It might be hard for you to follow through with plans that you made when you realize you will be spending time apart.

6. You are unable to describe your relationship. When you are in a codependent relationship, you might have a hard time explaining or sharing your thoughts and feelings about the relationship. This is often because you are hyper focused on the other person and unable to articulate how you really feel.

7. You have a hard time being alone. Being codependent often results in you having a hard time tolerating being alone or not hearing from your partner. Being alone makes you feel unsettled and anxious.

8. Your needs are not being met. This is often because you struggle to ask for what you need. Sometimes you are not sure what you need or because you are - again - so focused on the other person, you are don’t know what you need. Also, even if you know what you need, you feel you don’t have the right to ask for what you need.

If you would like to discuss how to become less co-dependent in your relationship with a trained professional to see how we can work together, just click the button below! I provide a free 15-minute consultation:

You May Be In A Codependent Relationship If:
  • You feel anxious if you don’t hear from your partner.

  • You are too needy in the relationship.

  • You have a difficult time being without them for extended periods of time. You need to see and hear from them constantly.

  • Your relationship is the source of your overall happiness, self-worth and self-esteem.

  • You experience a constant fear of rejection, abandonment, and criticism.

  • You always feel the need to ensure they are happy with you.

  • You don’t know how to take care of yourself without them there to help.

  • You often try to change your partner because you hold onto an overly idealized view of your partner.

  • Issues remain ongoing and unaddressed magnified by poor communication and a relationship imbalance

  • You feel like you cannot live without them.

  • You feel a strong desire to keep yourself connected with the other person.

9 Tips on How to Become Less Codependent in Your Relationship

It's common for people in relationships to become codependent. It's a natural tendency that we all have. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless there is an imbalance of power and you forsake your needs for another person.

However, there are ways you can start to heal and become less codependent - NOW.

1.) Learn to put your own needs first

Ask yourself, what is important to me? What is something that I would like to do that meets my needs? These are important questions because when a person becomes codependent, they can easily lose their sense of self - like who they are and what they want. It's important to be selfish at times. Find these times so that you can honor your needs and wants. This helps you become less emotionally needy.

It’s important to learn how to take care of yourself before you can help others do the same. This means making sure that your basic needs are met and that your feelings are validated by someone else not just in your head but also out loud.

When you can start to take care of yourself, you are less likely to suffer physical, psychological, or emotional problems. It is often challenging for you to put yourself first, but this is a critical first step.

2.) Practice self-care

Self-care can be anything you want it to that nurtures you in physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy ways. This could be taking a bath or going for a run. It could also mean meeting with friends or participating in hobbies that bring joy into your life - like writing, journaling, reading -  just any activity or hobby - without your partner.

This means learning how to value yourself and find and honor your own needs. Journaling is a great way to show self-love and write ways you can affirm yourself. Self-care also means exactly what it says - care for yourself - whatever this may look like. This also helps you become less resentful with your partner.

If you would like to sit down and discuss how you can care for yourself more, and work on your co-dependency, I provide a free 20-minute consultation to see if I would be a good fit for you.

3.) Communicate with your partner

The most important thing you can do to make your relationship healthier is to start communicating with your partner. If you do not communicate with your partner about what makes him or her happy or unhappy, you will be unable to offer the support necessary for growth and development.

Learn how to express your needs, listen with intention, and find new ways in which you can start to communicate with your partner in more effective and healthy ways.

Good communication also includes being assertive (using your voice, not being aggressive) saying how you feel using ‘I’ statements, and acting with consideration and understanding.

Start communicating with your partner which means that if you are asked to do something tonight and you are not able, then say I am not available at this time rather than giving an excuse. This also means sharing with your partner the roots of your codependency and your desire to change. Healthier communication helps you more confident using your voice and making necessary changes.

People who are codependent in relationships often communicate their needs in a passive-aggressive way, riddled with resentment, immature and primitive (thinking and behaving), and lacking a sense of self.

4.) Identify patterns in your life

Think about the patterns in your life and how they affect your partner. For example, if you tend to get very anxious before big events or when things are changing quickly, consider how this might affect your partner.

They too may be feeling anxious about plans changing at the last minute or if they have something stressful going on at work. It’s important to understand how your actions impact each other so that you can support each other in times of need.

It is also important to identify the triggers that activate your needs to take care of others and please others, forsaking your sense of self.

It also helps to identify patterns in your life that led you to become codependent and to also take the time to discover and look for signs of what it means to be in a healthy relationship. You can do this by not only unraveling your patterns but by looking at incorporating new patterns of relating.

Ask: Am I this way in other relationships? Or in previous romantic relationships? This is the time to do a relationship inventory to figure out your patterns. I will share a video on what a relationship inventory in the video write-up. Look for patterns that reinforce your codependency tendencies.

5.) Read about codependency

Becoming aware is the first step and then take the next step to read about codependency to educate yourself and become more knowledgeable. This will also help you change. Books such as Codependent No More and Boundaries are both filled with information.

Beyond reading about codependency, also read about trauma and your attachment style. There are many resources, blogs, and articles (and people!) that you can read to learn the signs of a healthy relationship.

6.) Learn how to set boundaries for yourself

Setting boundaries for yourself helps you become less of a people pleaser. Saying yes and no to things that you do or don't want to do. If you say no, stick to it! It's important not to become too dependent upon others for happiness or validation.

If you are someone who says ‘yes’ often, then when you start to say no, it can and often does create problems because you are changing things and recognizing what’s best for you. Over time, saying no will become easier and you will feel better for doing it. 

And setting boundaries for yourself and reinforcing them even during difficult and challenging times will help you become less codependent. You don't want to become too dependent upon others for happiness or validation because then it becomes harder for anyone else to be there for you when things go wrong (or even right).

Both partners must have their own lives outside of the relationship so that they can be happy without having their needs met by someone else's happiness first. Doing this creates an interdependent relationship, and helps you overcome co-dependency.

Codependent relationships without boundaries become dysfunctional and difficult to manage. Healthy boundaries are there for a reason.

7.) Start to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is about giving yourself permission to feel what you feel. Its self-approval. You are saying to yourself that you accept how you feel and don't pass judgment on yourself - whatever your feelings are.

I approve of these feelings because it means that I am moving through something difficult and I want to change. This is part of my journey. This is a great way to learn how to be present with yourself and with others without feeling like you need something from them all the time.

Mindfulness is when you are mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and you accept them without passing judgment on yourself or going down the proverbial ‘rabbit hole’ repeating the same negative narrative you have been telling yourself. Being more mindful also about practicing meditations.

If you're not sure how to get started with this practice, try meditating for just five or ten minutes each day or simply noticing what's happening around you without judging it as positive or negative (this will help reduce any anxiety).

8.) Learn how to create an interdependent relationship

An interdependent relationship involves and requires a balance of self and others within the relationship. Both partners recognize that learning to be present and meet each other’s physical and emotional needs in meaningful ways, is key.

This includes each person taking time for their personal interests, feeling safe and vulnerable around one another, not relying on your partner to make you happy, and having a healthy sense of self-esteem. This type of relationship is key to creating a safe, healthy, and secure relationship and is the healthiest type of relationship.

Creating and maintaining an emotional connection is key to creating a safe, healthy, and secure relationship. The connection that is built between both partners helps to create a deeper level of understanding, seeing, hearing, and validating one another. And the strength of this connection determines the success of a long-term relationship. This is a core feature of an interdependent relationship.

9.) Work with a mental health professional

Often a therapist can help you work through your codependency struggles faster than doing it on your own. They help uncover the trauma that often leads to these types of behaviors. For example, a person can become codependent when they take on an inappropriate emotional responsibility or they are ‘parentified’ (being placed in a parental role at a young age) to survive a traumatic upbringing. In therapy this is discussed.

Maybe your parent used you to talk about inappropriate things (like money) or depended on you to meet their emotional needs.

If this happened to you, then you will begin to neglect and forsake their needs for the sake of your parent. Unfortunately, this becomes a learned behavior that on the one hand helps you survive your childhood but sets you up to struggle to maintain healthy relationships as an adult.

Can a Codependent Relationship Be Fixed?

The short answer - yes. Although codependency is often a serious problem in relationships, it can be fixed if both of you are willing to make the changes necessary to make their relationship work.

Codependent people often feel like they have no control over their lives or their happiness, as they see their own happiness as being dependent on someone else - but this is not true. They have to learn how to take control of their life and their happiness and recognize that each person is responsible for their own life.

It’s important to remember that the love you may feel for someone you are codependent on maybe love, but it may also be fear of being without them. The other take-home message is that there is importance in deciding to take the steps to become less codependent and learn how to love yourself, put yourself first, and understand the traits that comprise a healthy, interdependent relationship.

Here are 4 things to remember working through codependency:

1. Learn to take the steps to learn how to take control of your life and happiness and recognize that each person is responsible for their own life.

2. Awareness, taking teeny tiny steps, making a commitment to change - even a small one, and holding yourself accountable to these changes are ways in which one and/or both people can make the necessary changes to experience personal growth both individually and collectively as a couple.

3. There is importance on deciding to take the steps to become less codependent and learn how to love yourself, put yourself first, and understand the traits that comprise a healthy, interdependent relationship.

4. Taking the time to make small changes, over time allows each person to use their voice and share what their needs are in a healthy way, and this is done through positive communication.

However, if you have an unhealthy codependent relationship, likely, the person you're with is not good for your mental health and well-being.

Final Thoughts

The best way to become less codependent in your relationship is to make sure that you're doing what's best for you and to gain a better and deeper understanding of how you became codependent.

Understanding this will allow you to ‘unpack’ and change how you view yourself in the context of a relationship. Because identifying how you became codependent and the effects of this in your relationship will help you pivot and create a new path for yourself and your relationship.

And if you have a healthy codependent relationship, it's likely that your partner brings out the best in you and helps you grow as a person. It can also be healthy if one person wants to learn how to connect more on a deeper level and become a bit more ‘needier’.

It can be challenging to change your behavior, but it is possible. Identifying how you became codependent and the effects on this in your relationship will help you pivot and create a new path for yourself and your relationship.

But having an awareness and understanding of codependence can help you find clarity and peace in your relationships and which can be the path to being less codependent.

Change is always possible.

Despite our challenges in life, there is often a silver lining.

photo cred: @joshhild

Can A Codependent Relationship Be Fixed? — Counseling Recovery, Michelle Farris, LMFT

Can a codependent relationship be fixed?

In codependent relationships the codependent person relies too much on others for validation and support. These relationships often fizzle out because of their unhealthy dependency. In this blog you’ll learn 3 strategies to heal your codependent relationship.

A codependent relationship feels disheartening.

Instead of having a mutually satisfying connection, one person gives too much while getting very little back. You start to sacrifice yourself for the relationship which never works in the long run.

But you can fix that!

Fixing a codependent relationship starts with you. Making positive changes does not require the other person to participate. It certainly helps but the focus of this article is on changing your own behavior not theirs.

Create a Healthy Balance for the Codependent

Codependent relationships become lifelines of dependency rather than healthy connections. In codependency recovery, you need to redirect some of that energy towards healthier things.

For example - let’s say each person has a dozen eggs that represent their emotional needs for connection.

When you are codependent, all of those eggs get put into one person’s basket. This indicates an unhealthy dependency, a hallmark of codependency.

No one should have all of your eggs!

3 Ways to Fix Codependent Relationship Patterns

There are 3 ways to fix codependent relationship patterns. First, spreading those “emotional eggs” out by connecting with a variety of people not just the one you depend on most. That way you will avoid relying too heavily on one person.

The next one is critical for relationship recovery; cultivate a relationship with yourself. Think about what you want instead of always thinking of others first. Without a solid connection to yourself - this codependent pattern of unhealthy dependency won’t change.

Strive to create a healthy balance between relying on others and relying on yourself. Though this takes time, developing self-trust will also serve to heal codependent patterns. Trusting yourself means trusting your own perceptions, not looking to others to decide for you.

Setting Boundaries Heals Codependent Relationships

Nothing transforms a codependent relationship quite like setting boundaries. Instead, the codependent person will sacrifice their own needs to get the approval they crave.

Challenging faulty beliefs like “if I set a boundary they’ll be mad at me or they’ll think I’m selfish“ is part of recovery. Most people want the codependent person to take better care of themselves.

Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.

  1. Don’t volunteer the next time someone asks for help. Breathe and stay quiet, you don’t have to respond.

  2. When someone asks for a favor say that you’ll let them know tomorrow. Give yourself time instead of saying yes in the moment.

  3. When you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, leave early. Don’t assume it’ll get better especially if your gut is telling you to leave.

For more on boundaries click here to read What are Healthy Boundaries?

Identify What you Need and Ask for It

A codependent relationship revolves around one person’s needs. By asking for what you need the codependent person changes the dynamic of the relationship.

Start with supportive people to build your confidence. Find little things like asking a hug, or asking someone for a small favor. That way it’s less scary.

If the codependent person doesn’t start asking for what they need the codependent dynamic will never change. You will always be the giver which makes having a mutually satisfying relationship next to impossible and I don’t want that for you.

Final Thoughts

After practicing these techniques either notice the relationship will become healthier or it will make the relationship worse. If this happens, don’t worry, that’s not a necessarily bad thing. It IS however, a reality check that the relationship may need to be evaluated.

Not every relationship is meant to go the distance but that can be devastating to the codependent. Sometimes, getting healthy makes others feel threatened because they don’t know what to expect.

Give them time to adjust but if they still don’t respect your new boundaries, consider lowering your expectations. For instance, enjoy what works in the relationship while taking better care of yourself around what doesn’t. Fixing a codependent relationship always starts with you!

Grab my free journal prompts for self-care, setting boundaries and healing codependency.

"Save cannot be finished." Family psychologist about dependent relationships

We have already raised the topic of crises in relationships. The family psychologist told me that conflicts are normal, explained how they appear and how you can get out of them. A separate and at the same time very common cause of protracted family crises can be co-dependent relationships in a couple. What to do when it seems that the partner is pulling away and we really do not have enough intimacy with him? Or, on the contrary, when you want to have more personal space, and the second person constantly requires attention? About this, about the types and causes of unhealthy co-dependency relationships, as well as about true love, says a family psychologist, candidate of psychological sciences Natalya Olifirovich.

"All our relationships are dependency relationships"

- In fact, all our relationships are relationships of dependence. But she is healthy and unhealthy. We are all born helpless, and if no one takes care of us, we will die. Therefore, our very first state is neediness and dependence on another person who takes care of us.

If everything goes according to plan, when the child grows up, he moves from complete merging with the mother - dependence - into the phase of counter-dependence. He tries to run away from her, argue, swear, tries his hand at defending his own Self. Then comes the phase of independence. And when a person grows up, in the case of a “healthy” development, he moves to the stage of interdependence. A person understands that there is neither complete independence nor complete dependence. All our life we ​​are between two poles: between greater freedom and greater involvement in relationships.

Scientists distinguish between two types of addiction: healthy and unhealthy. Healthy addiction, or healthy attachment is when we feel good in a relationship . When we respect a partner, his needs, but at the same time we understand our desires. When we can be both in closeness and apart. When can we negotiate? When we can conflict, be offended and put up.

Merger with partner

There are three types of unhealthy addictions. Anxious-ambivalent, or fusion type , is when I “cling” to my partner and do not want to let him go anywhere. Most often, this type of dependence is observed in people who in the earliest period of life lacked maternal warmth, love, confirmation of importance and significance. Such a child grows up with the following belief: "If I don't keep a firm grip on someone who is important to me, I will definitely be abandoned" .

Relationships with such a partner are difficult. He is constantly trying to control the other, climbs into the soul, notices any nuances of behavior and tries to keep the partner close. It’s as if he doesn’t have his own world, but only a partner whom he tries to “glue” to himself with different types of superglue: threats, indispensability, self-sacrifice. This is a disaster, because such a person is not confident either in himself or in the fact that his relationships with others can be reliable. Most often, these people become emotional persecutors.

Proximity avoidance

- Another type - avoiding, or distancing . Such people have the following belief: “I will run away and stay away from you because I don't believe that relationships can be good. I know that you will leave me someday, and in order not to hurt me, I will never let you get too close. . Such people in childhood also experienced the absence of a significant person, but made a different decision: "I will never again let someone hurt me so much" . In a relationship, they give the impression of frostbitten, chilly people who keep you at a distance all the time.

This type is more typical for men, while the anxious-ambivalent type is more typical for women. It is these people who form wonderful pairs of "persecutor and distanced. "

Chaotic dependency type

- There are still people with a chaotic type of attachment. These people have a combination of sticking and running. These are the most difficult partners. In the evening he can come and say: "You don't love me because you don't pay attention to me" . But as soon as you start talking to him, he goes into the room, slamming the door, and asks you not to disturb. He alternates showing love with rejection. It is very difficult to build relationships with such people, because you never know what will come to his mind in the next second.

Relationships between people with different types of addiction

- All people with unhealthy types of attachment, of course, enter into relationships and begin to play their roles. The most frequent marriages are "pursuer-avoidant". Usually in such cases we help by softening the persecutor and involving the distancer in the relationship . If two people are colder and more distant, each can have their own life. If there are two pursuers in a relationship, then there will be constant scandals and “Italian” showdowns. People with a chaotic attachment type are difficult in any partnership because they are unpredictable and often belong to the borderline level of personality organization.

When a couple comes to a psychologist, the first thing we do is to find out what a typical cycle occurs between them and how they are involved in it. The cycle can be aggravated if one of the partners is alcohol or drug addict. Then we don't work until the main problem is solved. The main thing in our actions is to identify the destructive cycle, when one pursues, and the other runs away, and help change it to a more constructive one, when they can approach, move away, and negotiate.

"Actually we are all addicts"

— Now, quite often, at various trainings, addiction is made the most terrible thing, women are “treated”, repeating to them either about complete freedom, or about complete independence. In fact, this is all wrong, because in any couple you need to deal with relationships. For example, people are satisfied with such relationships, he likes to watch Sex and the City with her, and she likes to go to football with him. They, like Sherochka and Masherochka, spend a lot of time together. And then this type of psychologist comes, like a knowledgeable one, and declares: “Yes, you have a co-dependent relationship! You must build your boundaries!" And suddenly the woman begins to figure out what she really wants, to quarrel with the man.

At this time in family therapy there is a golden rule: "Don't fix what isn't broken" . We do not climb where people are satisfied with everything. Let them merge, but if they are not satisfied with the distribution of responsibilities, then we work only with this.

Therefore, one should not be afraid of the word “addiction”. In fact, we are all dependent on each other. If, for example, some Uncle Petya at the power plant suddenly turns off the light, we will immediately understand how we are connected with him. If the neighbors from above decide to flood us, we will again feel these fragile invisible ties. Similarly, husbands and wives, partners are related to each other.

Our task is to help “translate” an unhealthy addiction into a healthy one. Then people understand that relationships are dynamic and changeable: sometimes we are closer, sometimes we merge, and sometimes we move away; and it's wonderful that we are so different and can change all our lives and look for a comfortable distance in a relationship.

How attachment differs in the West and East

- Often the word "addiction" is used only in a negative context. If we use the concept of "healthy addiction", then there are no questions. You need to understand that the same word can be used in different ways. We remember drug and alcohol addictions, and this word becomes bad for us. In fact, it's great when we depend on each other, need each other and are important. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about if there is a healthy attachment between people.

By the way, the word “attachment” also raises many different questions. The same Buddhist philosophy is very struggling with attachments, and the influences from the East often influence our people. If we are independent, we will all live alone in caves and return to the primitive communal system.

It can be noted how vividly the Western model is presented today, where two people think a lot about the need to get married and have children. These are people with an unhealthy, distant type of dependence or attachment. They are afraid to enter into long-term relationships, afraid of intimacy and losing their comfort. And another option is the Eastern model, where family ties, blood and marriage ties are very important. In such a culture, people take care of each other, support family members. Of course, these are more likely trends, because both in the East and in the West, rapid changes are taking place.

We are now in a period of restructuring of relations. The old patriarchal relations in our country, Western Europe and America are becoming obsolete, while new ones have not yet been formed. Therefore, men and women are now learning to live together in a new way. They are at the very beginning of such a difficult path to a healthy addiction - attachment.

Dealing with an unhealthy addiction

- There is always an opportunity to cope with addiction, to get rid of the roles of the pursuer - the avoider. There is a whole area - emotionally focused therapy - an effective model of working with spouses, developed by Canadian psychologists . This model helps people form healthy attachments. When she appears, a man and a woman become a couple in which you can lean on each other, support each other, care for and love, which is very cool.

To achieve this, the couple can read emotionally focused therapy literature. There are many articles on the Internet on this subject. Even the therapy model itself provides for reference to the literature. You can deeply study the family of another partner, understand why he pursues or moves away, notice destructive cycles in your own couple and try to change them to constructive ones. Of course, you can always contact a specialist in family therapy. But it must also be carefully chosen so as not to get to a person who will aggravate a difficult situation.

People who have faced similar problems should not get upset and think that separation is the only way out. Dependent relationships are natural. Our parents were in such a relationship, we have not seen another. In order to change relationships, you must first live, understand what does not suit us, and then change them without delay. The longer the destructive cycle exists, the more difficult it is to get out of it.

How to Know When to Stay in a Relationship and When to End

- If there is any physical violence, the relationship should be immediately terminated. If you come out of every conflict weak, unsure of yourself, get into a gaslighting situation (when you are made crazy), then you should think about it. You may be living with a psychopath, a manipulator and being abused. One of the most important criteria is that if the relationship is poisonous for you, leave it.

If you sometimes manage to come to an agreement, if you sometimes come out of a conflict strong, heard and understood, even if you have not agreed, this is a good sign that you can be together and find healthy ways to respond.

Relationships are almost impossible to build with unhealthy people. No matter how hard we try, they are stronger than us. Psychopaths, sociopaths, manipulators, malignant narcissists are most often not able to be in a healthy partnership.

I often think that less physics, mathematics, chemistry should be taught at school and psychological diagnostics should be introduced in order to understand by communication whether it is worth starting a relationship with a certain person. If he constantly deceives you, lets you down, makes you guilty, but you don’t do this, then you need to think about leaving the relationship.

Every relationship is unique. Perhaps a masochistic woman will be glad to endure humiliation. But if she goes to a psychologist, she will return to a healthier lifestyle. That is why some are afraid to turn to specialists, because psychotherapy returns a person to their desires and needs and destroys unhealthy, destructive relationships.

If you go to a psychologist, it is important to keep a sober look. You need to evaluate how much what the psychologist says is right for you. A specialist may advise you to leave a husband who beats you, but you can’t for some reason. Then you should say: "I can't leave, but what should I do in this situation?" No one is a better expert on your life than yourself. Try to make it more conscious, happy and clear. Then, quite possibly, you will not need the help of specialists.

What is true love

- True love is a healthy attachment. This is an opportunity to be in a truly intimate relationship, this is the responsibility of partners to each other, this is passion, honesty, the ability to remain faithful, despite the presence of other people around, this is recognition of the uniqueness of a partner for oneself, this is a desire to be together and a readiness for long-term relationships with an understanding of their involvement and willingness to invest in relationships. Such simple things are fundamental to such a relationship.

A healthy addiction is when I can spend time with an important person for me, but then I go to work and do it quietly, because I don’t think every second where my partner is, whether he is cheating on me. There is peace because I know that our relationship is preserved, we have obligations, that he is waiting for me. I know that he went on a business trip for a month, but every evening he calls me on Skype. Therefore, true love is a good combination of intimacy and freedom.

is there a chance to fix everything - Relationships -

Sometimes there are situations when an intelligent beautiful woman is in a dependent relationship with a man who did not work out either with a career or with money. And he tries in every possible way to suppress his woman by making claims to her about the cleanliness of the house or appearance, depriving her of attention, punishing her with a lack of sex, and sometimes even assault.

If a person has found himself in a situation of co-dependent relationships, it means that he has certain personality traits, inclinations and attitude to life. Nadezhda Tereshchenko, Ph.D. in Psychology, tells how to break out of an addictive relationship, although it is very difficult.

The term "codependent relationship" comes from observations of families where one of the partners is chemically dependent. And studies have shown that if a person gets rid of his chemical addiction, then the family can break up, because everything was based on this addiction. The woman is not ready to give up her role as the “pillar of the family”, on which everything rests, and the husband begins to make claims - the cutlets are burnt or there is no sex.

It often happens that relatives and friends of a codependent couple try to influence them from outside. But, as you know, even drug addiction is not treated by force. Even psychotherapy can be completely powerless if there is no sincere willingness to part with this model of relationship. And the same thing happens in the case of dependent relationships. No matter how many relatives say: "What have you come to, what do you allow yourself to do?" - they can't do anything. Moreover, a person can even agree with their statements, resort and cry in a vest. But if you offer him or her a specific way out of the situation, then in response you can get the same game "Yes ... but ...", which was described by Eric Berne in his book "Games People Play": "He offends me, but we have children"; "He's cheating on me, but we have a mortgage," and so on. In this case, relatives should simply support the person, be close to him, perhaps talk about his value, about his dreams, about goals. And, if he / she still decides to get out of an unhealthy relationship, offer his all possible help.

So, the first step to getting out is to feel your worth. If you look deep into the psyche of a person who is in a co-dependent relationship, it turns out that she does not value herself, it turns out that there are a lot of so-called "narcissistic" trauma-swings: "I am good or I am bad", "I am great or I nobody". Therefore, it is very important to work with self-esteem - in order to protect something, you need to consider it valuable.

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The next step is to mark your boundaries and how to protect them. Defending your boundaries can be scary sometimes, especially when it comes to relationships with psychopaths who can't control their reactions. In this case, it is impossible to defend yourself, except to distance yourself. It happens that a husband and wife live in a "guest marriage" in different apartments and only meet from time to time, because otherwise they cannot restrain their aggression. And it happens that a psychopathic personality calms down in his declining years, then he can form a marriage or get along with someone. But, as we remember from the movie "In Bed with the Enemy", it is very difficult to get out of a relationship with a psychopathic personality because of the threats of suicide and even murder. At the level of society, this problem is solved by social programs and shelters for victims of domestic violence.

Psychological advice

In any case, there is no other way than to defend the boundaries, feeling that life is much more important than these relationships, in which it is not clear what is happening.

If we are not talking about a pathological aggressor, when one can only run away from these relationships, then often, when people build boundaries, it turns out that their partners perceive these boundaries perfectly and react positively. And the couple has a chance not to part, but to build a more open, more understandable and calm relationship. Of course, all this will only happen along with personal changes.

Therefore, the next stage after building boundaries is to clearly state your needs, desires, feelings with "I-messages": "I'm offended", "I'm worried."

Here we turn to the next important question: where to find the very balance when your needs are adequate?

The simple answer is that the partner also has needs. And if we are talking about healthy relationships, then in them everyone has the right not only to express, but also to satisfy their needs.

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