Every relationship can benefit from an equal balance of giving and taking. While that sense of give and take may occasionally tip in a different direction from time to time, too much of an imbalance may result in codependency. Codependency occurs when one person compromises far more than the other. It usually involves emotional unavailability from one partner. Seeking couple's therapy from a psychologist can prove useful. Until then, here are some tips for preventing and tackling codependency.
Understand Common Symptoms
You may be engaging in codependent behaviours while believing that you're doing the best for your relationship. Such behaviours can include:
- Always fixing the other person's problems
- Not setting boundaries
- Always being a people pleaser
- Being unable to say no
- Getting a sense of purpose from caring for others
- Never putting your own needs first
While you shouldn't always be selfish in a relationship, consistently being selfless isn't healthy.
Learn to Recognise Your Discomfort
If you're consistently resenting your partner because you feel they don't do enough towards the relationship, start looking at where you feel discomfort. For example, you may find that you resent how you do more around the house than they do. When you recognise what makes you feel uncomfortable, start giving your partner room to make their own contribution. You should also discuss the matter with them in a calm and non-accusatory manner. Seeking counselling can make it easier for you to do so.
It becomes incredibly difficult to care for others or experience a sense of balance when you're not caring for yourself. For example, if you're not making time for your hobbies, friends, family, fitness, and sleep, you'll feel resentful of your partner. Prioritising self-care also makes it easier for you to set boundaries. Focusing on yourself also sends a subliminal signal to you and your partner that you're worthy of prioritisation too.
Let Them Make Mistakes
It can be painful to see the person you love make mistakes. However, if you're constantly trying to rescue them then they're never going to learn to care for themselves. When you allow them to deal with the consequences of their actions, they're less likely to repeat the mistake in the future. Overall, this can result in a more harmonious relationship and less stress on you both as a couple.
There are many other ways to prevent codependency, including setting firm boundaries. However, if you've existed in a state of codependency for a while, it's advisable to seek counselling to undo the issue.