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How to Fix a Codependent Relationship

By Sharon H. Bolling ; Updated June 13, 2017

Codependency is a term used to describe unhealthy interdependent personal relationships. Signs of codependency may be low self-esteem, weak boundaries, poor or dishonest communication, trouble with intimacy, denial of problems and a preoccupation with others' lives, according to Darlene Lancer in her PsychCentral article, "Symptoms of Codependency." In order to fix the codependent aspects of your relationship, you can identify and change them.

Set Clear Boundaries

The absence of healthy boundaries is a common sign of a codependent relationship. People often believe their over-involvement is helping the other person, but doctor Susan Biali notes that you could be doing more damage than good. Letting go of the control you think you have, you may find that the relationship can heal more effectively with less interference. The other person may start to respect you more, treat you differently and possibly, begin to change.

Be Honest With Yourself And Others

Codependent relationships often lack honest communication of feelings and beliefs. Instead of ignoring hurtful comments, blaming others or covering up secrets, you can be honest, direct and specific in your communication with the other person, suggests the Recovery Ranch website. Openly discuss your problems and struggles, share what you are really thinking and encourage the other person to do the same. While this honest communication may make you feel awkward or even guilty at first, creating an environment of openness can lead to a healthier relationship.

Take Care Of Yourself

The underlying theme of codependency is ignoring your own needs and bending over backwards to fulfill the needs of others. Taking your attention off the other person and what they are doing to instead focus on yourself, you can begin mending the relationship. Identify the neglected areas of your life, like your health, rest or spirituality and make time for yourself so that you can create a healthy balance between your needs and the needs of others.

Get Help From Others

Surrounding yourself with other people who are dealing with similar situations can help you get the support you need to overcome your codependency. Codependents Anonymous is a 12-step recovery organization that helps men and women discover who they are, recover from codependency, learn to acknowledge their own emotions and respect themselves. CoDA groups help individuals identify their pattern of codependency, work through the steps to recovery and give and receive encouragement to others who are on the same journey.

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