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Codependency Can Be Overcome!

Updated on March 9, 2014

Codependency is a term used generally for people who have had an abusive childhood and tend to stay in a toxic relationship or unhealthy relationship because they are afraid to be alone.

I think I used to be codependent. I know many people are. There are many people I can think of who are in bad marriages or in bad relationships. Another thing about being codependent is you may feel you "have" to be in a relationship when in reality, you can survive being single. I have for almost 2 years. Lol.


Some signs of codependency

You can look into your local community for groups that meet weekly on co-dependency.

Some signs of being codependent are:

  • growing up in a dysfunctional family
  • needing to be in control alot of the time
  • not leaving an abusive or unhealthy relationship for fear of being alone
  • low self esteem and feeling undeserving of love
  • putting aside your wants and needs for others
  • allowing yourself to be treated badly by others in family, friendships, or sexual relationships
  • afraid to open up to your partner for fear of appearing weak
  • having difficulty identifying your feelings
  • valuing the approval of others more than you value yourself
  • having fears of abandonment or an obsessive need for approval
  • having an exagerated feeling of responsiblity for others


Codependency can be overcome

Codependency is not a fun thing to experience but it can be corrected. It may take some time, but you can do it. The first thing I would recommend you do, if you feel you are, is to read a book on it which I found really helpful. It's called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. This is the best book on codependency I've found.

I also read a book called "Addiction to Love". Many people feel addicted to love. If you did not get the proper love in your childhood, you could be looking for love in all the wrong places and finally you may realize that you need to look for love in yourself. Self love is the most important kind of love, which when attained lets you love other people.

How to get self love? You need to realize that you are:

  • a human being unique and there's no one like you
  • you have talents and abilities
  • you can make a huge difference if you apply yourself
  • you can change lives!
  • you can help other people

We are all put here for a reason. I choose to believe that God created us and if you believe that, it's even more reinforcing, because in the Bible, there are so many passages where it talks about how much God loves us, wants us to be happy, and is always with us.

Tips to love yourself

  • pamper yourself with a nice bath
  • take yourself out to eat!
  • have a "me" day; a day to just catch up on sleep, grooming, and relaxation
  • get a massage

But there are other ways which may not seem as obvious. These things I'm about to say take time. Here are some things:

  • Develop self confidence through therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a type of therapy which helps you practice postive skills such as positive self talk- and positive affirmations
  • Make a list of all your good points
  • Make a list of all your talents
  • Practice being kind, thoughtful, and good manners.
  • Develop meaningful relationships and friendships
  • Help other people

Also, reading books as the ones I suggested help. It can take quite a while to realize you are just fine the way you are. God created you unique and special and you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. You can change your life for the better by making good choices! You can be happy if you want to be!

As a religious person you may think that suffering is good and that good people suffer. True, many good people suffer, but God wants us to be happy. If you're saved you are going to heaven, right? But whether you're happy or not depends on you!

How can I be happy?

Understand that God wants you to be happy. Start making healthy descisions by getting the toxic people out of your life! Respect yourself enough to not let anyone abuse you. This will take time and for some, you may need individual counseling. It will not happen overnight.

Join a support group of some kind like CoDA- codependents anonymous, any 12 step group, a church group, get involved in a church or a community. Helping the elderly or volunteering will make you feel useful and appreciated.

Your mind can give you endless ideas, if you let it. Just start small and it will get better. Why? Because I'm proof of it!


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Comments

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    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      4 years ago

      What's the number mean btw in your post here? lyns?

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 

      4 years ago from USA

      That's good and you are welcome 714214112p lyns

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      4 years ago

      :) Thank u lyns

      I am doing great!

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 

      4 years ago from USA

      Hello schoolgirlforreal, you are welcome, I appreciate you sharing your great work here. Glad to meet your acquaintance as well. I hope you are having a great evening. 71621411p lyns

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      4 years ago

      Thank you lyns,

      you are super cool and so glad to have met your acquaintance!

      Thanks!

    • lyns profile image

      lyns 

      4 years ago from USA

      Hello schoolgirlforreal, I think this is an awesome to the point and great information piece of co-dependency, it clearly gives insight on where it comes from to how to deal with it, to how to overcome it, thanks so much for sharing this great piece of work on co-dependency, I voted up, plus and shared. Have a great day 714214258p lyns

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      6 years ago

      This has been updated just now, and jaggedfrost- the confusing part/story has been removed. thank you all for your comments, especially you Mike! That was extremely insightful and helpful. I hope all people with this tendency can heal and have lasting and healthy and loving (and trusting) relationships. Many "suffocating" relationships are based on insecurity. We need to be honest with each other! Thank you.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Ictodd for commenting on my hub! I really appreciate the lovely and true comment you made!

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 

      8 years ago from USA

      This is a very good articles. Life is made up of learning, growing and becoming stronger. When we overcome things such as co-dependency; we do not allow ourselves to become so distracted again but that should not mean that we never trust another soul. Thank you for sharing this piece of information with us.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      8 years ago

      Mike,

      your review of my article was amazing! You told a story that totally related to what I wrote. Thank you very much for sharing, not only does it go along with my point and story, but it gives me more insight into that situation.

      In my case, this story was about me. I was told in a co dependency group, that most people from dysfunctional families become co dependent. Your saying the guy was not evil, I belive as true...that it's just a pattern. And that is useful to know if one is in that type of relationship. I am still in it, but I hope again, that both he and I will find better mates or finally learn to love each other healthily. What a useful comment!!! Thanks, Mike :)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 

      8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Co-dependency is a slow process, but it is a nightmare when it happens. I knew a manipulative man who was very popular with women--he catered to their every need and solved their problems. When he became close to a woman, he squeezed her family and friends out of her life. He became not only his lover's best friend but her only friend. Meanwhile, she knew essentially nothing about him--who his own friends were, what his background was, etc. He told her what she only what she wanted to hear and needed to know. This happened more than once as he moved on from one relationship to another--it was his pattern and simply how he interacted with women.

      The odd thing about it was that, from an outsiders point of view, he always seemed happiest in the earliest stages of a relationship--before the co-dependency patterns emerged. I admit that this is the case for many relationships where a man and woman feel absolutely star-struck, but I used to ask him why he shrunk his world down to a single person when he was happiest living another way. He didn't know why--he simply couldn't help himself.

      He was not an evil man, he simply manipulated relationships with women until they were exclusive. I suspected his parents acted the same way, but I didn't know for certain, of course.

      He eventually changed his behaviors and when this happened, he managed to find a lasting relationship and got married. It demonstrated your final point so well--there is hope. We are not locked into patterned behavior, and things can improve for anyone--even those in a codependent relationship.

      This was a very insightful hub, and it addresses a problem that usually doesn't come to the surface until it is too late. Voted up and useful.

      Mike

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      8 years ago

      jaggedfrost,

      thankyou for your comment, i always want to improve and i don't mind your constructive criticism!! seriously.

      You're right it did start of sketchy I suppose--I guess I didn't want to give everything away if you know what I mean. yeah I think I was in the low self esteem too--not so much controlling. Thank you :)

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 

      8 years ago

      This article started out kind of sketchy I am sorry to say. I couldn't figure out who He and she were and didn't have enough data about the situation you were going toward upfront in order to appreciate the diagnosis. I did however appreciate the diagnostic information you latter provided. I found myself in the low self esteem category in fact but not in the other two. Perhaps I am way too egotistical or stubborn to have given myself over to the other two cycles.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile imageAUTHOR

      schoolgirlforreal 

      8 years ago

      K9,

      Apart from helping me, I hope these hubs help others too. Thank you and God bless!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      This is a very difficult topic you take on here SG. You offer good information and direction. I find that you become stronger and braver with each hub i read of yours. Thank you for offering such honesty and openess within your words.

      Your friend,

      K9

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