When my ex-husband and I separated, he told me that I would never be able to live on my own and be a single parent. That I was codependent. He pretty much told me that I was going to fail and come running back to him. Three years later I am still on my own and going strong. But for many, I have to ask, do relationships make us codependent?
Why Are Many People Codependent?
As humans, for the most part, we need to be part of a family, we need to have friends and we need to feel loved and wanted. But sometimes those relationships make us feel that we have no other option but to stay even though the relationship may be completely unhealthy. We might feel as though without that person in our lives we will not be able to go or they might not be able to live without us either, making both people in the relationship codependent on each other. It’s the “I can’t live without you” relationship.
I’ve read that those of us that might be easily overtaken by a codependent relationship are those who have low self-esteem, be overly compliant to those around them, or those in denial of what the relationship really is.
How Can You Go From Being Codependent To Independent?
I know that this may sound funny but most of the articles I have read on codependency use the analogy of “taking baby steps”. Like an infant developing into a child and then eventually into an adult. Going from being totally codependent on their mother and father to being more independent as they grow into an adult.
It took me cheating on him to make me realise that I did not have a clue who I was anymore. I know that for me to get away from my codependency I went through therapy, about 2 years of it. I know that I have talked about this before in Dating and Cheating. It took me a long time to see why I was unhappy in my life with my ex-husband, it took me cheating on him to make me realise that I did not have a clue who I was anymore. I had lost my independence and my identity. My relationship with my ex had nothing to do with me, everything was about him. But therapy helped me take the right steps at the right time. It made me see that I could be independent and that I did not need a relationship or someone to complete me. That I “could” live without him. I was already complete and that I should have people in my life who bring out the best in me.
Being in a codependent relationship is obviously not an ideal relationship to be in, but realising it is the first step in finding your independence again. Thanks for reading and date smart!