Overcoming Codependency in a Relationship
We can analyze a relationship as a relating process. The following questions serve to further clarify this:
- Who is relating to whom?
- What is the intent and purpose of the relating?
Healthy, inter-dependent relationship
In a healthy adult relationship, one between equals, each person assumes the ability to be responsible for himself (accountability) and to be responsible to the other (relationship) to give what each has promised.
Independence in a relationship
When a person assumes total responsibility for himself/herself only. There is very little or no responsibility to the partner.
Codependence in a relationship
When a person becomes overly involved with another person in assuming responsibility for their responses. They intrude into the responsibility area of the other person and fail to assume proper responsibility for themselves.
Signs of codependency
- A need for certainty
- A need for control
- Fear and worry
- Brooding and obsessive analysis
- Chronic adjustment of one’s own priorities and preferences. This may start out very subtly, but over time it can be insidious disease to self-esteem.
- Imbalance in the energy and attention given to the relationship. Some common patterns include making most of the phone calls, planning most of the activities etc. In addition, a very deep resentment can develop from an imbalance of affection. This includes: being the one to do most of the caring things—including giving gifts, acknowledging the other, demonstrating appreciation, expressing love and affection, and even initiating sex.
This signal of imbalance is closely related to the signal of sacrifice. The one who tends to do the most in the relationship also tends to sacrifice the most. This can create a loss of identity and personal perspective. It occurs when there’s a willingness to abandon personal pursuits—and it can extend to sacrificing your own family and social life in deference to what you perceive to be your partner’s needs.
- Inability to disengage when it’s clear that there’s no longer any reciprocity of feeling.
Some questions to ask yourself
In codependent relationships, being overly “giving” at the expense of oneself is a major issue. This type of “giving” is not based on unconditional love.
- Do you feel hurt or angry when you do not receive anything back from your giving?
- Does your giving make you feel energized or more exhausted and more drained?
- Does your giving make you feel happy and joyous or does it result in you feeling deprived, unhappy or depressed?
- Does your giving make you stronger or weaker? Do have better health or do you get sick more often from your kind of giving?
- Does your form of giving bring fear and worry or peace and joy?
- Does your giving make you feel empty or full?
- Do you usually worry in your relationship, or do you trust them?
- Do you try to control or let it be?
- Are you attached to outcomes or can you accept that all things will work together for the ultimate good?
- Does your form of giving help you feel emotionally stronger and more secure or does it make you feel more at the whim of your partner’s mood and behaviors?
Exercise to overcome codependency
1) Identify someone you have become over-involved with.
Who do you feel responsible for?
What are you responsible for in relationship and to whom are you responsible?
2) Identify how the relationship connections are represented
As you scan your body and notice where you sense connections from you to the other person, what do you find? Such representations usually take the form of various metaphors of connection, such as ropes, ties, apron strings, etc.
What are you aware of in terms in some metaphorical way that seems to describe how you represent your connectedness?
3) Sever the ties.
Now imagine, for a moment, that you have become completely free from the ties.
Does any part of you object to this?
If some part objects, explore its positive intention in creating or keeping the tie. Identify what secondary gain (positive intention) you obtain from the relationship.
4) Identify your outcomes
Identify your objective in maintaining a codependent connection to this other person.
What do you get from this relationship?
What do you give to this relationship?
What do you have to give? What do you want to receive?
5) Construct an ideal self with the independence and responsibility to be oneself.
What would be an ideal image of you who has all the resources, qualities, and abilities necessary to have healthy relationships with yourself and your partner?
How clearly can you see, hear, and feel this ideal self?
Where could you put this image so that it is in just the right location for ready access?
Does this ideal self have a way to distinguish responsibility for and to?
How do you represent that distinction?
6) Become the resourceful you
Do you now have permission to disconnect each unhealthy tie from others?
When you do, then feel yourself connecting to your ideal self/Higher Self and feel the empowerment that comes from being fully responsible for yourself. How does that feel?
What adjustments do you need to make this more compelling and powerful?
Imagine getting your desired outcome as you live out from this ideal self rather than feeling needy. What is that like? Soak in all of the good feelings and be with them for a few minutes.
7) Connect others to their own resourceful self
Do you believe that others are responsible for themselves? That they and they only have the ability to respond mentally, emotionally, verbally, and behaviorally?
Send this to the others in your life and imagine them connecting to their own ideal self/Higher Self and having the ability to maintain good boundaries and respond appropriately.
8) Now imagine moving into your future with all of this, relating appropriately with your partner and others.
- The Sourcebook of Magic, A Comprehensive Guide to NLP Change Patterns, Dr. Michael Hall
- Anatomy of a Spirit, Dr Caroline Myss
An Energy Based Perspective on Codependency
Have you every wondered what really happens to the electromagnetic field surrounding you ie your aura when you engage in a fight with your spouse as opposed to when you are communicating lovingly? Or what happens energetically in a codependent relationship?
Energy exchange in a codependent relationship
There are 2 types of codependent energy exchanges.
1) Depending largely on the energy of your partner for your own well-being.
When we are excessively dependent on another for energy, we depend less on the energy from Source/God. The connection cord to Source, although it is always there, is not used as much for the transference of energy. Source has an inexhaustible supply of high-quality life force energy, whereas our partner, is limited in their own energy supply. Depending on energy of another can be draining on the person’s energy levels, exhausting the other person eventually.
2) Diverting most of your energy towards your partner
In this case most of the life force that one receives is channeled to the partner. This surge of energy can be overwhelming for the partner and they may reject it. The overly giving partner many feel hurt by the response. As a result he/she may demand more energy from the partner, resulting in type 1 codependency. This sort of vicious cycle can cause a relationship to spiral downwards over time.
Source: Anatomy of a Spirit, Dr Caroline Myss
Co-dependency and the Law of Paradoxical Intent
When we abandon our dignity in a relationship, all we’re left with is a compelling sensation of emptiness and an overwhelming sense of lack. As a result, we can never really feel secure. Whatever we have within our relationship is an illusion. Since we know our relationship is built on a lie, we’re destined to always feel scared and empty. No relationship, addiction, or acquisition will ever be powerful enough to fill a heart without dignity. In fact, there will never be enough of anything to fill the heart that has lost its honor.
Why do we set ourselves up for such misery? We pursue a relationship because we intend to be happy. In time, the pursuit becomes so important that we’re willing to dismiss our honor to force it to happen. We end up feeling isolated, confused, and unappreciated. In such a state, we cannot possibly be happy. We have created the paradox of our intent!
- Secrets of Attraction, Sandra Anne Taylor
Some suggestions to overcome co-dependency
- Pray, meditate to reconnect to Source. Meditate to reconnect to your Higher Self.
- Focus on your own goals. Visualize yourself as having achieved these goals. Determine what that would do for you. This would increase your desire, motivation and drive towards achieving your dreams.
- Engage in activities/hobbies that reward and energize you with feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
- Engage in community service projects.
- Invest time in self-improvement – updating skills and knowledge.
- Read autobiographies of your role models/people whom you admire for inspiration.
- Watch videos/documentaries of your role models/people whom you admire for inspiration.
- Most of all, implicitly know that your partner loves you and work from that level. Ideally your relationship should be an inter-dependent one. Independence in relationships can be quite harmful because it means that you do not consider your partner’s feelings when doing/deciding on something.
Overcome Codependence hypnosis – Co-Dependent No More recordings are designed to help you find your center, to re-discover yourself and what truly makes you feel good. Then you can be with another and share of your time, energy and affection in a way that makes you feel good about you, in a way that maintains your sense of integrity and self-esteem and to the extent that makes you feel good. In this way, you never have to feel or act like a martyr or to suffer the pains that were not yours to suffer. In this way you can live your life in peace, without any feelings of guilt or blame and with respect for yourself and for the other person.