Updated: Jul 18
Codependency is an issue that usually comes up in relationships, which people don’t really talk about. Men and women alike often put their partners on pedestals in relationships where codependency thrives; they look to them to fulfill certain roles that honestly only God can fill. If you are looking to your partner to complete you, make you feel good, be responsible for your happiness, validate you at all times and so forth, then you are in a codependent relationship, and that is unhealthy.
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Let’s start off by understanding what a codependent relationship is—according to webmd.com, a codependent relationship is a pattern of behavior in which you find yourself dependent on approval from someone else for your self-worth and identity.
The danger from this definition is that the codependent partner is 100% reliant on the other partner to meet their every need (emotionally, psychologically, physically and sometimes spiritually) which is impossible for any human to do. With time, the healthy partner starts to experience burnout which is due to the stress the codependent person puts on them. Codependency doesn’t just affect one person in a relationship; it could be both partners who are codependent with each other, which breeds a toxic environment in the relationship.
In fact there are three types of codependent relationships—The first one involves one healthy partner and a codependent partner, the second one involves both partners who are codependent (as mentioned above) and the third one involves an enabler who manipulates the other person to become codependent just so they could feel good about themselves.
If your situation happens to be the third one, as the codependent person; please runaway from the enabler, you are threading on dangerous grounds.
You have to find yourself first before you think of joining your life with someone else. Codependency is such a bad place to be in one’s relationship; let’s say as a codependent person, the healthy one in the relationship was fulfilling your every need, the moment they stop doing so, you cannot exist fully within the context of that relationship or even outside of it, because you need what they are giving you to survive.
Your mood is dependent on the other person’s mood; when they are happy you are over the moon and when they are sad, you get depressed.
Nobody should live that way. Nobody should be able to have such a stronghold on you.
If your partner is sad, that doesn’t have to make you sad as well. Be the support system that they need to get out of that funk. Talk about whatever the issues might be, and give them space to get over it. But for that to totally overtake you? That is a total no-no!
Help! I am in a codependent relationship and don’t know how to fix it!
The first step is to communicate with your partner about what you are feeling and how that is beginning to affect you as an individual. Sometimes people may not even realize that they are draining you emotionally due to some past hurts that they must have experienced, so they tend to cling to the healthy partner, in order not to lose them or experience the same pain that a loss of a relationship presented. So communicating your feelings to this person is a step in the right direction. (Communication is key in any relationship.)
Another way for you to help your relationship is by setting healthy and realistic boundaries and also sticking with them. Let your partner know that moving forward, this how it is going to be if they want a functional relationship with you.
You can also speak to experts and get them help. They might be dealing with some emotional trauma, and now see you as their god who can help rescue them from the pain they experienced in the past. Talking to a therapist who is vast in such issues would be of big help. Also try hanging out with others, who can give you a fresh perspective of what a healthy relationship should look like and implement their advice as it pertains to your relationship.
Finally, if you have done everything you can and it still isn’t working, then it is time for you to walk away. You are not that person’s God; you can’t save them. Let Jesus step in and fix whatever problem they have. So if you are in a codependent relationship (whether you are the dependent or dependee), or the enabler who wants someone to be totally dependent on them (you need help as well if that is the case) it is time to reevaluate things.
Jesus is the only one that we should completely depend on. He has the capacity to handle our every desire. He alone is responsible for our joy, peace, laughter, healing, and whatever else that we need. No single human can meet your every need—One day, they would resent you for it.
So what are your thoughts on this matter? Let’s Talk about it! Leave your comments below, also remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.