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Codependency in relationships means being overly preoccupied with your partner to the point of losing your own sense of who you are and what you need.
Partners in an interdependent or secure relationship put the relationship first. Not their partner.
The key to making your relationship more interdependent is to take stock of your life. Find purpose and meaning outside of your relationship.
Not only will it make you happier and better as a person, but it may also improve intimacy and passion in your relationship.
It’s healthy to have regular time with your friends without your partner. A little time apart also creates mystique and plays into that tried but true adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
One way to make your relationship more equal and interdependent is to make sure there is a healthy communication channel between the two of you.
Good communication rules to keep in mind include actively listening while the other is speaking, no interrupting, and listening first without making any judgements.
You must have a conversation with your partner if both of you are engaging in codependent behaviors.
You will need a little self-awareness on your part to realize if it is a lack of trust in your partner, yourself, or a combination of both. Deeper conversations should reassure you or your partner that your relationship is going to be OK.
Sometimes turning a codependent relationship into a more interdependent one isn't as easy. For some, deeper issues can be the reason behind why they feel like they can't do or be anything without their partner.
Therapy can be a helpful tool in working through the origin of codependency issues and addressing issues of attachment.
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Ask yourself these questions:
When a child grows up in a dysfunctional home with unavailable parents, the child takes on the role of caretaker, learn to put the parents need first, and repress and disregard their own needs.
As the child becomes an adult, he or she repeats the same dynamic in their adult relationships.
Resentment builds when you don’t recognize your own needs and wants. A common behavioral tendency is to overreact or lash out when your partner lets you down.
If you find it difficult to share your past experiences, ask yourself why you are reluctant to open up. Getting to the root of the reluctance is key.
Before you talk to your partner about something difficult, find the right words to express it first. Until you can verbalize it, it remains unknown to you and to your partner.
If you do not feel safe enough to talk through these issues, consider journaling, or talking with a counsellor until you are clear about how you are feeling.
When you decide to open up, start by taking small steps to test the waters first.
The more you practice and see that you can do it, the easier it will get for you to open up.