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Codependency: Can a Codependent Relationship Be Saved?

Posted on May 20th, 2024

Hey there, folks! Today, we’re diving into the deep end of the pool to tackle a question many of us have probably asked ourselves at some point: Can a codependent relationship be salvaged? Buckle up because we’re about to navigate some tricky terrain together. The simple answer is ‘it depends’. ..

It depends on the specifics of your scenario and the players involved. In my years of working with hundreds of people facing their codependency, I have witnessed couples that have worked through the imbalances, created healthy boundaries, reconnected to their feelings, and needs and created solid, loving, and healthy relationships that stand on an equal footing. I have also worked with far too many clients who came to realize the painful and confronting truth that their relationship will never work inside of that framework, because the other party is simply too much of a dominant force and will never be willing to accept a relationship with boundaries and an equal footing. If you are dealing with addictions, coercive control, narcissism, manipulation, micro-managing, belittling or abuse of any kind then it is unlikely that you will be able to repair this one. Your desire to keep the peace with the other at any cost, is a necessary function of keeping the relationship alive and you may be better off investing your energies into your own healing so that you avoid being taken advantage of again in the future.

So, how exactly do you go about repairing a codependent relationship? Well, it’s going to take some elbow grease, but fear not, because I’ve got some tips to help you get started:

  1. Get a fresh perspective: Sometimes, we’re too close to the situation to see it clearly. Reach out to the person in your life who has the healthiest relationship that you know and ask for their take on things. They might just offer up some insights you hadn’t considered. Or reach out to a professional who understands codependency and take specialist advice.
  2. Truth Telling: Take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself some tough questions. What are your core values? Are you sacrificing too much of yourself for the sake of the relationship? Are you in denial about any aspect of this relationship? How do you actually, truly, really FEEL? Are you making excuses for poor behaviours? It’s time to get real with yourself.
  3. Reflect on past patterns: They say that ‘history repeats itself until we learn it’s lesson’ and this is especially true when it comes to relationships. Take a trip down memory lane and think about how your past relationships have played out. Are there any recurring themes or patterns? Recognizing these is one of the first steps toward breaking free from them.
  4. Where is your focus? Is your focus ‘over there’ or ‘in here’? Codependency involves one partner who is ‘other-oriented’ and one partner who is ‘self-oriented’ and in a healthy relationship this can still work, it just depends on the extremes at play.
  5. Set those boundaries: Ah, boundaries, the unsung heroes of healthy relationships. Sit down with your partner and have an open, honest conversation about what you both need and want from the relationship. Establishing clear boundaries can help bring balance back to the equation. If your boundaries are ignored, violated or cause tension, then we are certainly dealing with a toxic situation.
  6. Identify your own list of ‘red flags’ for the relationship: This is a list of behaviours that you are no longer willing to tolerate, complete with consequences that you MUST be willing to uphold. And just as importantly, create a list of ‘red flags for myself’, a list that identifies your own codependent tendencies that you will keep a close eye on and rectify whenever one slips in unnoticed. For example, you catch yourself embarking on a game with the kids when you really don’t want to, and you notice that you’ve justified this with the excuse that your partner has had a rough day. STOP. You can say no to the game OR you can ask your partner to play it. You have also had a rough day and were dreaming of taking a hot bath alone. What do you need right now? Ask for that need to be met instead of defaulting to providing for others.

So, there you have it, folks. Can a codependent relationship be saved? With a little bit of introspection, a whole lot of communication, and maybe a dash of tough love, anything’s possible. Stay strong, stay true to yourself, and remember, you’ve got this!

And if you suspect that your relationship may have passed its sell by date and is in fact unhealthy, please don’t hesitate to reach out and speak to one of our team, we’ll be happy to help you navigate your way through.

Salli Andrews

For a more personalized approach to your healing journey, book a free Clarity Call now. Our coaches are here to help you take your first steps towards healing. Check out our Resources or our Videos on YouTube.

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