Codependent relationships involve two people, but in those relationships, one person is usually the one to compromise what they want or needs to support the other, especially if the other is experiencing addiction or untreated mental health disorders.
What is Codependency?
Codependency is when you are psychologically or emotionally reliant upon your partner, a partner who is often controlling, manipulative, or demanding support because of their untreated substance abuse or co-occurring mental health disorders.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is struggling with untreated mental health disorders or co-occurring substance abuse disorders, it’s important to learn how to avoid codependency because avoiding codependency can prevent things like enabling behaviors. When you learn how to avoid codependency, you are setting yourself and your loved one up for success by creating an environment conducive to recognizing the need for help and professional treatment from facilities like Water Gap Wellness Center.
How to Avoid Codependency
If you notice that you are experiencing codependency in your relationship, it’s important to start with yourself if you are trying to figure out how to avoid codependency. This means improving your self-esteem. Small things can boost your self-esteem regularly, such as:
- Learning something new
- Writing down your positive attributes when you see them in action
- Talking positively to yourself
How to Avoid Codependency with Boundaries
Beyond boosting your self-esteem, you can work on maintaining boundaries. Setting boundaries is an important part of avoiding codependency. When you set boundaries, you let your partner know what things you find acceptable versus not acceptable. This is an important part of communication in any situation, not just those who are trying to get out of codependency.
In order to facilitate this action, it’s important to spend some time asking yourself what behaviors from your partner cause you to feel unhappy or what things you do as a part of that codependency that didn’t leave you feeling completely satisfied.
Once you know what things you are personally okay with doing or accepting from the other person, you can explain that to them so that they understand where the lines are drawn and what the consequences will be if those lines are crossed in the future.
Avoiding Codependency with Communication
Learning how to set boundaries naturally provides an opportunity for introspection while facilitating positive, assertive communication. In codependent relationships, one party is often silent, avoiding any uncomfortable fights, discussions, and consequences of the unhealthy behaviors of the other person. Setting boundaries can encourage individuals to find their voice, utilizing assertive communication by:
- Clearly explaining thoughts
- Continuing in a discussion until a resolution is found instead of ignoring the problem
- Using “I” statements
Opportunities for ongoing introspection help you figure out the ways in which you take care of yourself and whether you agree to do things or say things that cause guilt and regret down the line. You might have chances to ask yourself whether you feel physically, emotionally, or financially drained because of the way in which you maintain a codependent relationship. Developing resentment toward a loved one because of the help you give can often be a clear sign that it’s time to figure out how to avoid codependency.
Avoiding Codependency with Professional Treatment
If you are noticing codependency in yourself or a loved one, learning how to avoid codependency might create an environment where your loved one recognizes that they need help with mental health disorders or substance abuse. When you are ready for help, Water Gap Wellness Center is here.
Many individuals with untreated substance abuse or mental health disorders benefit from professional therapy and medication management services. Water Gap Wellness Center is a secluded treatment center that provides multiple levels of care for substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Our facility specializes in multiple levels of outpatient care, which can be catered to your schedule. Our step-down approach provides several programs through which each client can transition as they achieve goals in recovery or management of co-occurring mental health disorders. A big part of our personalized treatment programs can involve family therapy.
Family therapy is designed around individual family needs. In certain cases, your therapist might work with you and your family to identify codependency and provide techniques for avoiding codependency, setting healthy boundaries, and encouraging actions that best support individuals in recovery.
Reach out to Water Gap Wellness Center today to learn more about our treatment options.