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How Do I Stop Being Codependent?

by Danielle Wright

Today, there is an abundance of information available online; however, ironically, it's easier to become misinformed. Relationship advice is at an all-time high because many impressionable young women and men are looking for guidance when it comes to their love life.

Sadly, that pseudo guidance, while free via apps like TikTok and Instagram, often comes with a hefty price tag: bitterness, loneliness, and sadness. According to the 2022 Cigna Group, 57% of men and 59% of women reported being lonely. This can be due to a lack of understanding when it comes to the self. We're so busy seeking advice on the opposite sex that almost no one ever asks the question, "Am I the problem?"

Codependency, narcissism, and toxicity are just some of the trigger words that have become overused and redefined for public consumption via these apps by non-experts. If we take a look at ourselves and solve those issues first, we would immediately see the changes we're looking for from those around us.

Related articles: What Causes Codependency?

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Codependency is not about wanting to see your partner every day or spending an exorbitant amount of time together, despite what the fake gurus try to convince their viewers for clicks and likes. Being codependent requires one partner to overcompensate in the relationship and invokes a feeling of worthlessness if not allowed to do so. They have to feel needed and make drastic sacrifices for their partner. When this happens, the other partner—also known as the enabler—allows their partner to overextend themselves for their pleasure without reciprocation.

In other words, if you've ever been in a relationship or situationship where you gave much more than required for the sake of keeping the other person happy, satisfied, or around, then you became codependent on the relationship. Meaning, you need the relationship to feel happy or good about yourself. Being single does not bode well for you. I see this most with women who sleep with men in hopes of entering into a relationship with them afterward.

Most men do not enter into relationships after sex unless it's someone they genuinely like or love before the act is done. Also, men do not like to feel smothered by their partners. If you or someone you know is emotionally dependent on their partner—your mood is adjusted depending on their attitude—then it could be time to seek professional help from a licensed relationship coach or, if you're needing to save money, you can subscribe to credible sources such as She’s SINGLE, Glamour, or Cosmopolitan. Articles from credible sources require in-depth research, unlike a 3-minute video on a social media app.

Related articles: What is Self-Abandonment?

You stop being codependent when you take accountability for your actions; your actions will always determine your outcome. Women who take pride in spending time alone, with their pets, family, and friends usually do not find themselves in codependent relationships. If their partner checks in once in the morning and then contacts them at night before bed, it’s enough for them. Unlike other women who require constant communication throughout the day from their partners, essentially giving up their independence if it means revolving their life around the other person for emotional gratification.

The average man is not codependent because most men from a young age are taught to be hardworking, responsible, masculine men who can lead, protect, and provide for a family of their own one day. Sure, one can argue that if men like to feel needed, wouldn’t that be a sign of codependency? The answer is no. Him feeling needed by a woman he adores means she is appreciative of his efforts. Most men simply want appreciation from their wives and/or girlfriends. However, the average woman is one of two things: selfish and independent or needy and codependent. Where is the in-between? The balance?

The other day I began rewatching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and the epitome of the type of woman I am describing is Lisa Rinna. Lisa is the balance; she is the in-between, she is a wife. Lisa is great with Harry, both in the scenes they share together and the scenes where she is simply singing his praises.

She allows him the space to lead, she appreciates his efforts, she compliments his ability to do things around the house, for her and their family. She is not aggressive, nor does she talk down to him. She is feminine, she is a damsel, but not useless. She is kind and leads with a smile whenever he is in her presence. Lisa makes Harry feel at peace.

I understand that in today’s climate, it may seem counterproductive for women to exhibit this type of behavior in their relationships; however, it’s important to do so for the sake of both you and your partner. The internet has made it easy for everyone to have an opinion, mostly those who are single and miserable.

Happily married men and women are not on the internet giving dating advice; do you ever notice that? I encourage women to stop taking advice from unlicensed professionals who have acquired all of their knowledge from other videos and have never read a single textbook on the topic. Here at She’s SINGLE, every piece of advice comes from licensed professionals who have a degree in family therapy, cognitive and behavioral therapy, or, like myself, hold a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family therapy.

Related articles: Can a Soulmate Be A Friend?

As previously mentioned, your outcome is determined by your actions. Codependency is a learned behavior, usually during childhood, and comes from a place of abandonment. If we learn the problem, solve the problem, we can break generational curses and flourish.


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