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10 Tips and Exercises for Overcoming Codependency

Three people talking about some tips for overcoming codependency

Codependency is a relationship in which each party cannot act independently. Codependent relationships are often destructive, with manipulative and toxic behavior from either party. Codependency is a co-occurring disorder, and codependency treatment should be part of an individual’s holistic recovery program.

Ashwood Recovery offers dual diagnosis treatment for codependency and drug or alcohol abuse. Our staff is equipped to treat multiple disorders concurrently, allowing for more successful rehabilitation and long-term sobriety. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction and codependency, don’t hesitate to contact our team at 888.341.3607 to learn more about our mental health program for codependency and how we can help you get the treatment you or your loved one needs.

What Are the Signs of Codependency?

Codependency is often rooted in childhood due to emotional neglect, which results in low self-esteem and shame. Codependency may also arise when one partner in a relationship has an addiction, and the other assumes a caretaker role. In codependent relationships, both partners will be negatively impacted.

How can you tell if you’re in a codependent relationship? While there are no set rules, codependent relationships often display a combination of the following characteristics:

  • A lack of boundaries, either for themselves or for others
  • People-pleasing or difficulty in saying “no,” resulting in feelings of guilt, shame, or resentment
  • Acting helplessly or manipulating others into taking care of them
  • Rationalizing their partner’s poor behavior or their partner’s lack of responsibility
  • Struggling with feelings of control, either their moods, their partners, or their situation
  • Low self-esteem or basing their self-worth on the needs and opinions of their partner
  • Caretaking or assuming responsibility for their partner’s problems
  • Incessant fear of abandonment, feeling anxiety and depression due to their relationship
  • Extreme jealousy or chronic anger, an inability to admit wrong

Codependency is a risk factor for substance addiction. A person with codependency may also be pressured to abuse alcohol and drugs to bond with their partner.

How Can You Overcome Codependency?

If you wish to eliminate codependent behavior to contribute to your or your loved one’s recovery, these tips for overcoming codependency may help:

  • Awareness and acceptance – Acknowledge that codependency is a problem, not just for you or your loved one’s recovery. Awareness is an essential step in correcting harmful behavior.
  • Treat addictions, if any – Addiction and codependency tend to exacerbate each other, so treating them separately may not work.
  • Learn to process past trauma – An overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety may be connected to previous traumatic experiences.
  • Communicate your feelings – The more open and transparent your communication, the better you will get at identifying pain points and effecting change.
  • Practice self-care – Nourish yourself to boost your self-esteem and independence. Take a hobby or a class to create a space for yourself outside the relationship.
  • Develop decision-making skills – Identify moments when you usually rely on your loved one’s opinion to make a decision and look inward instead.
  • Learn to delegate – Try to pass on tasks to others who may have more time, skills, or emotional bandwidth to handle your loved one’s needs.
  • Learn to enjoy independence – Do small, pleasurable tasks like going to the movies, eating out, or walking.
  • Accept the possibility of disappointing others – Learning to tolerate the idea that you may let your partner down and being okay with it will decrease the feelings of guilt and shame.
  • Seek help – A therapist or support group may help a codependent person to identify and overcome their patterns.

At Ashwood Recovery, we believe in holistic treatment for all recovery programs. A dual diagnosis program for codependency and addiction treatment will lead to a more successful recovery and long-term sobriety.

Learn How to Overcome Codependency and Get Addiction Treatment at Ashwood Recovery in Boise, Idaho

If you believe that you or your loved ones can benefit from our codependency and addiction treatment programs, please contact our team at 888.341.3607 so that we may develop a treatment plan that is best for you.