The term “codependent” describes relationships in which one partner pours all of his or her efforts into meeting the other’s needs, particularly when the spouse receiving the effort is unable to meet them him- or herself due to mental illness, addiction, or harmful or criminal behavior.
Codependency is not healthy. Codependency is not love. When you recognize that you are codependent on your spouse, divorce is the healthiest option. Divorce is not all you need, though. You also need to work with a mental healthcare professional to work through the challenges you suffer because of your codependency, whether they are diagnosable disorders like depression and anxiety disorders or they are unhealthy coping mechanisms like people-pleasing and difficulty communicating effectively.
Signs of Codependency
A codependent spouse behaves the way he or she does in order to maintain a sense of “normal” in his or her household. This can be as much to protect him- or herself as it is to protect his or her spouse from the consequences the spouse’s behavior would otherwise bring.
- An excessive need for control. The codependent spouse might feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility for the household and with it, behave in a controlling manner;
- Dependency on others. The codependent spouse might become dependent on friends, children, or others in his or her life for the emotional support he or she does not receive from the spouse;
- Communication challenges. An individual in a codependent relationship might be unable to recognize his or her own personal boundaries or voice them. He or she might also feel unable to accurately express his or her perspectives and feelings; and
- Denial. A codependent spouse who knows he or she is not in a healthy relationship might choose to ignore that fact and deny that anything is wrong.
What To Do When You Recognize Signs of Codependency in Yourself
If you are not yet ready to end your marriage, get the mental healthcare you need first. Some people need to get themselves to a healthier place mentally before they are ready to begin the divorce process.
In the meantime, it might be in your best interest to separate yourself from your spouse. Talk to an experienced family lawyer about separate maintenance, Michigan’s version of a legal separation, so you can retain the marital assets and financial support you need while living apart from your spouse. You do not deserve to live in an abusive household or one stricken by addiction. Do the right thing for yourself by getting out.
Work with an Experienced Clinton Township Divorce Lawyer
When you recognize signs of codependency in yourself, you need to exit your marriage. Your marriage is not a healthy one, and although it can be difficult to detach and leave, you need to do so if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Work with an experienced divorce lawyers to connect with a mental healthcare professional who can help you work through your codependency and who can get you started on the divorce process. Contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today to set up your free legal consultation with us.