Are you married to an addict or someone with deep personal issues?
Is your marriage or family life going through a difficult time because of problems, financial concerns, abuse, or caring for a physically or emotionally handicapped family member?
If so, do you find yourself making excuses for these issues? Calling in sick for your alcoholic husband? Taking over the housework because your poor spouse is just too depressed to help? Denying that abuse is going on in your own home? Do you find yourself taking charge and bearing the burdens of the entire marriage or family?
You may be a codependent and this is a serious issue in marriages and families.
You may have learned to be codependent due to your family background. It happened in your family so you tend to be attracted to the same situation once you marry.
You may have learned behaviors such as making excuses, tuning out, controlling, excessive caretaking, being hyper-vigilant because you feel that you should do something to save your family from shame or to at least diffuse the situation and keep the peace. You also do this because you desire to be needed and fear of doing anything that would change the relationship.
Unfortunately, while such behaviors may reduce conflict and tension for the meantime, they won't help for the long term. All you are doing is reinforcing the situation and even, allowing it to worsen. You are also allowing yourself to be lost within the situation and, in the long run, may find yourself no longer able to cope.
What can you do to overcome codependence in your marriage and family life?
If you are reading this short article and have come to recognize that you do have this problem - congratulations. That is the first step in beginning to overcome codependence. Admit that you have a problem and take steps to begin changing it. It will require both self-help and professional help.
More often than not, these issues stem from deep seated psychological problems. Don’t let shame keep you from seeking the help of a counselor or psychologist. Additionally, there are programs similar to Codependents’ Anonymous that will help you process your issues and provide you with tools how to overcome them.
Your partner or family member may also need professional help, especially if they are battling clinical conditions or addiction. Work at getting them the help they need, whether they want it or not. There are some excellent suggestions in savemymarriagetoday.com's ebook "How to Change Your Partner from Addiction, Even If they don't want to!"
If there is abuse in your home, more radical steps must be taken. For the sake of your own self-respect and for your children, if you have any, break away from the situation. Find a shelter or group that will help you gain your independence and help you through healing and recovery.
Codependents need healing too and, once recognized, you should not allow the situation to continue. Get help.
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