How to Heal from Codependency

If you know you are codependent, what do you do to get healed from it?

Codependency is not an unchangeable personality flaw or some genetic fluke. Any of us can move from codependency to a healthy, mutual give-and-take in our relationships. The key to change is motivation. What kind of motivation? When your pain in the relationship is greater than your fear of abandonment, the motivation for change is powerful. Moving away from the pain of codependency then becomes a matter of choice and commitment. If you feel that the relationship you are in is more a curse than a blessing – when it brings more death to your soul than life – this is motivation for change in the relationship. Deuteronomy 30:19–20 “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you … may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.”

Steps to Heal from Codependency:

  • Confront the Fact That You Are Codependent: Admit the truth to yourself. Before you can be free from the grasp of codependency, you must be honest with yourself about your emotional addiction to another person. Admit the truth to someone else. Identify the beliefs and behaviours that have perpetuated your emotional addiction and share them with an objective, trusted friend. Admit the truth to God. Realise that your emotional addiction is a serious sin in the eyes of God. Choose now to confess it to Him. James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
  • Confront the Consequences of Your Codependency: Accept responsibility for how your past experiences and reactions have hurt your adult relationships (such as your becoming manipulative, controlling, possessive, or angry). Accept responsibility for the pain you have caused yourself because of your codependency (such as your becoming jealous, envious, selfish, or obsessive). Accept responsibility for the ways in which your codependency has weakened your relationship with God (such as a loss of quantity time, quality time, and intimacy with the Lord). Proverbs 28:13 “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
  • Confront Your Painful Emotions: Understand that you will have pain no matter what you choose. If you leave the codependent relationship, you will hurt, but if you stay, you will hurt. However, the only hope for future healing is leaving the codependent lifestyle.  Understand that when the intensity of the relationship diminishes you will experience emotional “withdrawal” from the exhilarating highs. Understand that you will need the support of others to get you through the initial pain of withdrawal and to help you avoid anesthetising your pain with a “secondary addiction.” Proverbs 27:9 “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.”
  • Confront Your “Secondary Addictions:” Recognise that, to numb the emotional pain of the relationship, codependency often leads to other addictions, such as a chemical dependency, sexual addiction, compulsive eating, or excessive spending. Recognise your “secondary addictions”; then seek counseling and spiritual support to overcome them. Recognise that recovery from a “secondary addiction” is dependent on recovery from your primary addiction. Proverbs 18:15 “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”

More about healing steps from codependency to come…