Ever felt stuck in a relationship knowing full well things weren’t working in spite of your efforts yet you’d felt helpless, unable to leave? Or maybe your last relationship ended some time ago if it weren’t for the fact you and your ex somehow other manage to re-emerge in each other’s lives. Perhaps you’re feeling controlled or smothered, locked into a seemingly endless power struggle with your partner. Or are you one of those believing that you’re forever cursed to meeting the ‘wrong’ people? Regardless of your circumstance, being in a poisonous relationship is a lot like being in your own prison. http://www.cryptocurrencytradingcn.com

A relationship can provide for a secure bond with your partner. Such a bond can be a source for tremendous growth, self-discovery, and great joy. A relationship can also be a life-draining entity; a malignant, hostile, and unfriendly place where our very security (and sanity) feels threatened. If a toxic relationship is the prison, codependency is the warden to which we unwittingly submit to. The upshot is that some who go to prison end up finding themselves; their inner peace, their solitude, and yes as paradoxical as it may sound, their freedom too.

If you’re reading this then it is likely that you’re in the throes of an unhealthy relationship. Or maybe your last relationship imploded and you’re in the process of picking up the pieces, wanting not to repeat the lessons of old. “Why do I keep getting into dysfunctional relationships?”, a client of mine quips, head buried in his hands. Another client, frustrated and disheartened ponders aloud “I saw the red flags, why didn’t I get out when I had the chance?”.

Feeling imprisoned often leaves one feeling hopeless
Whether you’ve had 3 failed relationships in as many years, remain stuck in a toxic pattern with your partner looking for a way forward, or you’re wanting to improve the overall quality of your connections, this article is for you.

Below are 5 ways to help you bust-out of the codependency prison:

1. NOBODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HAPPINESS BUT YOU
Relationships can sometimes have an addictive quality. When another person feels like our salvation to an undesirable life situation, it is easier to relate to the addict who turns to drugs to escape his/her pain. As with any addiction, once the initial euphoria wears-off that other person can feel like the source of our discontent.

As with any addiction, the first step towards recovery (breaking out from the prison) begins when we take accountability; for our thoughts, our feelings, and in particular our needs. This one simple truth is liberating. Once you’ve realized that you’re responsible for yourself, you then have the freedom to make a change for the better.

2. COPING BETTER WITH UNCERTAINTY
Your partner is upset. The day is seemingly at a stand-still as you are paralyzed with intrusive thoughts, worried about the state of your relationship. Your partner hasn’t texted you all day. You begin to panic. Worried that something’s wrong you send a text hoping for a response to set your mind at ease. An hour later and no reply. Panic begins to set-in, your stomach begins to knot up.

You’re starting to really like that cool new guy you’ve been dating the past 3 weeks. It seemed as though that last date went well, but a week has gone by and he’s yet to ask you out. With each passing day you anxiously wonder “Does he really like me?”, “Am I going to see him again?”, “Did I move too fast and he lost interest?”.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these thoughts, they become unhealthy when they imbued with an obsessive quality. Consumed by such thoughts we become anxious, easily irritated, and face an ongoing struggle to be present throughout the day. It may not be all that surprising to learn that these anxieties often lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. The guy seeking validation from his partner through a text message finds his ‘proof’ that he is unloveable by her latent reply, pushing her away as he protests her lack of responsiveness (she was actually tied-up in a business meeting). The young woman unsure if the guy she’s dating shares the same feelings pulls away feels shame for ‘too eagerly’ putting herself out there. He does the same assuming she’s no longer interested.

When our attachment fears are activated we may react as though he were starring us right in the eye.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re probably wondering how you can ‘cool’ yourself when dealing with uncertainty. While there is no way to inoculate yourself from all anxiety, the closest thing to a panacea is by giving yourself daily ‘doses’ of meditation.

By meditation I am not talking about spirituality, a religious experience, or having some sort of a divine epiphany (although if its any of these things, great!). Rather, the goal of meditation here is simply to calm the mind’s chatter. This is done through the act of being present. To become more present, is to be free of toiling in past thoughts, or future projections. When we are present, grounded within ourselves. We are also able to stave-off any temptation to react so situations out of impulse. The space that meditation gives us, cools the limbic area of the brain and allows the prefrontal context (the area responsible for judgments, evaluations etc) to stay ‘online’ so we can then make more informed decisions. This can mean the difference between REACTING and RESPONDING to a situation.

By yanam49

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