Join Date: Sep 2010
Ending Unhealthy, Codependent Relationships
This is one of the best articles I ever read on Ending Unhealthy, Codependent Relationships.
I sincerely hope this helps somebody - because I've had to to it!
When to Say Good-bye and End a Friendship.
Sometimes friendships have to end, especially if they're codependent or unhealthy. Here's when to say good-bye to a bad friend.
Ending an unhealthy, codependent relationship is difficult, but it's vital to know when it's time to say good-bye to a friend who is not good for you - for your own emotional and mental health!
Drifting apart happens even when people were once very close friends: people move, life circumstances change, priorities are shifted, jobs lost or found, people simply change, and the friendship changes too.
Sometimes friends just lose touch and move on. Other times people end relationships on purpose, especially if they're weak or unhealthy. When people end unhealthy friendships, they decide to say good-bye for good and cut off all contact.
Whether it's deliberate or a matter of drifting away, ending friendships can be hard to accept -- even if your friend was bad or your relationship was unhealthy or codependent.
Why People End Friendships
Some relationships are weaker than others, which makes ending them easier. If friendships aren't based on similarities or true connections, ending them seems inevitable. Unhealthy friendships may not last very long, especially if the bonds aren't authentic.
Several factors can masquerade as "things in common":
proximity (simply living or working near one another), common friends, partners who are friends, children who are friends, or loneliness. Other relationships start in one chapter of life, and don't easily transfer into the next chapter, such as a friendship that began in while you were married to one person, and that ended after the divorce. Then, ending friendships may not be deliberate, but rather more natural.
Other friendships or even bad family relationships are deliberately shut down because they're unhealthy or codependent. Ending a friendship is a difficult, often painful decision (even with bad friends or weak relationships).
How to Know if Your Relationship is Codependent and Unhealthy
Consider ending a friendship if:
You don't feel respected, and your friend doesn't seem to hear your concerns. For instance, they may be constantly late meeting you and then disregard your feelings. Or they borrow money and neglect to repay it, or borrow items and return them broken or not at all.
You can't speak your mind honestly, or can't find space in the conversation to speak at all (healthy boundaries don't exist with bad or codependent friends).
You leave your visits feeling depressed, frustrated, exhausted, depleted or angry. A friend should leave you feeling happy, content, connected, and hopeful. A bad friend makes you feel bad.
Your friend behaves immorally, unethically, illegally, or in any way that runs counter to your beliefs and values or won't try to understand you. Ending a friendship like this -- which can be codependent -- may be the best thing for both of you.
Your friend never makes the effort to call or visit you. You find yourself reaching out, with minimal success. Sometimes you don't even need to formally end a friendship with bad friends, it just happens naturally. Unhealthy, codependent friendships can die a natural death.
You're friends with an energy vampire (a type of bad friend that steals all your energy). Ending unhealthy friendships could protect your well-being.
Another reason to end codependent friendships are unmet expectations. A huge part of any relationship is expectations. If you expect your friend to show up on time, and you're kept waiting, then you'll be disappointed. But -- this isn't necessarily a bad friend or unhealthy friendship. If you know you'll have to wait and even bring a book or your laptop, then you may not feel disrespected or frustrated. All friendships require concessions, exceptions and loving forgiveness -- and you have to decide if your friendship is worth it.
What is your perspective on the friendship? Another aspect of all relationships is your view of the issues. Is tardiness a sign of a disrespectful or bad friend or simple disorganization? Is immoral behavior universally wrong (For ex: selling crystal meth to 12 year olds) or a matter of opinion (Christians shouldn't drink wine)? Take an objective look at your friendship; do the benefits outweigh the negatives? If you're considering ending a friendship, consider the relationship as a whole.
When the quality of the friendship outweighs the perceived misdemeanors, then hold on to your friend; good ones are hard to find. But, if the friendship involves more struggle and frustration than connection and joy, then it may be time to say good-bye to a bad friend.
Ending unhealthy relationships can protect your health and well-being.