How to stop being an EMOTIONAL CODEPENDENT of your partner

  • Nov 18, 2021
click fraud protection
How to stop being an emotional codependent of your partner

Emotional codependency has been little studied and hardly appears in the scientific literature, therefore, it is a poorly known topic in mental health. In Psychology-Online, we want to delve into this topic that is so on the rise today. Which is related to problems as serious as drug addiction or sexist violence. We will see what codependency is in the couple, what are the symptoms of a codependent person and how to stop being emotional codependent of your partner.

You may also like: How to stop thinking about your ex-partner


  1. What is emotional codependency
  2. Characteristics of emotional codependency
  3. Causes of emotional codependency in the couple
  4. How to differentiate love from emotional codependency to your partner
  5. How to overcome emotional codependency

What is emotional codependency.

Emotional codependency is a concept that refers to the uncontrollable emotional need, and even pathological, that one person feels for another. This type of dependency is usually more common in relationships. One of the members of the couple organizes and behaves according to the decisions of her partner. The emotional codependent becomes a submissive person who idealizes his partner, making him the focus of attention in her life. On the other hand, the couple adopts the dominant role, and it is this imbalance of roles that weakens the relationship. The imbalance gives rise to a vicious circle that causes an increase in the power of the dominant partner and a decrease in the self-esteem of the codependent person.

Characteristics of emotional codependency.

What is a codependent person like? The characteristics of emotional codependents can be classified into three groups: characteristics related to the partner, characteristics at an interpersonal level and characteristics spirits.

  • In the group of characteristics related to the couple, the extreme need to be with the partner, the tendency to exclusivity in the relationship, the prioritization and idealization of the partner, subordination, past toxic relationships and intense fear of breakup.
  • Within the group of characteristics at the interpersonal level, are the need to please others, the difficulty to make decisions and the lack of social skills.
  • Finally, in the group of psychic characteristics, it is worth highlighting the low self-esteem, the low level of personal satisfaction, the excessive fear of loneliness and destructive mood. In the following article, you will find more information about the self-esteem.

These manifestations can lead to the development of problems such as depressive or conduct disorders eating, self-destructive personality, substance use and / or recurrent victims of sexual abuse and physical.

How to stop being emotional codependent on your partner - Characteristics of emotional codependency

Causes of emotional codependency in the couple.

The main potential causes of emotional codependency of the couple are:

  • Unsatisfactory affective relationships in childhood and / or adolescence.
  • Maintenance of unrequited affective relationships.
  • Development of a fictitious self-esteem.
  • Biological factors: among the biological factors, it is worth highlighting the female gender and the type of temperament.
  • The manifestation of depressive symptoms.
  • Culture.
  • Family history.

How to differentiate love from emotional codependency to your partner.

How do I know if I have or if my partner has emotional codependency? Let's see the differences between a healthy relationship and a relationship with codependency:

  • Relationships with emotional codependency and relationships based on love differ mainly in that codependent couples want to avoid loneliness and couples who love each other enjoy each other's company of the other person.
  • They also differ in that in love relationships the couple complements each other and, however, in codependent relationships the dependent person is the one who adapts to the other person.
  • Regarding the time of the couple members, couples who love each other share time both together and separately, while codependent couples only want to do things in the company of their partners. This difference is closely related to trust in the partner.
  • Love relationships are based on mutual respect and trust, however, relationships with emotional codependency they focus on controlling the partner at all times.
  • When a relationship is based on love, both members of the couple are free and in a relationship with emotional codependency the person acts to please the otherYou can even use manipulation to be with your partner.
How to stop being emotional codependent of your partner - How to differentiate love from emotional codependency to your partner

How to overcome emotional codependency.

People who are emotionally codependent of their partners feel that they are unable to live without their partner, therefore, it is It is important that they acquire social and coping tools and skills so that they can cope with the situation. In the same way, it is essential that they work on themselves in order to strengthen their self-esteem. This process is not an easy task but it is necessary to be able to opt for healthier and more symmetrical relationships.

How is emotional codependency cured? The keys that can facilitate this process are the following:

  1. Accept the situation. It is essential that we are aware of the break in order to identify the reason for it and accept the why of its end, to be able to disassociate itself from the couple and learn from the mistakes regarding future relations.
  2. Work on yourself. This key is essential to become the protagonist of our life again, as well as to dedicate ourselves to our personal and emotional care. This will favor the increase of our self-esteem and the reduction of insecurities.
  3. Correct erroneous beliefs. This objective can be achieved through cognitive restructuring, a psychological technique that allows modify the dysfunctional content of our thoughts to transform them into beliefs more adaptive. For example, going from thinking that our partner is the engine of our life, to thinking that our partner is a mere companion and not the protagonist. To do this, I can help you to know the Myths of romantic love.
  4. Increase the number of interpersonal relationships. The fact of increasing our social circle facilitates the disconnection of the couple at the level of dependency. Since, we have more people to lean on and make plans than just our partner.
  5. Develop social skills. This key is based on acquiring tools to facilitate socialization, which is very useful to gain confidence in ourselves. Here we explain Activities to work on social skills in adults.
  6. Enhance autonomy. Autonomy is an essential requirement to leave codependency behind and feel capable of developing any activity on our own. In addition, the development of autonomy allows the achievement of objectives and, therefore, personal fulfillment.
  7. Ask for psychological help. This last key is essential to be able to work in a safe and controlled environment, with a qualified professional who has with the necessary skills to accompany the codependent person in this process of recovery and cognitive restructuring.

In this article, you will find more information about How to overcome emotional dependence on your partner.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to stop being an emotional codependent of your partner, we recommend that you enter our category of Feelings.


  • Arocena, F. TO. L., & Ceballos, J. C. M. (2017). Emotional dependence, awareness of the present and communication styles in conflict situations with the partner. Teaching and research in psychology, 22(1), 66-75. Available in:
  • Cañete, E. P., & Novas, F. P. (2012). Resolution of couple conflicts in adolescents, sexism and emotional dependence. Quaderns de psychologia. International journal of psychology, 14(1), 45-60. Available in:
  • Castelló, J. (2000). Analysis of the concept of emotional dependence. In I Virtual Congress of Psychiatry (Vol. 5, No. 8). Available in:
  • De la Villa-Moral, María, Sirvent, Carlos, Ovejero, Anastasio, & Cuetos, Glenda. (2018). Emotional dependence on relationships and Artemis syndrome: explanatory model. Psychological therapy, 36(3), 156-166.
instagram viewer