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How to overcome codependency in relationships

Recovery from codependence

Just as with the recovery from any addiction, recovery from codependence is based on forming a dynamic relationship with God.

The codependent and control

You see, in a very real way, the codependent is committing emotional idolatry — that is, feeling that someone or something has God – like control over reality. The codependent alternately attributes superhuman power to his or her own self and to the addict. The spiritual basis for recovery from codependency is thus to let go of the maddening pursuit of inhuman perfection and to embrace human imperfection. God is perfect. The rest of us—addicts, codependents, and everyone else—are all just doing the very best we can with what we have.

God-consciousness is the foundation of a new life and a new perspective of reality, for as long as one is devoted to an imaginary vision of perfection, it is impossible to live contentedly in the real world. One must instead learn to trust in the only true perfection—an all-powerful God who is always perfectly in control.

Overcoming codependency and acceptance

We may not like reality. That’s okay. We are entitled to our opinion. But the fact is that everything is always the way it needs to be, at least for right now.

We are not God. We cannot be. We don’t need to be.

We cannot control what other people do. And what other people do should not control us.

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Photo credit: Raphael Perez

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3 Responses to “How to overcome codependency in relationships
What's the scenario?
11:36 am March 24th, 2011

I can totally relate to this. Acceptance of God’s plan is essential for our mental health, regardless of how you define yourself (addict, codependent, etc.). And I think that the message can help anyone who ever feels like life is not the way that it should be.

Edda
11:39 am March 24th, 2011

First of all, we all have vices, so to label a segment of our completely vice-ridden society “addicts,” as if they have a monopoly on addictive tendencies, is already caste-creating and snooty. Control freaks are usually attracted to those who are totally out of control (in this case “addicts”) for 2 reasons: 1) they envy the addicts seemingly care free lifestyle because that kind of freedom is foreign and unattainable to them and 2) they can hide their own unmanagability in pig pen addict’s cloud of dust because addicts are so unmanagable, they make non-drug addicts around them look sane by default. And this camoflage is very important to the control freak (codependent). I have been with many codependents and, if you are reading between the lines, I have no love for them. They are usually even bigger ego-maniacs than the drug addict. Rescuing “losers” and playing God is every bit a form of self-medication to them as the dope is to the junkie. For them, finding an addict to “adopt” is the fix they need in order to justify never focusing on or fixing themselves. They are just as human as the rest of us junkies and crackheads, but their lack of self-acceptance trumps even the most desperate addict and denial is their best friend too. Addicts and those who “love” them (if you can call rescuing and controlling “love” have way more in common than any codependent would like to admit. They are both hardcore narcissists who thrive on instant self-gratification. The only difference is in there drugs of choice. My suggestion to those who claim to love us addicts to find the addict in yourself first, by any means necessary, and get real about what really draws you to us. Admit that you are every bit as strung out on chaos as we are and really wish you could be that free…

Tammy
12:01 am May 29th, 2016

“The spiritual basis for recovery from codependency is thus to let go of the maddening pursuit of inhuman perfection and to embrace human imperfection.”
I am trying so hard to grasp my situation with addiction and codependency! But, is this article suggesting I embrace my stoned husband? Accept it, and what, be okay with maybe this is as good as it gets? I am not a control freak and I’m not jealous of his carefree lifestyle. I myself am an addict (in recovery) and I long for a relationship with the unaltered man I married.

About Rabbi Shais Taub

Rabbi Shais Taub is one of today's most respected young scholars of Jewish spirituality and practice. National Public Radio called him "an expert in Jewish mysticism and the Twelve Steps." He is the author of God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction.

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