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Toxic relationships and co-dependency – how to get out of them

Photo: Karin


Love is beautiful – but as soon as we start giving ourselves up for it, it becomes dangerous! We are talking about toxic, i.e. poisoning relationships. This can be a partnership as well as a family relationship. Why we should value ourselves enough and how we can take the step out of the relationship to become happy again? This is what Karin tells you, and there are also 4 tips from Ludwig on how to free yourself from co-dependency.



When the family offers no shelter – Karin’s co-dependency

“My father was an alcoholic. Ever since I can remember, he was always drinking. There were good phases and bad phases,” Karin (32, from Ebsdorf) tells us. “When I was little, he was a so-called “episode drinker”. There were weeks or even months when he didn’t drink a drop of beer and then came the phases when he reached for the bottle early on. At some point, he developed into a mirror drinker, which means he was always drinking.

We as a family, that is my mother, my big sister and my little brother were co-dependent. We did everything possible to maintain my father and the “good family image”. We put bottles away or excused my father when he missed another appointment because he was drunk in bed.


The appearance on the outside that destroys the inside

We lived on a farm and I took over his chores at an early age. I was forbidden to talk about alcoholism. Our family motto was: “We have to stick together.” I was not allowed to invite anyone to my home and was not allowed to go to anyone’s home myself. As a result, I had hardly any friends.

On my 23rd birthday, my father tried to commit suicide. Thank God he didn’t succeed and I was able to get to know him all over again. He was sober for many years before he had a relapse, which this time he did not succeed in beating, and died of it.


You may live a fulfilled life!

I myself have worked through my family history in therapy and have consciously given the responsibility back to my father and also to my mother. I have consciously decided to live my life now. The past is gone and it will remain a part of my life. Nevertheless, I have the right to a good life and may give everything for it,” Karin knows today. She has managed to leave her past behind and live a fulfilled life. Today, as a healer in the field of psychotherapy herself, she even helps others to find their own way, strengthened and self-confident. Here she talks about her suffering from physical and mental scars and how she overcame them.


Karin’s tip for all those affected: You are allowed to talk about it and get help!

“This is what I would like to advise affected women who are caught in the system of co-dependency – you are allowed to seek help! And you can talk! It is not your responsibility that the drug addict takes his or her drugs. It is not you who give him or her alcohol, but the addict himself. And the addict must decide for himself to become free of the stuff. You cannot do that by throwing away the alcohol. Even if it seems impossible that you can live in freedom – it is possible! You can get out of it and accept help.


Photo: Karin


How to heal your co-dependency – 4 tips to get out of a toxic relationship and towards yourself

How do you manage to stay with yourself in relationships? How do you manage to respect your needs, your boundaries, your inner truth without losing yourself in the expectations and demands of your partner? And how can you put an end to the unhealthy mechanism of losing yourself in relationships?

In his article on co-dependency for the online magazine “im gegenteil”, Ludwig summarises four great tips on how this can work. “There is a huge difference between love and co-dependency,” Ludwig writes. “Love is free – co-dependency makes you dependent. At the latest when we start to leave ourselves, love is no longer the foundation for our relationships, but co-dependency!”


How to get out of it – Ludwig’s 4 tips:

1. Recognise the co-dependent elements of your relationships!

This step is particularly difficult, but you need to be radically honest with yourself: In what areas are you abandoning yourself, possibly out of fear of abandonment and rejection? Where do you lose yourself in your partner’s expectations and needs to such an extent that you can no longer feel your true feelings? What strategies do you use to fight for love, what do you do to be liked, even though it goes against your deeper inner truth?

2. Choose love instead of neediness!

You have the choice. You can either remain in your co-dependent relationships and confuse your needy struggle for love with love, or take personal responsibility and release yourself from your role. What really heals is the decision to return to you. And to heal and integrate those dark, wounded parts that keep fuelling you in your struggle for love and validation. Remember: Your neediness is ultimately just a deeper longing of your soul for connection with yourself.

3. Heal your self-worth!

Perhaps your environment and your past have instilled in you patterns of feeling and believing that you are only lovable if you take yourself back and align all your actions and strivings with the needs and expectations of those around you. Now you know where to start: at the root of your self-esteem blocks. And in the consistent training to listen to your inner feelings and to raise the feeling for yourself to the guideline for your relationships.

4. “I leave YOURS with YOU” – your freedom mantra in relationships!

This is not a call for radical detachment, even though radical self-protection is sometimes necessary to maintain your emotional health. In principle, the following applies: You cannot and should not place the burdens of your partner and take on the responsibility for their feelings that they actually have to bear themselves. By the way, by doing this you also hinder his or her mental and spiritual development. At the latest from the time when you realise that your own self-determination is being limited again and again by the entanglements with your partner, it is necessary to bring your own responsibility back to you and return your partner’s self-responsibility to him or her.


intombi for girls – how you can be part of it!


👉 We are also interested in your story! In our #girlsforgirls online passion magazine, we introduce you every week to exciting and super strong young women, projects and important tips, all about a passion. We call this week – PassionWeek! 🤩 For a successful start into the future – according to our motto #girlsforgirls !👭💕🌍 Contact us and become the author of your life story – info@intombi.de



In our next article, Nicole will tell you how she herself managed to find her way back to herself from the crisis of a break-up and how she has learned to love and appreciate herself more than ever.




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