Common Blocks To Curing Codependency

By Marlena Tillhon, MSc.

Realising that you struggle with codependency and doing something about it are two very different things.

You can stay stuck in learning about codependency for years and waste even more precious time. 

Breaking free from codependency means taking action.

A big part of that is identifying the blocks that stand in the way of our recovery.

The 5 most common blocks that I have found in my client work are denial, blame, avoidance, unwillingness and making excuses.

You need to remember that all of these are within your control. 

Let’s have a look at each block in more detail.


To take your first steps towards ending codependency you need to break through denial and admit that codependency is stopping you from getting what you want from your relationships and in life in general and from feeling how you want to feel.

It’s time to admit that you’re following codependent patterns that only ever lead to one-sided, unhealthy and unfulfilling relationships.

This means that whatever you do or don’t do will result in the very thing you fear – whether you’re aware of it or not. 

And so your only option, if you do want to end codependency, is to become aware of those patterns, to become aware of your codependent conditioning.

Denial will stop you from doing so. Get honest with yourself now.


Any time you blame someone else for your feelings, experiences and struggles, you absolve yourself of any responsibility, take a passive position and disempower yourself. 

This will stop you from seeing what you do or don’t do that results in your problems. 

Taking ownership and learning to take responsibility for yourself is the only way to fully end your struggles with codependency.

You need to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life. There just isn’t any other way around it no matter how scary it may feel at first.

Remind yourself that every time you blame, you choose to stay stuck in your codependent conditioning and you further disempower yourself.


We come up with so many reasons why we can’t make the change we so desperately need happen.

  • There isn’t enough time because we are too busy.
  • The children or some sick relative needs us.
  • We just can’t afford it.
  • We feel too traumatised by the past.
  • We are too busy to bring up all the old stuff.
  • We’ve tried a few sessions of counselling but it didn’t work.
  • We’ve read some books but they didn’t work either.
  • It’s just not the right time.

The truth is that these aren’t reasons – they are excuses. 

Excuses your codependent conditioning makes up to stay alive.

Everything in life wants to stay alive and so do old, unhealthy and unhelpful patterns that stop you from having self-esteem, loving relationships and a happy life.

Ending those patterns isn’t a walk in the park – it takes dedication, effort and commitment.

Excuses will stand in the way of that happening.

It is time for you to identify and drop these excuses and to see what NOT doing ending codependency actually costs you.


Most things we struggle with are a result of us trying to avoid a certain feeling or outcome.

Recovering from codependency lies in feeling confident to feel whatever feelings come up for you. 

That’s emotional resilience. That’s emotional mastery. That’s emotional freedom. 

So notice every time you try to avoid a feeling, a conversation, standing up for yourself, setting a boundary, disappointing someone by doing what is right for you … and do it anyway. 

Practice feeling.

Let yourself have the experience you fear to see that it is just the monster under the bed that only exists as long as you don’t look to check whether it is actually there.


Do not delude yourself into thinking that you are in recovery from codependency when you are, in fact, unwilling to do what it takes.

  • You show unwillingness every time you ignore, dismiss or invalidate yourself.
  • You show unwillingness every time you make excuses and put off getting professional support.
  • You show unwillingness every time you choose not to invest in yourself.
  • You show unwillingness every time you don’t set the boundary you need to set.
  • You show unwillingness every time you avoid your feelings.
  • You show unwillingness every time you don’t take action that is aligned with recovery and the development of a healthier you. 
  • You show unwillingness every time you don’t choose you and have a very good excuse ready.

Recovery is trying, failing and feeling.

That’s the path. Keep walking because you will get there. I promise.

Here’s what I need you to know:

I completely understand what it’s like. I get it. I remember the fear, the panic, the shame … the perfect storm of horrific feelings we cannot even name. Feeling trapped in codependency but too scared to let go of the only thing we’ve ever known.

I hold that with compassion. 

But I also see the potential in you. I also see the very real possibility of you not being trapped in your codependent conditioning. I can see it even if you can’t right now.

And I am not being harsh when I call you out on things that stop you from being who we both know you can be.

I am targeting your conditioning, the lies of the mind that will keep you trapped as long as you believe them to be true.

Because once you see how so much of what we believe and would swear on isn’t true, you’ll realise that everything I say comes from a place of compassion, connection and clarity.

I have had to dismantle all of these blocks and I have to keep an eye out for them today too. But I am not scared of any of them because I know that they are just old buddies that kept me safe when I was young and are still trying to do their job today even though I have grown up and developed skills that are much more effective, life-enhancing and healthy. 

So there’s no shame required. You’re not doing it wrong. You’re just doing what you’re used to. Old conditioning. It’s completely natural.

But I invite you today to pay attention to the blocks that might stop you from letting go of codependency in your life.

What stands in your way? Do you know?

Don’t be afraid of seeing what’s true.

It’s that that will set you free.

And if you want to work with me, get in touch.

With Love, Marlena

Psychotherapist, Codependency Expert & Relationship Coach Outgrow codependency by learning how to have a healthy relationship with yourself, healing old wounds, calming insecure attachment and developing healthy relationship skills so that you can finally create the relationship you long for and get the love you need.

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