Codependency Is An Issue Often Associated With Addiction.
Codependency is a tough subject, because there is no 100 percent typical test you can take to understand if you might be codependent with a partner. There are warning signs and behaviors that predict and signify codependency in a relationship. However, it is not officially recognized as a mental disorder. The line between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one is often unclear.
Those from the outside can often see when relationships are unhealthy and codependent. We know this is a real thing whether officially recognized or not. It’s likely we all know couples who have codependent relationships, to varying degrees, although they’re not always pathological.
Sometimes codependency is most evident in relationships where addiction is taking place as well. This can be where codependent relationships can be particularly destructive. Because codependent relationships often have one partner “enabling” another partner, this can create serious problems with addiction.
If you think you might be codependent with a partner, we’ve gathered some information below on what codependency is, how to tell if you might be codependent, and how to overcome it.
What Is Codependency
In the most simple terms, codependent relationships are unhealthy ways of relating to partners. These partners are most often romantic partners, but other relationships can develop as well, such as between parents and children or siblings.
Codependency means one or both parties in the relationship are nearly totally dependent on the other party for a sense of self worth and self esteem. While these relationships can be somewhat equal, with both partners giving and taking relatively equally, they often contain one partner who is colloquially known as the “taker” and another who is the “giver”.
These relationships often include subtle manipulation on the part of one or both partners. Usually the “giver” is dependent on their sense of self-worth from the “taker” who uses manipulation to get what they want from the “giver”.
How Do Codependency And Addiction Interact?
One of the most dangerous parts of this kind of relationship is that the “giver” can enable drug and alcohol addiction. Because they desire the love and affection of the “taker” so much, they can do things they normally wouldn’t do, like enable an addiction, to keep the “giver” in their lives and giving them affection.
Codependency is a common problem with alcoholics, addicts, and other drug abusers. Because of the nature of addiction, many users can prey on those they love most to give them the money, time, excuses, and other necessities for keeping an addiction alive over the long term.
This, of course, is detrimental to the addict over time because it prevents them from getting the real help they need to quit using drugs and alcohol for good. The longer an addiction runs often can mean the more difficult it is to treat and the more possibility for complications, trouble with the law, or even death.
How To Tell If You Might Be Codependent
If you think you might be the “giver” in a codependent relationship, it can be hard to come to the realization that your relationship is unhealthy. Furthermore, it can be hard to identify a codependent relationship in the first place.
As mentioned above, while there is no medical diagnosis for codependent relationships, these questions can be helpful in understanding if you’re codependent.
- Do you have poor self esteem? Do you feel your personal worth or value is based on the opinions of your partner or loved one?
- Do you often bail out your partner from situations they have gotten themselves into?
- Do you ignore your own personal needs and wants in favor of the needs and wants of your partner or loved one?
- Have you lost a sense of joy or satisfaction if you’re not with your partner or doing things that don’t meet the approval of your partner?
- Have you had difficulty separating your own feelings from the feelings of your partner?
- Do you sometimes feel useless without the approval of your partner or loved one?
- Do you often feel that you are responsible for the actions of your partner, even when it wasn’t really your fault?
- Do you feel things like anxiety or depression often, because you don’t think you’re making your partner happy?
- Have your boundaries and values shifted because of your partner and their actions?
- Do you feel like you’re too often sacrificing yourself for your partner and their wishes?
If you have answered yes to many of these questions, it might be a good time to talk to a psychologist, psychotherapist, or other medical professional about your relationship as you might be codependent.
How To Overcome Codependency
The best advice we have: speak to a therapist. Codependent relationships often develop because of unique traumas in the lives of each person in the relationship. They are often the result of deeper issues that can best be worked out with a therapist but are difficult to tackle alone.
Again, we highly recommend therapy. Even if you don’t think you need therapy you do. Not because you’re broken or bad, because everyone needs therapy. It’s like brushing your teeth for your brain, or your annual physical.
Speak to a professional. A professional will be able to guide you into better habits and ways of thinking, allow you to contextualize your actions, practice clear and nonviolent communication, and to have a happy and healthy relationship.
Get Treatment For Addiction And Other Psychological Disorders
If you need a therapist in Tennessee, Kentucky or Florida, give us a call at 888-985-2207. We have helped many people beat addiction and the issues that surround it— like codependency. We’re looking forward to helping you heal, and to making your relationships the best they can
- years in the field