Codependency refers to being reliant on someone else for your own happiness and sense of well-being. In a codependent relationship, one individual requires the support of the codependent person. Over time, both individuals will normalize their lack of independence and rely on one another in unhealthy ways. You can see how this could create some conflict. It can even destroy the relationship by leading to resentment or unhealthy boundaries.
In terms of addiction, codependency usually refers to a loved one becoming consumingly concerned with supporting and caring for another. For the person struggling with an addiction to substances such as benzos, opioids, or alcohol, this can encourage substance use. This can lead to enabling and create more of a problem for both people.
In a codependent relationship, there is an imbalance. One person is putting in a lot of effort while the other is not. Often, this level of giving and not receiving leads to neglect of the codependent person’s personal needs. This can result in poor mental health, financial struggles, and resentment toward the other person.
There are some telltale signs of codependency that could indicate a problem. Sometimes, it can be hard to detect codependency in the thick of things. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you may not discover it until treatment is underway and you both begin to recover. Getting help can help restore balance to the relationship and allow time and space for healing.
It is important to know that codependent relationships stretch far beyond solely romantic relationships or partnerships. Still, it is important to be aware of the common signs that could indicate that your relationship with a loved one may be codependent.
One of the signs of codependency is weak boundaries. Setting boundaries in relationships is essential. When it comes to addiction, boundaries are often crossed or disregarded. For the codependent person, boundaries are not important. They are so concerned with caring for the other person that they lose sight of what is important to them.
Often, a codependent person takes on the role of taking care of the other. This may eventually cause them to neglect their own needs. Rather than prioritizing their own health and well-being, a codependent person may prioritize the health and well-being of their partner who is struggling with an addiction. This might involve paying their partner’s bills or loaning them money. It could also include offering a place to live or providing transportation.
Many consider themselves caretakers by nature. Having a gift or passion for caring for others is very different than codependency. Caring for others while also caring for yourself can be healthy and rewarding. However, taking on the caretaker role while ignoring your own self-care and mental health is harmful.
In a codependent relationship, the person struggling with codependency often experiences low self-esteem or self-worth. This is because they gauge their worth by the success, happiness, and well-being, of the other person. Taking on this responsibility can be a huge burden and is often a losing battle.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, chances are they will not be successful or well until they seek treatment and begin their recovery journey. Working to control the situation and worrying about their well-being amidst their addiction can be exhausting and defeating.
This leads to low self-esteem and discouragement that carries over into all areas of life for the codependent. They may see their performance at work start to falter. Other relationships may begin to fail or become tense and uncomfortable. Their ability to communicate and make decisions can also be affected.
Enlightened Solutions helps clients and their families heal after addiction and learn to grow together in recovery. Parents, spouses, or other loved ones often become so concerned with controlling and managing the situation that they become codependent without realizing it.
Our family programs help loved ones identify codependency and work to become stronger in order to improve wellness and serve as a healthy support system. We understand the impact addiction can have on the family and recognize the need family members have for healing as well.
Codependency affects many people who are impacted by addiction. It not only brings the person experiencing codependency down but also enables the destructive behavior fueling the addiction. This prolongs the problem and leads to more potential for problems such as increased use, overdose, and more.
Identifying codependency is critical. If you discover that you have any of the signs noted above, it may be time to seek help. Our staff at Enlightened Solutions can help you and your family determine the best course of action to ensure success and healing.
Don’t let codependency keep your loved one from getting the help they need. Enabling their addiction is causing more harm and is not addressing the real problem. Encourage treatment instead.
No one wants to admit that codependency is affecting their relationships and life. It can be embarrassing or shameful for some. The truth is that it can be pretty common in the realm of addiction. Loved ones can become so consumed with caring for and worrying about their spouse or family member that they develop codependency without realizing it. It is important to recognize that codependent actions often lead to enabling the behavior of a person struggling with addiction. This only prolongs their substance use and keeps them from seeking treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of groups through our family program that can help identify and address codependency. This will allow for healing and growth and can instill strategies for setting healthy boundaries and mending broken relationships. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, we would love to help. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.
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