The Connection Between Codependent Relationships and Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

The Merriam- Webster Dictionary defines codependency as “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly:  dependence on the needs of or control by another.”

The dependency on anything is the feeling that you can’t live without a person or substance. That to survive, you must have this one thing or this one person in your life. It would help if you were happy. The truth is that you have subconsciously connected deeply to this particular person or substance without realizing it until the grip has already been fastened. That is the scary part because most of us don’t realize we are dependent until we realize we have to figure out a way to break free from the weight it tugs on us. One minute we have a crush on someone, the next, we can’t seem to bear the thought of doing anything without them.

What causes this to happen?

In many cases, those who find themselves in codependent relationships have many insecurities, low standards, unhealthy habits and behavior traits, and unstable moods.

10 Signs you are in a codependent relationship:

  1. You are more focused on the needs of your partner rather than caring for your own personal needs.
  2. You and your partner disrespect each other, causing you both to feel devalued and unappreciated regardless of the work you put into the relationship.
  3. You can’t make any plans without feeling the need to involve your partner, even when it’s an “all women’s” or “all men’s” outing.
  4. You feel ashamed to talk to your friends and family about the details of your relationship because you’re afraid of what they will think of you.
  5. You are unable to have fun and enjoy time away from your partner.
  6. You support your partner at the cost of your own wellbeing (financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially).
  7. Anxiety is one of the more common emotions you have in this relationship. You no longer feel much joy or happiness because you are so busy second-guessing everything that goes on from one day to the next.
  8. You feel burnt out, tired, unfocused, unhappy, lonely, and/or confused about the direction of this relationship because it seems to be headed in no other direction than the south, and it’s taking a toll on you.
  9. You or your partner begin drinking more or using drugs to cope with their discomfort this relationship is bringing.
  10. You walk on eggshells and live in defensive mode every time your partner is around, or you have a conversation.

How to change the course of your codependent relationship and break the addiction

In life, it’s important to stand on your own two feet, have fun, enjoy life, be your own person without relying on others to bring you happiness. We must practice doing things alone and being comfortable in our skin to have a healthy and well-balanced relationship with anyone.

When we latch on to other people or substances to keep up “happy,” we lose sight of our purpose in life; we get sidetracked, and our mind becomes a fog. This is an unhealthy way to live, so what can you do to break free from codependency and balance out your life so you can feel lighter, more energized, and more fulfilled?  Well, here are a few ideas:

  1. Spend more time with friends and family. Keep your connections with those you can relax and have a good time with without getting yourself into any trouble or complicating matters with your partner.
  2. Talk to your partner about your relationship goals and where the two of you would like to see things go within the next couple of years.
  3. Spend more time alone doing things that help you become a better person. Get rest, read a new book, sign up for a local gym, pick up a new hobby such as photography or tennis.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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