Codependency and Relationships

We can come across codependent people from all walks of life. They may be our parents, our siblings, our romantic partners or even close friends. Codependent relationships may help us feel more supported, close to one another and fulfilled as it provides sufficient companionship to get through tough days. You’re likely talking to these people several times during the week or spending a lot of physical time with them to strengthen the relationship. At the same time, being too dependent on each other to deal with struggles can hinder any possible opportunities for personal growth and development. If they are one of the few friends or relationships you rely on, you could find yourself feeling trapped in a world that revolves around their needs and opinions. If one of the parties are also struggling with personal issues such as addiction, being extremely dependent on another person will prevent their ability to build independence, control and self-esteem over time. If you are someone with codependent tendencies you may find that seeking help in areas of self-development more difficult than others. Let’s walk through key ways to overcome to barrier of codependency in relationships as someone struggling with addiction.

Signs of Codependent Relationships

Codependent relationships are hard to miss as an outsider. If you’re in one, you may not see the signs unless someone has pointed them out for you. You may wonder why people are still together in codependent relationships if they are unhealthy and unhappy. Common reasons for sticking together include shared children, finances, time invested, careers and possibly a fear of isolation if the relationship breaks up. The most frequent signs of codependent relationships and how to deal with them include:

  • Someone who is codependent in their relationship have an extremely hard time saying “no” to the wishes of their partners. They may believe that someone’s requests are wrong or dangerous, but they may not be able to create conflict by not abiding. It’s fine to want to please someone you care about, but codependents usually don’t think they have a choice and go with whatever their friend, sibling or partner asks for. This can be dangerous if the person constantly asking for favors or cover ups is struggling with an addiction. In fact, sometimes the person who is feeling emotionally conflicted can’t bear to saying “No” because it creates feelings of anxiety. Make sure to draw the line of boundaries and understand the difference between doing a favor and hurting the health of a person. If a friend is asking for money, alibis at work or too much of your time if they’re struggling with an addiction, you need to practice saying “no” and referring them to pursue true long term help instead.
  • A codependent relationship heavily influences the emotions and thoughts of each person involved. A consequence of poor boundaries and constant communication is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings without processing them naturally. If someone says something you disagree with, you could either fully believe their opinion as a true fact or feel like their words make you feel inadequate. You may leave the conversation feeling like less of a person or feeling like you have no control to deal with your own actions. Having too much interaction with people like this and taking what they say to heart can create a dangerous chain of events. Make sure you are either limiting interaction or practice reflecting on your own self beliefs before feeling threatened by disagreements in the codependent relationship.
  • A codependent relationship can cause someone to start putting another person’s desires, fears and needs ahead of their own. When you’re a parent, this can be extremely difficult, especially dealing with a child who is struggling with addiction. They may ask you for help which results in nearly caretaking their everyday life. You may find that you are putting their daily battles as a priority instead of watching out for yourself. You could even keep trying to help and fix your child’s struggles with your money, time, or connections even when they clearly aren’t taking your advice. Be careful of what intent the other person has for asking so much from you and practice balancing
  • In codependent relationships, feelings of consistent control helps people feel safe and secure. Everyone likes having some sense of control over events in their life, but the unhealthy limit of control leads to people being able to create lifestyle changes, taking important risks, or assessing decisions on their own. Codependents may also need to control those close to them to feel they are adequate and have influence over others they care about. For example, a man in a codependent romantic relationship with a women may want to control her actions outside of their time spent together, control who she can see or talk to or share opinions that lead her to feeling trapped. A child struggling with teenage alcoholism may tell their parents that they can’t live without the drug of their choice or engage in risky behavior. Those actions alone may create enough of a scare that their parents allow the addiction to dangerous substances to continue. Make sure you know that this is a direct violation of respecting others boundaries and opinions.
Deal with codependent relationships the right way.

Utilizing Online Addiction Recovery

If you are someone who is seeking codependency recovery for yourself or another person you know, make no hesitation to pursue help. Talk to an expert in the field of codependency who can understand your specific situation and provide recommendations that are relevant to implement. They can provide step by step actions to take and help you develop boundaries for dealing with a codependent relationship of your own. An expert also has access to professional tools that can help clients better understand the relationship between stress and different mental states that may lead a person to engage in more codependent relationships. Treat your body with kindness and allow yourself to take a break from the stress of an unhealthy relationship in your life.

Leave a Reply