Codependency: Are You Playing a Role in Your Loved One’s Addiction?
One of the most significant topics discussed in living with an addict is the cycle of codependency. By general definition, codependency is typically one person in a relationship continually sacrificing or putting aside their well-being in order to support the other person’s destructive behavior. It can happen to even the most well-meaning of relationships. Addiction has severe and lasting effects on marriages, families, and romantic relationships, and often, the sober parent, partner, or spouse will try to deal with all of the chaos by slowly falling into the cycle of codependency.
However, codependency looks different in every relationship. It can begin on a small scale that looks harmless at first, such as helping your spouse with money when they’ve lost a job, thinking, “he/she is going through a tough time; it’s the least I can do to help.” However, this cycle can start to multiply rapidly and before you know it, you may be paying your spouse’s drug dealer in order for him or her to get their fix because you “feel horrible about how sick they are.” You may believe what you’re doing is necessary for your loved one’s survival, but when boundaries such as these are crossed, it frequently leads to more pressure being put on you to clean up or “cover up” their problem. This includes concealing an increase in your loved one’s addiction, ultimately leading them to feel like their behavior is acceptable—keeping them in further denial of their addiction and need for treatment.
Stopping the Cycle of Codependency
Addiction treatment centers offer specialized programs to help addicts and their caretakers deal with issues such as codependency. But there are some steps you can take right now to break these unhealthy patterns, such as:
Admitting there is a problem: the first step to any major change begins with admittance and awareness that there is a problem. You need to accept that you are playing a role in your loved one’s addiction and suffering. Facing this reality can be extremely heartbreaking and difficult, but it can break the cycle of codependency.
Acceptance, detachment, and taking action: now that you’ve admitted the problem, it’s time to accept that things must change. Now is the time to stop the behaviors contributing to their addiction, “detach” and accept that you can’t control the addict’s behavior (leaving the behavior and fall-out to the addict), and get help.
Getting Help for Addiction
Once there has been admittance and acceptance of your loved one’s addiction, as well as your part in it, it’s time to get them into a treatment program. You can break the cycle of codependency, and it’s never too late. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction or a substance use disorder, get help today by calling us at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT. Treatment at Daylight Recovery Services can be tailored to your loved one’s unique needs and is designed to help restore their health, renew their spirit, and allow them to enjoy a new, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle in sobriety.