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How Codependency Can Affect Addicts and Their Loved Ones

two people struggle with codependency in addiction

People don’t start using drugs or alcohol to become addicted. But addiction is a powerful disease that can take over someone’s life and the lives of those around them. If your partner struggles with addiction, you may wonder how it affects your relationship. It’s essential to understand the ways addiction can damage connections with others to start rebuilding those relationships.

One damaging effect that may seem helpful on the surface is codependency. However, even though it may seem supportive, codependency in addiction can be dangerous since it can enable harmful behaviors and cause trust issues. Breaking the cycle of addiction can be difficult—especially if you are in a codependent relationship. Northpoint Seattle has resources, like our family therapy program, that can build the skills for sobriety and healthy relationships. Call 425.414.3530 to learn more about our outpatient programs and start today.

What Is Codependency Behavior?

Codependency is often described as an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on another person. In a codependent relationship, one person typically enables or supports the harmful behaviors of the other person. For example, if your partner is struggling with addiction, you may make excuses for their missed appointments, late nights, or secretive behavior. You might even try to cover up their addiction by lying to friends or family members.

While it may seem like you’re helping your partner by being codependent, this behavior can enable their addiction and prevent them from getting the help they need. When you make excuses for someone’s bad behavior, it allows them to continue that behavior without facing any consequences. This can make it harder for them to realize they have a problem and seek treatment.

Codependency is often rooted in low self-esteem. People who are codependent may feel like they need someone else to be happy or fulfilled. They might stay in abusive or unhealthy relationships because they believe they can’t do better or that no one else would want them. In codependent relationships, people often give up their own hobbies, interests, and goals to focus on the other person.

How Codependency Can Affect Relationships

If you’re in a codependent relationship, it’s crucial to understand how this behavior is impacting your connection with your partner. Codependency can damage relationships in several ways:

  • Creates trust issues – If you’ve been covering up for your partner’s addiction, they may not trust you to be honest with them about other areas of your life. This can lead to communication problems and make it difficult to resolve conflicts.
  • Leads to resentment – When you’re constantly making excuses for someone else’s bad behavior, it’s easy to start feeling resentful. You may also feel like you’re not being appreciated or that your needs are not met.
  • Makes it harder to set boundaries – Codependent people often have trouble saying no or setting boundaries. A lack of boundaries can allow the other person to take advantage of you, leading to further codependency.
  • Prevents you from taking care of yourself – When you’re focused on someone else’s problems, it’s easy to forget your own needs. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout.

Find Help for Codependency and Addiction at Northpoint Seattle

If you or your partner is struggling with addiction and codependency, Northpoint Seattle can help. Our outpatient programs offer various services, like family therapy, to build the skills for sobriety and healthy relationships. The medical professionals and recovery specialists at our centers can help you rebuild an honest, open bond with your partner and learn the skills for a lifetime of sobriety. Call us today at 425.414.3530 to learn more about our program and how we can help you on the road to recovery.