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Signs of a Codependent Relationship with an Addict

Signs of a Codependent Relationship with an Addict

Codependency refers to a person’s mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual reliance on another person.

The term was originally introduced in the 1950s when Alcoholics Anonymous was founded to support loved ones of individuals who struggled with addiction. A codependent relationship is a dysfunctional relationship in which one person acts as a caretaker while the other takes advantage of their help. Our Stuart, Florida treatment center has experience with these types of relationships, which is why we’re one of the various rehab facilities that offer family support. If you have a loved one with a drug or alcohol problem, then you should look out for these signs of a codependent relationship with an addict.

10 Signs of a Codependent Relationship with an Addict

Codependency is common in relationships where substance abuse is involved. Usually, the addict’s loved one cares for them to the point of enabling their behavior. Caretakers in these relationships are usually raised with an addicted parent and learn how to care for and satisfy that individual to make life easier for themselves and other family members. When these kids grow up, they often repeat this pattern of behavior. Caretakers can be family members, partners, or friends.

Codependency is toxic for both parties. The caretaker drops their wants and needs while the addict takes advantage. Not only can this enable the individual’s substance abuse, but it can also cause the caretaker to become controlling. The signs of codependency become more and more obvious in a romantic relationship as the person’s substance abuse worsens. Below are 10 common signs of a toxic codependent relationship with a person who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol.

You believe your partner’s problems are your responsibility

Although your partner is the one with the addiction, you constantly put pressure on yourself to fix things or come up with solutions. The need to restore your partner’s sobriety may stem from fear of losing them or lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Feeling this way may cause you to feel as if you’re responsible for all of your partner’s problems and all of your problems as well; however, you can’t take responsibility for another person’s addiction. Attempting to do so may only worsen the situation rather than encourage recovery.

At Banyan Treatment Centers Stuart, we offer residential treatment in Florida that separates patients from their daily environment. Staying onsite and away from people and places that may contribute to their addiction can help them focus on their recovery.

You feel unloved when your partner uses drugs or drinks alcohol

When a person develops a drug addiction or alcoholism, their priorities may shift to accommodate their disease. Not only can this make you feel like you come second to these substances, but your attempts to help them may also be met with hostility or defensiveness. Any harsh words or actions directed towards you may be especially hurtful.

You constantly try to please your partner

One of the most classic signs of codependency in dating is constantly putting your partner’s needs before your own. And while it’s nice and necessary to be loving and helpful in a relationship, caretakers in codependent relationships constantly try to please their partners to gain their approval or affections. While this type of behavior is toxic in any circumstance, the last thing a person with a substance abuse disorder needs is to be constantly flattered, catered to, and never questioned. It’s important to gently confront this person to prevent enabling behavior.

You completely focus on your partner’s struggles and neglect your own

Because you’re constantly trying to please your partner, their struggles become your struggles. Caretakers also develop a need for control and fear of being abandoned by their partner, which may contribute to a sense of anxiety to save them from addiction. This fear tends to become obsessive, causing them to neglect their needs.

You don’t hold your partner responsible for their behavior

Another sign of codependency in a relationship with an addicted spouse is a lack of accountability. Many individuals who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse are often verbally abusive, dishonest, and neglectful of their responsibilities. As their caretaker, you may stay behind to clean up their mess without holding them responsible. If you don’t tell them that their behavior is unacceptable, then you may continue exposing yourself to unfair treatment while enabling their behavior.

You’re constantly trying to offer your partner advice

While you may mean well, constantly offering advice or telling your partner how they should change their life can come across as overbearing. This kind of behavior is also reminiscent of how a parent would treat a rebellious child, which can actually push your partner further away from seeking help.

You guilt or shame your partner into listening to you

As a caretaker, you tend to offer your partner a lot of assistance, to the point where they completely rely on you for basic things. As a result, you may feel as if you have control over them. Manipulating your influence in their life by shaming or guilting them into listening to you is extremely toxic. Even if they do receive drug or alcohol addiction treatment, it may be because they want to please you and not because they’re ready. In this case, your efforts to restore their sobriety may be unsuccessful.

You make excuses for your partner’s substance abuse

A person with a substance abuse disorder may not realize their need for treatment until they hit rock bottom. However, when you lie for them, make excuses for them, or blame other people or situations for their behavior, you make it easier for them to avoid taking accountability for their actions. This is one of the most common signs of enabling behavior. The best thing you can do is reach out to a rehab facility that offers substance abuse treatment for them and therapy for you.

At Banyan Detox Stuart, we usually kick off our treatment programs with a medically monitored detox. During detoxification, patients can safely and slowly wean off of drugs and alcohol. Because our detox programs in Stuart are medically assisted, medication may also be administered (as needed) to alleviate any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

You’ve been in other relationships with people who struggled with addiction

One of the most classic signs of a codependent person is having multiple relationships with people who struggle with addiction. If this isn’t your first relationship with someone who abuses drugs or alcohol, then you’re probably following into a predictable and toxic pattern of behavior. Constantly taking on the role of caretaker may lead to a desire to be needed and in control. You may figure that if their addiction forces them to rely on you, they may be less likely to leave or reject you.

You see your partner as something that needs fixing

Caretakers usually have a list of things they want to improve in their partners. They may see a certain potential in them or a possible outcome that could occur “if only they would change their ways.” However, addiction is not a simple problem; it’s a chronic disease that requires formal treatment. Your partner is also not a science project or challenge, but a person who needs help. Remember, truly caring about someone means you’ll get them the help they need rather than trying to help them out of fear of losing them.

Addiction requires comprehensive treatment. At our rehab center in Stuart, Florida, we offer different levels of care that are both structured and adaptable to ensure every patient’s needs are met. Call us now at 888-280-4763 to find out how we can help restore you or someone you know to sobriety.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Signs of a Codependent Relationship with an Addict
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