26 Feb Recognizing the Signs of a Codependent Relationship
Being the spouse or parent of someone struggling with addiction is difficult. As a parent or spouse, you only want what is best for your loved one. You provide them with unconditional love and want to help them however you can. Unfortunately, in the midst of caring for your loved one, you may find yourself in a codependent relationship.
Codependency can be hard to recognize, but the effects can be devastating to you and your loved one. Likely, you’re motivated by wanting to help and care for your loved one. But this can lead to a one-sided relationship that is harmful to both of you and may be enabling your loved one’s addictions.
This is easy to do, even unintentionally. Individuals in a codependent relationship need to help themselves before they can help anyone else.
Codependency and addictions have a strong correlation. Codependency was first believed to be the result of individuals struggling with alcoholism. Now, it is understood that where someone is struggling with an addiction, there’s a good chance there is a loved one in a codependent relationship with them.
If you’re asking yourself, “am I codependent?” it may be time to look into what some common codependency symptoms are.
You may be in a codependent relationship if you find your self-worth and identity in someone else’s acceptance of you. You may be devoting so much time taking care of your loved one that you forget who you are. You may have a hard time saying “no” when your loved one asks you for something. This could be money, or worse, illegal behaviours. You may also have difficulty creating healthy relational boundaries with your loved one.
Why Codependency Can Hurt An Addict
Often, addicts have a range of problems that have stemmed from their issues with addiction. This could be issues with work and money, problems in other relationships, behaviours that are high risk, and the constant need for emotional support.
The codependent may help their loved one through all these struggles as much as they can, with good intentions. A parent may provide their child with money to help with their financial struggle, or a wife may cover for her husband’s alcoholism. These actions may be done with the intention of helping an addict get clean.
Unfortunately, these behaviours usually have the opposite effect on an addict. It can actually enable negative behaviours. Protecting addicts from the consequences of their behaviour won’t help them in the long-run.
Andy Bhatti, Professional Canadian Interventionist, says it’s important for a codependent caregiver or parent to realize they need help. “If they’re codependent on an addict, the addict is not going to push to get better. They will use this codependency to their advantage. A codependent needs help themselves before they can help an addict.”
Get Treatment Today
If you have a loved one struggling with an addiction and have some of the signs of codependency listed above, we encourage you to seek out codependency treatment today. Andy and his team at Andy Bhatti Interventions & Addictions Services have counselled many individuals struggling with codependency.
The team of interventionalists have helped people recover from codependency so they can be in a position to truly help their addicted loved one.
The programs at Andy Bhatti intervention and Addiction Services allow clients to complete written exercises daily that encourage them to make the necessary changes in their lives to live a life free from codependency.
Addictions are rarely felt by only one person, and Andy helps those in need of his services to repair their family lives as well as other relationships. He also assists in assessing financial damages, psychological issues, coping habits and breaking deeply ingrained habits.
Andy now offers personalized addiction services to help those who can’t do residential treatment due to their work or family life.
If you think you may be struggling with codependency, contact us today.