Am I In a Codependent Relationship?
Codependent relationships and addiction often go hand in hand. Codependent relationships are unhealthy ways of relating to partners, most often romantic partners, where one or both parties in the relationship is dependent on the other for a sense of self worth. These relationships often contain one partner who is a “taker” and another who is a “giver”, and often include subtle manipulation.
In healthy relationships both partners meet one another more or less as equals, and each partner has a unique identity outside the relationship. Of course, in all healthy relationships both partners rely on each other for support and satisfaction, but codependent relationships exist when one partner is subsumed by the other, or the dependence between partners becomes pathological and unhealthy.
These relationships often enable unhealthy drinking, drug use, and addiction. It’s worth saying again: codependent relationships enable drinking and drug addiction. When one partner will do anything to please the other, this can result in enabling behavior for the addict or alcoholic. For example, repeatedly bailing a partner out of jail, “loaning” a partner money for drugs or alcohol, and excusing bad behavior are all ways a partner can help prevent an alcoholic or addict from getting the help they need.
10 Questions To Ask Yourself About Codependency
While there is no specific diagnosis in the DSM for codependency, and it’s not officially recognized as a mental health disorder, it is widely recognized as a common problem with people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. As such, there is no 100 percent positive predictive test that can determine if you’re in a codependent relationship. However, there are some common signs and symptoms. Ask yourself these questions to help determine if your relationship might be codependent:
Do You Feel Useless Without The Approval Of Your Partner?
A hallmark of codependent relationships is basing one’s self-worth totally or almost completely on the partner’s image. Does your happiness and self-worth depend on how your partner sees you, rather than an innate feeling?
Do You Ignore Your Own Needs In Favor Of The Needs Of Your Partner?
Do your partner’s needs always come first? Have you forgotten what your own needs even are? Are you finding your needs are almost always squashed by the will of your partner? Healthy relationships balance the needs of both partners.
Do You Find Yourself Often “Bailing Out” Your Partner?
Does your partner often get into trouble, and do you find yourself covering for them? Have you repeatedly bailed your partner out of jail, made excuses for your partner to friends and family for bad behavior, have you given money to your partner for alcohol, drugs, or related bad habits?
Do You Feel Constant Anxiety That You’re Not Making Your Partner Happy?
Do you go to great lengths to please your partner, even at the detriment to your own happiness, self-worth or health and safety? Do you feel like you are “walking around on eggshells” trying to make your partner happy? Are you often scared you will upset your partner?
Have You Lost A Sense Of Joy Doing Things Without Your Partner?
Does all your happiness come from making your partner happy? Do things that once made you happy no longer make you happy because they don’t meet with the approval of your partner? Do you feel unhappy whenever you’re not with your partner?
Do You Have Difficulty Separating Your Feelings From Those Of Your Partner?
Do your partner’s opinions become your own? Do you find yourself ignoring previously held moral convictions because of your partner? Do your moods fluctuate with those of your partner?
Do You Have Poor Self Esteem, And Do You Feel Your Worth Is Based On The Opinion Of Your Partner?
Is your sense of self-worth dependent on your partner? Do you have low self esteem?
Do You Feel Responsible For The Actions Of Your Partner?
Do you find yourself thinking things such as, “If I only did this, my partner wouldn’t have done that”? Or “If I’m better next time, maybe they won’t get mad”? Do the goalposts often move with the mood of your partner?
Do You Shift Your Boundaries For Your Partner?
Have you found yourself shifting previously held boundaries because of your partner? Do you find yourself doing things you find uncomfortable, or things that in the past you wouldn’t do to make your partner happy?
Do You Feel Like You’re Often “Sacrificing Yourself” For Your Partner?
Do you ever feel like your needs are not being met, simply so you can meet the needs of your partner? Are you sometimes scared of your partner? Do you sacrifice yourself, your health, and your sanity for your partner?
How To Get Help For A Codependent Relationship
If you have answered yes to a number of the questions above, you may be in a codependent relationship. You deserve the life you want, and Through the Archway can help you be free from drug and alcohol addiction and the codependent relationships that support these diseases.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, or you think you may have a codependent relationship, contact us today and we can start you on the journey to recovery.