When struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), you may need to handle many factors that threaten your recovery process. Codependency, for example, can bring about many challenges if not properly addressed. If you find that you are dealing with a combination of codependency and addiction, reach out for help immediately.

What Is Codependency?

Codependency is the feeling of need for another individual for you to maintain happiness and success. In addition, codependent individuals often enable the addiction. This may not be intentional, but individuals in codependent relationships often shy away from the harsh reality of their situations. This can cause people to glamourize addiction or avoid accepting the reality of the current harms and potential risks of substance abuse.

It is common for a person in a codependent relationship to feel like they are trapped. While the other individual in the codependent relationship may not necessarily be a bad person, the dynamics of the relationship create a toxic environment and can lead to serious outcomes. 

Being aware of your needs and determining if they are being met is critical in recognizing the effects your relationship has on your mental health. Codependent relationships can take a toll on both individuals involved and can lead to long-term mental health issues if continued. Fortunately, the same skills and mindsets practiced in addiction recovery can be used to help people recover from codependency.

Recognizing Codependency

Individuals in a codependent relationship often find it difficult to realize or accept that their relationship is codependent. Unfortunately, allowing codependency to go unnoticed can cause your addiction as well as your relationship to worsen.

It is important to recognize the following signs of codependency and accept the possibility that you may be in this form of the relationship if they apply to you or someone in a relationship with you. Some signs include:

  • Taking responsibility for others’ obligations
  • Covering up neglectful acts of their partner
  • Creating excuses for their partner to use substances
  • Financially compensating for substance abuse
  • Feeling unable to socialize without their partner

These signs are related to codependency in relationships involving addiction. If you find that you or your partner appears to be enabling the addiction, downplaying the negative effects the addiction is having on you or your partner, or undermining progress in recovery, the relationship has strong signs of codependency. This can cause extreme issues during recovery and will need to be addressed before progress can be made in recovery.

Codependency and Addiction

One of the main issues about the combination of codependency and addiction is the enabling of the addiction by the other partner. If you are in a relationship with someone you feel is always by your side and has your best interest at heart but who does not see the problem with your addiction, working through recovery will be extremely difficult. Your partner must support you and your decision to recover.

Codependency itself is a form of addiction to another person. If you choose to engage in a residential treatment recovery plan, you will not be able to spend as much time with these individuals as you did before. With any form of treatment, you are committing a large portion of your time to focus on the recovery aspect. This will likely take away from the time spent with this individual. If you are not able to do that, the recovery process is halted before even beginning.

Managing Codependency

If you find yourself in this situation, it can be heartbreaking to acknowledge. It may even be terrifying to picture a life without your significant other. However, understand that being in this situation does not necessarily mean that you cannot stay in your relationship. Attending couples counseling together may help both parties to see their codependent dynamics and how they are harming your recovery. This can be an effective first step toward ending codependency and building a healthier relationship.

Discussing your needs with your significant other regarding recovery support is vital. If they try to tell you that you do not need recovery or downplay the issues you are working to resolve, that is a clear indication that they are not supporting you. Discussing these concerns can help you to work toward a healthy and supportive relationship while going through recovery. After recovering, you will likely be able to maintain a higher level of independence and stray away from these types of relationships.

If you find that your relationship is no longer healthy for you to engage in, your treatment team can provide support for you to end this relationship. The process of recovery is meant to be focused on yourself and what is best for you. If you find that your relationship is negatively impacting your overall life, it is a good time to work away from that dependency. 

It is crucial to ensure you are taking care of your physical and emotional needs. If you are not able to care for yourself, you likely are not able to care for your partner. This level of care goes both ways. Ensuring that both of you feel supported in your decisions can strengthen your relationship and further your recovery success.

Codependency in combination with addiction can lead to a variety of struggles throughout the recovery process. Codependency is a form of a toxic relationship that involves feeling the need for each other’s presence or influence to an unhealthy degree. This form of relationship is similar to addiction because the individuals feel they are not able to function without the other person. When you are dealing with these relationships on top of addiction, focusing on recovery can be extremely difficult. To work through the recovery process, you need to commit a large amount of time and focus on the process. If you struggle to stray away from your significant other, it can be nearly impossible to focus on yourself. If you find that you are working through addiction while in a codependent relationship, reach out to your treatment team for help. Contact Dream Recovery today at (949) 732-1960.

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