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What Does it Mean to Be in a Codependent Relationship?

You may hear the term “codependent” thrown around often these days, but many people don’t fully understand what it means to be in a codependent relationship or how to recognize if they are currently in one.  A codependent relationship can be emotionally damaging on its own, and when addiction is involved it can be especially harmful to those in the relationship and the people around them. Breaking the cycle of codependency is necessary in addiction recovery, but just as with addiction, it is impossible to fix the problem if you aren’t willing to acknowledge that there is one.   A codependent relationship can occur between any two people, whether or not they are romantically involved.  A common codependent relationship when it comes to addiction occurs between a parent and their child. In this scenario, a child (or adult) with an addiction becomes emotionally and financially dependent on their parent, and the parent enables their behavior because they need to be needed.  This relationship can go on for years, even as the parent becomes elderly and unable to make sound decisions on their own. In the case of romantic relationships, codependency often leads to abuse, wherein one partner desperately seeks the love and approval of the other. When addiction is involved, one partner may financially support the other and endure physical and emotional abuse when they routinely become intoxicated. Codependency can cause you to lose your sense of identity and self-worth.  You may find yourself brushing aside your own pain and concerns to better focus on the needs of the other person.  Inevitably, this kind of relationship will damage your mental health and can lead to problems with your career and other relationships in your life.  Ending the cycle of codependency may require the help of a professional who can address the toxicity of your relationship, while also treating addiction in one or both parties. 

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690