Overcoming codependency can be a hard slog for the loved one of a substance abuser. You can easily be seduced by the special vulnerability of your loved one. And once you’ve established a codependent relationship it is difficult to break.
That’s particularly common and true when you’re codependent with a spouse. The unique relationship between domestic partners can easily slide into codependency when substance abuse enters the picture. Read on below to learn some of our strategies for breaking codependency in relationships.
Taking Responsibility for Yourself Only
A huge part of codependency is the concept of vicarious responsibility. In other words, you take responsibility for things the other person does or says. This is not healthy. You are not synonymous with the other person. They are responsible for their own words and actions.
Take responsibility for your own deeds only. In this way, you’ll retain a level of independence from the other person. Further, you’ll clearly define the limits between yourself and them.
Carrying Only Your Own Burdens
Codependent people often carry the emotional and mental burdens of other people. This is particularly true with substance abusers, who often unload their problems on a spouse or loved one. While you may make life easier for the other person temporarily, in the long run only harm can come from this behavior.
People who fail to carry their own burdens ultimately can’t cope with life. So, by helping them to move forward in this way, you enable their inability to handle everyday situations.
One of the dark truths about codependency and addiction is that the latter is enabled by the former. Therefore, if you allow the other person to rely entirely on you to prop up their addiction, you’re helping their addiction flourish. And while someone else’s addiction is certainly not your fault, you are in a position to make it easier for them to make a change in their life by overcoming codependency.
Overcoming Codependency by Demanding Equal Treatment
If you find yourself taking responsibility for someone else and carrying their emotional baggage, demand equal treatment. They don’t do this for you, so why should you do it for them? As a result, it’s only fair that they treat you the same way that you treat them.
Some people have difficulty making this demand. They might view it as selfish or imposing. But there’s nothing selfish about expecting to be treated as an equal person in a relationship.
We Want to Help
You know how difficult it is to live with or around a substance abuser. And while substance abusers themselves are in need of help, their loved ones also need assistance in defining and exemplifying healthy relationships. We at the San Antonio Recovery Center help substance abusers, and their loved ones, redefine their relationships with each other. We offer affordable and comprehensive programs and treatments like:
- Residential treatment and inpatient rehabilitation
- Intensive outpatient programs
- 90-day treatment
- Aftercare program
- Family counseling
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- 12-step programs
Do you need help with overcoming codependency? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 866.957.7885.