Ways to Overcome Codependency
Overcoming codependency can be challenging for the loved one of someone with a substance use disorder. 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 more about how to overcome codependency below to learn some of our strategies for breaking down this unhealthy part of relationships.
Take Responsibility for Yourself and Only Yourself
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 actions only. In this way, you’ll retain a level of independence from the other person.
Draw a Line
Distinguish what should be in your realm of control versus your partner’s. You’ll clearly define the limits between yourself and them by taking a look at your own physical and psychological needs.
For example, you can take control if you are often late to work because you spend your time trying to wake up your loved one. It is up to them to wake up on time, not you.
Carry Your Own Burdens
Codependent people often carry the emotional and mental burdens of other people. This is particularly true with a partner abuses drugs or alcohol, 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.
Focus on your own emotional and mental health by attending behavioral therapy. Seeing a professional, you receive help for many issues including codependency.
Demand 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.
Help for Codependency and Addiction
You know how difficult it is to live with or around someone with a substance use disorder. And while those who struggle with substance abuse themselves need help, their loved ones also need assistance in defining and exemplifying healthy relationships. Our addiction treatment and mental health experts at the San Antonio Recovery Center help those with substance abuse problems, 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 programs
- Family counseling
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- 12-step programs