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The Harm in Co-Dependent Relationships

Many of us living with addiction and mental health issues are also often grappling with toxic relationships, many of which are co-dependent in nature, whether those relationships are platonic, romantic, or familial. When we are co-dependent, we rely heavily on each other for our emotional balance, for reassurance and validation, and for our feelings of confidence and self-esteem. We revolve our lives around another person, looking to them for our sense of self-worth and identity. We find our purpose within the relationship, and our role within the relationship is how we self-identify.

When we’re in co-dependent relationships, we often are entangled in very detrimental and self-destructive patterns. We enable each other’s addictions. We keep each other from getting the help we need. We convince ourselves and each other that our very serious addictions aren’t actually a problem, and that we can continue going down this path without repercussion. We often discover down the line that our destructiveness has been compounded by our relationships. Rather than healing, we blame our partners, friends and family members for our stress and our heightened emotional responses. When we are reactive, volatile and angry, we blame the other person rather than looking at our role in the situation. When we’re co-dependent, we often will excuse our own behaviors and chalk them up to being a natural part of such an intense relationship. We also make excuses for the other person, never holding them accountable for their actions.

In co-dependent relationships, we often don’t have an independent identity or a healthy sense of self, and we don’t feel whole or complete within ourselves. We tend to forget all the other things we love about ourselves, all of our interests and passions, all of the things that made up who we were before this relationship took over our lives. Our work, our friendships and our self-care can all be sacrificed. We neglect the other people in our lives. We become more and more removed from the person we once were, and as a result we can turn to our addictions with even more desperation, to try and ease the pain of our isolation, confusion and feelings of aloneness. We can feel as though we don’t know who we are, and this can be a very lonely feeling. Our depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses can all be exacerbated along with our addictive patterns.

In order to heal from our addictions and mental health issues, we have to address all of our patterns, including our relationship patterns. Many of us, without even being conscious of it, are caught up in co-dependent relationships that are worsening our conditions.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever where you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.