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Why Are We in Codependent, Addictive Relationships?

When we experience relationships that are codependent in nature and that function like addictions, there are often some very difficult underlying issues going on that we haven’t fully healed from. We have subconscious fears and limiting beliefs that affect our ability to be alone, to be independent, and to feel we’re enough on our own. We choose unhealthy relationships full of dependence, neediness and attachment rather than mutually supportive partnerships with healthy boundaries, personal independence, and autonomy. We enable each other’s toxic patterns rather than inspiring and motivating each other to work towards healing. We have poor communication and conflict resolution skills. We fight all the time but feel like we need each other. Why do so many of us experience this kind of relationship, especially those of us struggling with addiction and mental illness?

Many of us identify as love and sex addicts, and we develop very addictive patterns around our relationships. The relationship itself, the love, affection, attention, validation, intimacy and intercourse can all function just like any other drug or behavior we get addicted to. Others of us might have never associated our relationships or dating patterns with addiction but still find ourselves in relationships we’re really unhappy with. What are some of the fears and issues that often fuel these kinds of relationships? For many of us, one of our biggest fears is a fear of being alone. We fear losing someone we love, often because we experienced a loss that was traumatic for us, such as a death or separation. We’re afraid to feel all of the sadness, grief and anxiety around loss. We’re afraid that it will hurt too much to be alone, that we’re not strong to be on our own, and that we’re inadequate as we are.

We also have subconscious beliefs that it’s too hard and hurts too much to be alone, and that we would rather be in an unhealthy relationship than go through the hardship and pain of being alone. We convince ourselves, often not even consciously, that we would rather give into our need for romance or attention, and the sexual urges we feel, than be alone. We start to believe we’re unable to be alone, that we need this other person or sex to live. We prioritize the relationship and the love we have for this other person over our own self-love and well-being. It can be an extremely depressing and scary place to be, to feel so dependent on someone else in such unhealthy ways, especially when they are unkind or abusive.

Healing from our addictions and mental health issues includes healing our unhealthy relationship patterns and learning how to be in healthy, supportive and empowering relationships.

At The Guest House Ocala, you will be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.