Am I a Codependent? 5 Ways Living With an Addict Has Made YOUR Life Unmanageable
Maintaining an intimate relationship can be hard enough without the added chaos that addiction brings. Addiction, by its very nature, breeds chaos, confusion and emotional unrest.
Likewise, someone who’s living with an addict stands to experience a similar version of this addiction lifestyle. Under these conditions, it’s not uncommon to fall into patterns of codependency that actually enable drug-using behaviors.
While enabling may not be intentional, it nonetheless joins you to the addiction in unhealthy ways, according to Washington State Department of Enterprise Services. Being able to spot signs of codependency can help you take steps towards breaking the addiction cycle in your household.
Living with an Addict – 5 Things to Watch For
1. Emotional Roller Coaster
Addictive substances wreak havoc on a person’s emotional well-being over time. For the person living with the addict, what may start out as a good day can turn into a barrage of fighting, seemingly out of nowhere.
Rather than confront his or her partner’s behavior, a codependent tries to smooth over hard feelings and excuse the addict’s outbursts.
2. Blaming Behaviors
Living with an addict comes with disappointment after disappointment, be it an unpaid bill or a missed anniversary. When “mistakes” happen, it’s not uncommon for the addict to blame his or her partner when it’s the addict’s behavior that caused the problem.
According to Alvernia University, blaming behaviors not only work to control other people, but also keep the focus off of the addiction.
3. No Regard for Your Feelings or Needs
When the addiction has free rein, the addict devotes most of his or her attention to getting and using drugs. Living with an addict under these circumstances leaves no room for your feelings or personal needs.
In effect, the addict’s significant other becomes an extension of the addiction itself when codependency patterns are at work.
4. Making Excuses for the Addict
As the addiction worsens, it becomes increasingly difficult for the addict to fulfill daily obligations and commitments. This is where the codependent partner steps in to cover up for the addict’s shortcomings.
Be it calling in sick to work on the addict’s behalf or lying to friends and family to get out of social engagements, the codependent’s actions only work to condone the addiction and its effects on his or her relationship.
5. Feelings of Over-Responsibility
It can be embarrassing when your partner has a little to much to drink or gets too “high” at a social gathering. In this state, inappropriate comments and gestures will likely be made.
Telling others that he or she has been under a lot of stress or trying to hide the addict’s condition from others only works to support the addiction problem. In this respect, living with an addict naturally breeds feelings of over-responsibility in a significant other.
If you suspect you or someone you know is exhibiting codependent patterns and don’t know where to turn, please don’t hesitate to call our helpline at 800-653-7143 to speak with one of our phone counselors.