The Codependent Relationship: Spouses

shutterstock_84732829 As I discussed in a previous blog, codependency is when both parties are dependent on one another in order for the relationship to function. Codependency can occur in any and all relationships, and it affects all relationships.

The codependency that occurs between spouses is unique because of the dynamic of the relationship. Because of the romantic aspect of this relationship, often times the spouse is controlled through affection and attention. This means that the addicted spouse will try and control the other using affection, sex, and giving them attention.

Codependency is dangerous in any loving relationship, but especially between spouses as physical/mental/emotional abuse is often involved. Abuse is used to control by shutterstock_121262254striking fear into the other person, causing them to behave in a way that will please the other to avoid the abusive behaviour.

Spouses engaging in codependent behaviour often times try to “cover” for the addicted spouse. They will lie to friends and family about their spouse’s behaviours. If the spouse holds a job, they will sometimes go as far as to call in sick for their spouse when they are too hung over or sick from withdrawal to go to work. People in this position will do anything and everything to make sure that their relationship will stay together.

In these relationships, no matter what lengths the addicted goes to (lying, stealing, cheating, abuse, etc.), their codependent will continue to allow them to be a part of the relationship and treat them in a way that is toxic. This can go on for many years, however, it is possible to recover from codependency. Toxic codependent relationships can be combated in several different ways, and listed below are just a few.

  • Remove yourself from the relationship

  • Seek counselling

  • Attend family/couples therapy during the addicted’s treatment

  • Make a safety plan if abuse is involved

  • Know what the signs are of codependent behaviour and recognize when it is affecting your life

Codependency is not something that will never stop. There is hope for recovery, but like recovering from an addiction, it takes a lot of hard work and it is a lifelong commitment. Take control, transform your behaviours, and learn to live a life you love.

The Codependent Relationship: Mother and Child

shutterstock_135236594  The bond between mother and child is something that no other relationship can quite match. When addiction is involved in this relationship, it is seriously damaging to the healthy functioning of all relationships.

Codependency, described simply, is when both parties are dependent on one another in order for the relationship to function. Codependency is unique between a mother and child because of the nature of the relationship. Mothers are meant to be nurturing and caring individuals. But when their child is addicted to drugs, their caring and nurturing may be doing more harm than good.

Mothers of those addicted will often times go above and beyond to make sure that their child has everything that they need. Buying food, clothes, paying rent, and giving them shutterstock_70611019money. Some go as far as buying the drugs for their child. In their eyes, they are doing well by their child, making sure that they are able to keep on living. These mothers struggle to focus on themselves in any way at all. They will put their lives aside to make sure that their child will continue to come back to them for what they need.

The child will manipulate in order to get what they want. They will say hateful and hurtful things in order to break their mother down. They will be deceptive and lie in order to get more money. The child is trying to stay sick, and they know that their mother will do anything to keep them happy and alive.

shutterstock_9303223This relationship is extremely toxic and allows for the addiction to continue. So what are some way to recover from codependency?

  • Attend family recovery programs with the addicted

  • Learn to put your interests and needs before others

  • Become aware of the signs of codependent behaviour

  • Develop strong boundaries

With these strategies and professional help, codependency is something that you and your family can recover from.