In a codependent relationship, one partner will take on the role of caretaker. This person may have substance use or mental health issues that require professional help, but they refuse to get it. Instead, the other partner takes over their responsibilities and provides for them in unhealthy ways. Living with codependency can be detrimental to many people’s lives. Learning the negative impacts of codependency can help you understand why it is dangerous, especially for those struggling with addiction.
Taking on the Role of Caretaker
When you are the primary caretaker of a loved one struggling with addiction, you may feel like your life has become unmanageable. Your loved one’s substance use can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health and the quality of your relationships with others. Additionally, if the person you love is addicted to alcohol or drugs, they may harm themselves in other ways.
The negative effects of codependency can be even more pronounced when it comes to being a caretaker for someone with a severe addiction. Such behavior puts both parties at risk physically, mentally, and emotionally. The impact on self-esteem should not be underestimated. Codependent people often lose sight of their own needs and goals in order to focus on those around them first instead.
Signs of Codependency
A person in a codependent relationship could have difficulty making decisions, expressing feelings, and spending time alone. The following are traits that a person in a codependent relationship may exhibit:
- Difficulty making decisions
- Difficulty expressing feelings and emotions
- Low self-esteem, low self-worth, low self-awareness, and lack of insight into how they feel
- Poor impulse control or difficulty controlling emotions, anger, sad feelings, or sexual urges
It’s Not Healthy
While it is easy to fall into codependent relationships, it is also easy for them to go unnoticed. Codependent relationships are not healthy. They are one-sided, imbalanced, and unsustainable.
In a healthy relationship, both parties care about one another equally. Both parties have their own lives and interests in addition to their relationship. In a codependent relationship, however, one person puts all of their energy into taking care of someone else while the other person becomes dependent on this behavior as they lose any motivation or desire to take care of themselves.
The codependent person generally does all the giving but does not get anything back. They give and give but never receive anything in return. A person may feel that their loved one is taking advantage of them and using them for their own needs. Sometimes this can lead to abuse or manipulation by the other person.
The codependent person is often unable to make decisions or express feelings. They may also have difficulty spending time alone, expressing anger, and sometimes feel helpless without the presence of their loved ones.
Can Create Resentment
Resentment is a natural response to being treated poorly, but it can also lead to anger. Resentment may lead to depression or cause a feeling of helplessness. This can eventually lead the codependent person to detach from their partner to protect themselves.
As a codependent person in an unhealthy relationship with a loved one struggling with addiction, you may feel helpless and resentful. If you have fallen into this pattern, it’s important to realize that enabling is not a healthy relationship. The codependent person will often feel helpless and resentful about being unable to help the addict get clean.
This feeling of powerlessness can lead you to enable your loved ones by making excuses for their behavior or covering up their drug use so that they don’t suffer consequences at work or school. When enabling takes place over time, it can create a vicious cycle where both parties continue to engage in destructive behaviors that are harmful not only to themselves but also to their loved ones as well as those around them.
Creates Negative Effects
You may be thinking, “If my loved one is a codependent and I am not, then how am I affected by their behavior?” It’s true that you are not the codependent person in this situation. However, codependency can have serious negative effects on all parties involved.
In addition to the consequences explained above, when someone is codependent in an unhealthy way, it can also lead them to engage in behaviors such as:
- Isolating themselves from others
- Becoming depressed or anxious
- Behaving differently than they would normally behave due to trauma caused by their partner’s addiction
Seek Professional Help
It is important to manage your health needs. Seeking help will allow you to work through challenging situations and could help you find help for yourself and your loved one.
Codependency is a dangerous relationship that can lead to physical and mental harm. It is not healthy to be in a one-sided relationship where one person takes on all the responsibility while being controlled by another. At Excel Treatment Center we understand that codependency can create resentment and anger towards your partner. It creates an unhealthy relationship that is not good for either party. If you or someone you love has been affected by codependency, it is important to seek help immediately. Our services work to help you overcome your addiction and strengthen your relationships, including coming out of a codependency relationship. If you or someone you know is struggling and could benefit from help with their addiction and improving their relationships, please reach out to us. We want to help you through this process. For more information, please call us at, (877) 331-4114.