What does it mean to be codependent with an alcoholic

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what does it mean to be codependent with an alcoholic

Nonetheless, codependency can happen in relationships without alcoholism, You can also work on your health within relationships, whether that means.

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Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. The disorder was first identified about ten years ago as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior. Co-dependency often affects a spouse, a parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependence. Originally, co-dependent was a term used to describe partners in chemical dependency, persons living with, or in a relationship with an addicted person. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any co-dependent person from any dysfunctional family.

Why do so many well-meaning family members unintentionally enable the behavior of their addicted loved one? And what can be done to break the cycle and initiate meaningful change? The way relationships work is that when people connect, they change each other. They both want and need things from the relationship. What ends up happening is substance users get comfortable being addicts and alcoholics, and families likewise get comfortable with enabling them. Breaking this cycle requires three steps:.

Updated on December 13th, Codependency is an excessive emotional, physical, and psychological reliance on a relationship that is dysfunctional. Research has found that codependency is generational. It is a way of relating that is learned from the family of origin. Understanding codependency, the behaviors associated with it, and where it originated is important. At the core of the codependent behavior exists the refusal to acknowledge a problem.

Codependency describes a pattern of behavior whereby one or both partners lack autonomy and depend on the other for happiness and approval.
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The term codependent is traditionally used to describe the family members and other loved ones of a person suffering from addiction; however, studies show that codependency is often considered an addiction in itself. The other person might be a child, an adult, a lover, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a grandparent, a parent, a client, or a best friend. He or she could be an alcoholic, a drug addict, a mentally or physically ill person, a normal person who occasionally has sad feelings, or one of the people mentioned earlier. While this blanket definition lends general meaning to the term codependency , the signs of codependency can often look different depending on the person experiencing it. In Codependent No More , Beattie goes further in defining codependents by offering a long list of common characteristics or symptoms that they often possess, including that codependents:. Now that you have a better understanding of what codependency looks like, learning about its consequences is crucial in understanding the importance of beginning the journey toward a healthy relationship with yourself and others. The reality of the issues related to codependency are often more dire than most people realize.

It starts out simply enough: A couple falls in love and their lives become enmeshed. But one of the pair begins abusing drugs or alcohol. The other person, so encompassed in their feelings for their partner, begins a set of behaviors they think will help the abuser. This is a classic case of codependency , and it can lead to tragedy not just for the abuser, but for the person who loves them as well. There are typically two sides to a codependent relationship the manipulator and the enabler:. Substance abuse can make a codependent relationship even worse.

Codependency is a behavioral condition in a relationship where one person enables another person's addiction , poor mental health , immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. The term is less individually diagnostic and more descriptive of a relationship dynamic. The idea of codependency may have its roots in the theories of German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. In , she proposed that some people adopt what she termed a "Moving Toward" personality style to overcome their basic anxiety. Essentially, these people move toward others by gaining their approval and affection, and subconsciously control them through their dependent style.

Top Ten Indicators that You Show Signs of Codependency

Font Size: Print. As enabling is a form of behavior that seeks to protect, fix, though not helpful as a response to problem drinking, it is the extending of this behavior over time that may lead to codependency.

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