Are you focusing too much of your efforts on a relationship? Are you spending a large part of your life watching over and worrying about the person you love? Has your focus on this person take over your own life? You might be in a co-dependent relationship.

Co-dependent relationships can be unhealthy and sometimes very destructive. As a co-dependent, you can end up sacrificing too much of your own life and your own feelings while trying to care for or make your loved one feel better. Co-dependency is defined as an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner. With addiction, the co-dependency is often with a spouse or a parent. A co-dependent can take an excessively passive, controlling, or caretaking role with an addict.

10 Examples of Co-dependent Behaviors:

  1. You have an exaggerated sense of responsibility for others’ actions.
  2. You tend to do more than your share, all of the time.
  3. You depend on this relationship, even if it is an unhealthy one, and will do anything to hold onto the relationship to avoid feeling abandoned.
  4. You have an extreme need for approval and recognition.
  5. You feel guilty when you assert yourself.
  6. You feel a need to control others.
  7. You don’t trust in yourself and/or others.
  8. You have difficulty identifying your feelings.
  9. You have problems with intimacy and/or boundaries.
  10. You have lied or been dishonest


Does this sound familiar?
Here at Cornerstone, we recognize that addiction is a family disease that affects the addict as well as everyone around them. Since we focus on treating addiction as a family disease, we recognize that often times relationships need to be repaired and healing must take place as part of the recovery process. If you recognize these patterns of co-dependency in your life, and you are dealing with a loved one who is an addict, call Cornerstone Recovery Center to speak confidentially with an admissions counselor. We are available at 888-711-0354 or you can fill out a form online 24/7.

Co-dependency and Enabling

You might have heard of enabling before in relation to addiction. Co-dependency is part of enabling. Enabling, in the negative sense, is defined as dysfunctional behavior tactics that are intended to help resolve a specific problem or a situation, but ends up perpetuating the problem or making it worse. Co-dependent parents or spouses often end up enabling an addict when they cover for them by making excuses or calling in sick for them, for example. When this behavior is examined, it can become evident that covering for an addict in this fashion doesn’t hold them accountable for their actions.

How Do You Know If You Are In A Co-Dependent Relationship?

If you are not sure if you are in a co-dependent relationship with your spouse or your son or daughter that is an addict, see the questions below. If you can answer yes to or identify with several of them, then you might need to seek help for co-dependency or enabling.

  1. Do you recognize yourself partaking in unhealthy behaviors but continue to stay with your spouse or refrain from making your adult child face consequences for their actions?
  2. Is your own mental, emotional, and/or physical health being sacrificed by the attention you give to the addict in your life?
  3. Are you mistaking the need to help someone with loving them?
  4. Do you give up your own interests for the sake of the addict in your life?
  5. Are you giving more of yourself than you are getting back?
  6. Do you feel yourself remaining in the relationship to your own detriment?
  7. Do you have difficulty identifying your feelings?
  8. Do you feel compelled to control others?
  9. Do you avoid change or action for fear of being alone or without that person?
  10. Do you have a problem keeping set rules or setting boundaries?

Cornerstone Recovery Center Treats Addiction as a Family Disease

If you can identify with these questions, we can help. Cornerstone Recovery Center in Ft. Lauderdale focuses on treating our client and helping their family members learn how to heal and grow. We host Family Night events two times per month. Treatment plans are customized for each of our clients with elements of relapse prevention, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a lifestyle of recovery throughout treatment and beyond. If you would like to learn more about our residential and outpatient Ft. Lauderdale facilities, call Cornerstone Recovery Center at 888-711-0354 or contact us online.