Daniel Linder, MFT
How do we maintain our relationship when we both have addiction problems
Codependency is an addiction just like all other addictions. Just like there are addictions to substances or activities, there are addictions to relationships. A lot of people refer to it as the need to be needed. But from the perspective of a relationship model on addiction, the codependent is using the relationship to hide, to escape their own pain, their own challenges and worthlessness and all the things that any addict has to deal with. And at some point, they’re going to have to confront all the pain that drives an addiction.
Wherever there’s an addict, there’s a codependence. And if a codependent is with an addict in recovery, but he or she is not in recovery themselves, they could pose a constant trigger for the addict. The addict is going to have a hard enough time coping in a relationship with someone that’s healthy and doesn’t need them to take care of them. So, the whole dynamic of the relationship is going to have to change, and it’s going to be a major adjustment for the codependent. Unless the codependent is aware of their own addiction and challenges and feelings and the ways in which they use the relationship, they’re going to fall back into codependent patterns, and they’re going to be right back into an addictive relationship.
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