I love him.
Isn’t that enough? That’s what you do for the people you love. You sacrifice your wants, needs, desires. Yeah he makes all the decisions of the household, but I want him to. He can gladly have that responsibility. I don’t know if I would even know what the right decision would be anyway. That’s one thing about him, he gets it right, so why would I take forever and decide something when he seems to just know what the right decision is?
His drinking? Oh, he’s gotten so much better. Definitely under control. I mean, yeah, he sometimes has one too many and says things that are hurtful but doesn’t everyone when they’re drinking?
Leave him? No, I couldn’t. I guess I’ve thought about it a couple times in the past, but he has so much going on right now that I can’t abandon him during his biggest time of need. He has no money and nowhere to go, no family that will help. I’m all he has left. His drinking would just get way worse if I left.
Do we argue? Sure, I mean, doesn’t everyone? I just try to keep quiet so that it doesn’t lead to an argument. He has a lot on his plate, and I don’t think it does any good to stress him out even more.
Codependency is a phrase used to describe the exact circumstances that you just read. The phrase was coined when discussing the pattern in relationships with an addict or alcoholic; however, codependency can be referred to any other sort of relationship where you lose or sacrifice your own thoughts, opinions, or emotions to appease the other person in that relationship.
“He has so much going on right now that I can’t abandon him.”
In the example above, the wife is codependent on the husband who is dependent on the alcohol. The wife wholeheartedly believes that she can’t leave her husband because he wouldn’t survive without her. So, she may engage in some enabling behaviors, such as letting him stay, telling him it’s ok if he has just one, not encouraging substance abuse treatment, or buying alcohol for him. She makes it ok in her mind by telling herself the above thought because she is dependent on the fact that he needs her.
When the wife enables him, he isn't forced to face the reality of his drinking habits.. If the wife doesn’t enable him, he may leave her, find someone that will let him continue these behaviors and choose to keep drinking. Likely, she cannot bear the fact that he would leave her, so she engages in the enabling behaviors to get him to stay, thinking she can just love him to sobriety.
While not all cases are this severe, codependency traits are more common than many may think.
Don't continue watering a dead flower.
Am I Codependent?
Below are some traits that people who are codependent have. They have been adapted and changed from the Mental Health America Codependency Questionnaire.
While reading these traits, if you thought “I do that” or “That’s me” for many of these traits, you may benefit from seeking a professional to work on improving your self-esteem, identifying messages you received from childhood, and developing boundaries within your relationships.
Treatment of Co-Dependency
Robin strives to help teens and adults work through difficult life transitions or hardships. Her personable personality helps people feel comfortable in uncomfortable and vulnerable situations, such as beginning therapy for the first time. She uses different approaches to help the whole person heal, grow, cope, and most importantly, believe in themselves.