Is there Codependency in your Relationships?

When we transition from active addiction to sobriety, many of our unhealthy behaviors carry over into our new sober lives. It is important to identify these behaviors and make the necessary changes in order to secure yourself in your recovery. One of these harmful behavior patterns is the engendering of codependency in relationships. What exactly is codependency, and how can you work to eliminate it in your relationships old and new?

Codependency is defined as an unhealthy pattern of conduct where one individual enables a negative behavior in another. While it may seem like you as an addict could only be the enabled person in a codependent relationship, this is not always the case. In your active addiction there were likely friends or family you used with whose bad behavior you enabled. If you find yourself bending over backwards to please someone in your life, struggling or avoiding saying no to this person, and making excuses on their behalf for bad behavior on their part, you may have developed codependency with them. The cause of this enabling is a lack of self-esteem and individual identity – the enabler derives a sense of purpose and approval from the enabled individual.

Therein lies the answer to correcting this negative behavior pattern. It is imperative you reestablish your own sense of self as well as a healthy level of self-esteem in order to avoid a return to codependency in your relationships. You should surround yourself with positive, motivating influences in early recovery, people who will affirm your identity and self-esteem rather than discount it. It may be necessary to distance yourself from family and close friends with whom an unhealthy codependency exists until you feel confident in your ability to firmly set and maintain boundaries with them. If you find they are unwilling or unable to respect these boundaries, you should strongly consider stepping away from them until such time they accept and respect your boundaries.

Codependency is one of many negative side effects experienced in our active addiction. It is important you not carry over this negative relationship characteristic with you in sobriety, or else you risk the stability of your recovery. It may be uncomfortable or even painful for you to alter your existing relationships with those close to you. You may even need to make some sacrifices for the time being until those family and friends are ready to respect the new you and the boundaries that come along with you. These challenges are more than worthwhile as they help further cement you in your recovery and a life beyond your wildest dreams. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we understand both the difficulty and importance in repairing the damaged relationships in your life. We offer family therapy to our clients so you have a safe space in which to openly communicate and establish boundaries with your loved ones. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and start your new life in sobriety with caring and compassionate assistance.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or