Recovering from Codependency in Relationships

The loved ones and close friends of an addict often develop their own unhealthy behaviors in order to cope with or block out the reality of the addiction plaguing their circle. One such pattern of behavior which can emerge is that of codependency. This damaging relationship dynamic forms as a result of your efforts to smooth over any rough spots in your daily life caused by unsatisfied needs and wants of those around you. You begin deriving a sense of self-worth and importance from the service and aid you provide others, becoming addicted to “helping” others at the expense of your own health and wellness. Now that our loved ones are working to recover from their addiction, how can we recover from ours?

Your co-dependency presents as compulsive behaviors triggered as a response to stress or other negative emotions. The behaviors are a means to self-soothe and derive a sense of control in the dysfunctional environment in which you find yourself. It is therefore vital for you to form new, healthy ways to cope with any stress in your life so you can let go of this codependent behavior. Ironically, the recovering addict may be a useful resource in this regard, as part of their substance abuse treatment should have included education regarding healthy coping skills for stress management. Additionally, support groups for codependent individuals exist throughout the nation, providing guidance and resources for you as you attempt to change this harmful behavior within yourself.

In addition to these new, healthy coping skills you will form and practice, your existing relationships are likely devoid of healthy boundaries as you have been overly accommodating to most people in your life. It is time to reclaim your lost territory and establish healthy boundaries for those with whom you interact, and to make sure you are getting what you need out of your relationships with others. Previously, you needed to be needed, but now that you are eliminating this codependent characteristic of your relationships, you should talk with a therapist or trusted advisor to figure out what a healthy relationship looks like for you. Once you have a picture of this sort of relationship in your mind, put a plan in motion to align your existing relationships to this ideal. Those negative people in your life unwilling to respect these new guidelines should be cut off, as they are clearly not making a positive contribution to your life.

Codependency looks good on the surface - you appear as a deferential caretaker to all those around you, keeping everyone else happy all the time. You are so busy worrying about the satisfaction of others you forget what makes you happy, instead deriving joy from the pleasure you provide others. This behavior must change if you are to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life, especially now that your loved one has sought treatment for their own addiction. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we understand these unhealthy coping mechanisms often develop in those within the addict’s immediate circle, and we are happy to provide family therapy as part of our program of treatment so that they can experience healing alongside their loved one. If you feel you would benefit from some treatment of your own, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and inquire about engaging in family therapy sessions while your loved one is in our residential treatment program.


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 visit