Codependent Behavior: Are you Loving to Death?
You see your loved one struggling with alcohol and drugs and it is so difficult. You just want to be the best significant other, spouse, parent, sibling or friend. You help them with rent money or paying bills or you have even bailed him or her out of jail. That’s what family and friends do, right? You might think that’s love and friendship, but it’s actually contributing to the problem.
More Than Just Having a Big Heart
This comes as a shock to you. You don’t intend to be codependent or enable your loved one. You certainly don’t want to make the situation worse. If you’re not sure if you are codependent and enabling your loved one, there are questions you can ask yourself.
4 questions to see if you are codependent:
- Do you feel guilty when you don’t help your loved one or do as they say?
- Do you feel like you don’t have a choice when it comes to helping your loved one?
- Does “bailing out” your loved one from a problem make you feel needed or important?
- Do you feel like your loved one and their addiction issue is more important than you and your problems?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you are showing codependent behavior. This type of behavior leads to enabling. It’s a difficult thing to realize and accept but the sooner you see the situation for what it is, the quicker you can take action.
Saying no and not helping your loved one every time doesn’t mean you are a bad person. Without your help, they will find their options dwindling and treatment is the only way to get their lives and loved ones back. You need a chance to heal just as much as your loved one.
For a more detailed list of the top ten indicators for coedependent behavior, see Recovery Connection’s article: Top 10 Indicators of Codependency.