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Building Healthy Relationships

Codependent relationships are unhealthy relationships that are usually one-sided and emotionally damaging. Relationships that are codependent often include an individual with a substance use disorder. Codependency breeds destruction and dysfunction. 

Codependent relationships

Individuals in codependent relationships often struggle to be their own person. Codependency emerges when there are differences in the relationship. Disagreements often turn unhealthy fast, and the individuals in the relationship attempt to control the other person. Individuals in codependent relationships often lie and manipulate the other person. They may also make the other person feel responsible for their feelings. Overall, individuals may begin to define themselves by the other person in the relationship. This is extremely unhealthy and harmful to both people in the relationship. 

How do I identify codependency in the family?

There are often six different roles in a family that is codependent with a person suffering from an addiction. Coping methods in families like this are often unhealthy. Normal and healthy lives cannot be led in these families.

  • The addict
    • This family member has an addiction and is the center of the codependent relationship.
  • The caretaker
    • This family member enables the addiction and codependency issues because they take on the problems and responsibilities of everyone else. 
  • The hero
    • This family member is usually a child that is a perfectionist and attempts to take on adult roles in the household. 
  • The scapegoat
    • This family member is usually a child that acts out at school or at home and their behavior takes the focus away from the addicted person.
  • The mascot
    • This family member is usually a child who is funny in an attempt to divert attention away from the addicted person.
  • The lost child
    • This family member is usually a child who deals with the addiction by avoiding trouble and withdrawing from the situation.

Interdependent relationships

The opposite of the harmful codependent relationship is the healthy interdependent relationship. Individuals in interdependent relationships are able to maintain a sense of self separate from the other person in the relationship. Differences in opinions, thoughts, and feelings are not a problem for individuals in interdependent relationships. They are able to embrace these differences and love each other and themselves. Interdependent relationships breed a healthy space for conversation about whatever needs to be discussed. Happy and healthy relationships are interdependent relationships.

How can I be interdependent?

  1. Put yourself first.
  2. Know that you are not responsible for the other person’s problems.
  3. Learn to say no.
  4. Learn to trust.
  5. Seek help when needed. 

Villa Tranquil Recovery wants to help build healthy relationships among our patients and their families. We have outpatient groups that can help you learn healthy coping skills within relationships. Call us now at 866-697-7573 for more information about how we can help you.