Codependence is a term used to describe an addiction to the addict.  It is usually the spouse or significant other of this person.  Just like the addictive person, this person is addicted to taking care of the addict.  They are addicted to this person because they are making this person the most important thing in their life. Everything else takes second place.  An addiction can be to anything not just the usual things people think of when they think of addiction.  It is anything that takes priority over everything else in your life.  It is your primary focus in life.  A codependent will protect this person from themselves and the mess ups in their life.  They make excuses for them, run interference for them, call them off sick from their jobs, pay their debts, bail them out of jail or pick them off the floor and put them in bed because they can’t do it themselves.  As long as the codependent does this for them, they will never have to do it for themselves.  They will never have to be responsible for their own behavior because they know you will be responsible for them.  An addiction is anything that takes up the majority of your time, energy, money or thoughts at the expense of everything else, including your children.  It is a pattern of behavior just like what we think of with the traditional addict.  Someone else is picking of the pieces for the codependent.  If you have children, it is them.  The codependent becomes a very angry person who resents the fact that their life and dreams have become second place to the addict.  They usually think of themselves as being generous and unselfish.  They see themselves as a martyr and resent the fact that they are.  They will usually stay until the addict explodes in their face.  Until the addict does something they cannot fix.  They will blame the addict for creating the mess and not own the fact that they have contributed to the mess.

Healing comes when there is the ability to acknowledge the role the codependent played in making the mess.  In the letting go of control and acknowledging that they are only responsible for themselves and their decisions and behaviors.  That in trying to control the addict, they have contributed to the mess that was made.  Alanon, Alateen and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) can help with this process.  It will allow the codependent to see that they are not alone and that they can take responsibility for their part in making the mess.  The codependent will also be able to gain skills to help them make better decisions concerning their addictive person.  The meetings will allow them to let go of what is not theirs to take on and take responsibility for what is.    Below is a link that will help you to relax and let go of what you cannot control and love your addict through it.

Link to video’s  Enjoy!




Published by


I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s