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Enablers Addictions Codependency

QUESTION: Enablers addictions codependency - How are they related?


The relationship between enablers, addictions, and codependency is a perplexing and arduous one. The addict will develop behaviors that are controlling, deceiving, and selfish. Their motives are for one purpose, to acquire and use their "drug of choice." This can be drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, or any similar snare.

The adverse changes in an addict's behavior will progress as their addiction grows. Because their loved ones don't initially realize the depth of the problem, they begin to alter their own behaviors. They will accommodate so as to not "rock the boat." The "drug of choice" gives the user a false sense of security or escapism.

When confronted, the addict feels their boat being rocked and that they will lose their [false] sense of being in control. For example, the addict will often explode in anger when questioned about their actions. This is to sidetrack the issues so they don't have to be answerable and face their demons. Codependents in turn, create avoidance to lessen this merry-go-round.

The results are that the lives of the loved ones are now dictated by, or dependent on, the addict and his/her behavior. When a codependent begins to refrain from confrontation and perhaps even cover up or excuse an addict's behaviors to outsiders, the codependent becomes an enabler. An enabling codependent empowers the addict to continue his/her road of destruction. In a sense, the addict is being allowed to get away with it. This direction is a sad and destructive way of life for the addict and the codependent.

Whether you are a parent, spouse, or child of an addict, it is difficult to acknowledge that you cannot enforce change or control the one you love. The only changes you can affect in the relationship are the changes you make in yourself. By altering your own reactions and behaviors, you will change the dynamics of the situation.

I once read a prayer that says "God, help me to accept my powerlessness over addiction and its effects. I will direct my efforts to improving the one life over which I do have power, my own." We are seldom successful if we try doing it under our own power and abilities.

However, with God all things are possible and He can work on any situation if we submit our control to Him. Allow Him to give you guidance and strength. God has the power to deliver us from the evils of addiction and codependent enabling.

Learn More About Codependency Recovery!

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