Getting Out of a Codependent Relationship


It may start with worrying about whether there is a future with a chosen partner, crying, feeling anxious or any number of other things which crop up. A toxic, codependent relationship can bring up lots of negative feelings. Addiction and codependency go hand-in-hand but there comes a time to end it for the benefit of all parties involved. Find out some tips for leaving a codependent relationship.

Codependent Relationships

A relationship with a person with addiction is challenging to avoid mental and physical impact. There are ups and downs to deal with and everyone copes differently. Being preoccupied with the needs of a person with addiction is called codependency, an unhealthy form of love that harms relationships and overall quality of life for all involved. The good news is that there is power to change. Overcoming codependent relationships is possible. Positive changes can occur but more importantly, nobody will have to stay within the codependent relationship. It is still possible to love the person, just in a healthier way.

Four Steps Towards Positive Change

Take Ownership

Addiction is called a family disease for a reason. The entire household takes on many unhealthy behaviors in the process. Enabling behaviors can be difficult for everyone involved. Failing to set healthy boundaries is a difficult part of dealing with a loved one who has addiction. Tough love comes from setting healthy boundaries and it means making a stand, drawing a line, even when it is hard. Setting boundaries will take time to take effect but eventually a person learns what works and what doesn’t.

Letting Go

Detachment from addiction is possible when an individual decides it is not necessary to remain in the midst of the chaos. Rise above everything, even when it seems impossible and detach from addiction. That is the best thing to do for one’s own health and that of others involved. This means walking away and planning self care, making healthy choices and seeking peace.

Change Focus

As long as a person is in active addiction, the focus will always be on them. The only real control over behavior and actions is one’s own. Look in the mirror and decide to shift focus to make necessary changes while following through on the plan for best results.

Reach Out

One of the most important steps in any situation is to find help and support. One of the best forms is for those involved with a person with addiction includes recovery groups. Loved ones of people with addiction can share the hope, challenges and problems involved with helping someone who lives with the same struggles. Al-Anon is one of many places to find support.

Moving Forward

Moving ahead will be lots of opportunity for finding growth and confidence. Learning to allow the person to make personal mistakes and face up to consequences is just part of the process. It helps to remember each mistake is one step closer to realizing the need for help. Making good choices is about setting a good example and building a stronger future, away from codependency towards a healthy future.


Sustain Recovery provides a unique approach to adolescent care. Gender Separate Extended Care is provided for primary treatment programs or those needing a longer-term solution. Call us to find out how we can support your recovery journey.