SPOUSES OF AN ADDICT
Spouses or partners of addicts can experience what is known as codependency, also known as relationship or love addiction. It can be defined as ignoring yourself and focusing on your partner to alleviate your inner pain and loneliness.
Codependency symptoms can include denial, isolation, gaslighting, manipulation, lying, feelings of insanity, emotional responses, and compulsive behaviour. Codependents try to control their partner, to the point that, like any other addiction, it consumes their lives.
Codependents typically rationalize problematic behaviour of their partners and give up friends and social activities. They enable their partners or spend all their energy trying to get their partners to change through manipulation, blaming, lying or nagging. They may withdraw from social circles in order to hide their problems. Shame and secrets are two words associated with codependency.
As codependency worsens, the obsession and dependence increases. They may turn to other addictive behaviours and there might be instances of abuse. And in the worst cases, codependency affects one's health.
Treatment for codependency begins with recognizing that there is a problem. We can help. Our Clinical Director Karen Bresinger MSW also works as our Family Counselor and helps coordinate special meetings for partners of addicts.
Contact us today if you think you may be a codependent.
Our family workshops and groups (contact us for more information)
Partners of Sex Addiction Group (pre-registration required. Contact us for more information) (
Group Dynamics for Families: Tuesdays, 1:30-3:00 PM (pre-registration required)
This group is dedicated to helping family members who are suffering due to a loved one's addiction.
Our family group consists of individuals who all share similar experiences. Whether it be a child, spouse, sibling or parent, the chaos and inability to live in the status quo are what bring family members to the realization that their lives have become unmanageable, and what they are doing is not and has not been working. With other group members and a facilitator, we explore and gain understanding of what is in our control to change and what is not.