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Living with an Alcoholic & Codependency

Anyone who is living with an alcoholic, or who has lived with an alcoholic, knows that chaos reigns supreme in the home as a result of the alcoholics addiction. What you may not know is that there is a huge link between alcoholics and codependent relationships. In fact, the term codependency was originally coined when the wife of the founder of AA realized that many family members of alcoholics displayed similar traits - it was almost as if they had become addicted to the alcoholic just as he or she was addicted to a substance.

In many cases, family members of alcoholics became codependent because they didn't feel that they had any other choice. They were living with someone who was sick and that person's actions were upsetting the entire household, so family members began to compensate by becoming caretakers and protectors and just trying to keep the peace and control the situation as best they could. 

However, codependent relationships are unhealthy and they don't work long-term. Even if the parties in a relationship like this stay together, neither is happy - certainly not the one struggling with codependency. 

The good news for people who are living with an alcoholic or anyone with an addiction problem is that they can get healthy even if their family member chooses not to. It's not necessary to continue to be codependent just because someone you live with has a problem. You can learn more about living with an alcoholic or codependent relationships in general and what you can do to start to overcome them. 

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