It starts out simply enough: A couple falls in love and their lives become enmeshed. But one of the pair begins abusing drugs or alcohol. The other person, so encompassed in their feelings for their partner, begins a set of behaviors they think will help the abuser. They’ll begin covering for their partner’s bad behavior in public situations, making excuses for them, help hide their addiction from others, or even enabling it. Substance abuse can make a codependent relationship even worse. Let’s take a couple where the wife is an alcoholic and her husband is an enabler. This couple has been together for many years, and the husband has never really tried to get his wife the help she needs for her alcohol addiction. Rather, he buys her the alcohol she desperately craves with the justification that if he doesn’t, she will. He doesn’t realize that, whether she drunkenly drove herself to the store or he bought the alcohol himself, either path is risky and destructive. He’s so emotionally invested that he feels he’s doing the right thing for her attention, love, and presence.
Taken from “The Dangerous Cycle of Codependency and Substance Abuse” http://www.clearviewtreatment.com/substance-abuse-codependency-treatment.html
We fear doing too little
when we should do more.
Then atone by doing too much,
when perhaps we should do less.