9 Ways to Identify a Dysfunctional RelationshipPosted: January 16, 2014
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”
― C.G. Jung
Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel like you are crazy? This was a familiar feeling for me as a young woman when the love of my life was alcoholic and I came from an alcoholic home. Then I became a chemical dependency counselor, and began to understand. When you are in a relationship with someone who is addicted, you often feel like you are crazy.
How do you know if your relationship is dysfunctional?
1. You keep saying the same thing over and over again and it does not help the situation. You are either not heard or ignored.
2. You do everything you can to fix the situation to no avail.
3. Your friends get tired of your ongoing drama and you feel isolated.
4. You begin to doubt yourself.
5. Tension builds and there may be an outburst (yours or theirs) and then there is the period where things go better and you feel guilty and try harder, just to end up right where you were before, only deeper, more depressed, uncertain, depressed or exhausted.
6. You make excuses for his behavior.
7. You hold onto any kind word or gesture and immediate think it will get better, even though it never does.
8. You think you will never be able to find anyone else and so you stay.
9. You feel confined, trapped and are afraid to leave.
This is the pattern of being in a dysfunctional relationship. You begin to feel like you are crazy. I see this often in my counseling private practice. It is usually the partner of the addict who shows up for advice. The addict himself rarely seeks out help. Too often when the codependent realizes she has to make some changes, she stops coming until the situation escalates. In order for an addict to hit bottom they usually have to have legal trouble, health issues, lose their job, lose their family, or death.
If you find you are in this kind of relationship, before your self-esteem tanks totally, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself. One resource I like is the book Codependent No More by Melody Beatty. I also suggest contacting a local counselor that is educated in chemical dependency. When you get to the stage of feeling crazy, reach out for help before the disastrous incident. There is help!
Watch for the blog on Addictive Relationships!