Codependents And Alcoholics: Keeping The Addiction Cycle Turning

Dr Nicholas Jenner

There is much written on the internet (including by me) about the “new codependency”, the “love addiction”, documenting poor souls trapped in relationships with “narcissist”, emotionally distant partners. In therapy, we quite rightly talk about how to fix the broken childhood of neglect and abuse that created the situation in the first place. We always talk about taking responsibility for behaviour, choices and the need to set healthy boundaries. However, in many of the case of codependency I deal with, the spectre of addiction looms large in the background.

A striking number of cases of codependency I deal with are associated with a partner who is an alcoholic in the true sense of the word. Perhaps not surprising when we look at the original definition of codependency: or addict.

relating to a relationship in which one person is physically or psychologically addicted, as to alcohol or gambling, and the other…

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