The first type of denial is denying that someone in your life has an addiction or that his or her behavior is causing a problem or is negatively affecting you. It’s common with codependents because
You may have grown up with addiction or the problem behavior in your family, so it feels familiar and normal.
Addicts and abusers don’t like to take responsibility for their behavior. They deny it and blame others who are willing to accept this as the truth.
Growing up in dysfunctional families, you learn to not trust your perceptions and what you know.
Acknowledging the truth would cause feelings of shame because of the stigma attached to addiction and abuse.
Low self‐esteem lowers your expectations of being treated well.
You lack information about the signs of addiction and abuse.
Because denial keeps you from acknowledging the truth, you won’t have to confront someone’s upsetting behavior or addiction, experience the pain, or take action. If you love an addict and can pretend that the dangers facing him or her don’t exist, even for a little while, you can function better.
Denial doesn’t mean that you’re not bothered by their behavior. It means you don’t recognize it for what it is, such as abuse, infidelity, an addiction, or other issue. The fleeting possibility may cross your mind, but you don’t think about it. You may dismiss it as unimportant, or minimize, justify, or excuse it with explanations and rationalizations.
This is normal when you don’t want to admit that someone you love has a serious mental or behavioral problem, but the troubles mount up, and one day you find you’re making excuses for behavior you never thought you’d tolerate. That’s what happens with denial. Things get worse.