- Does it feel like all your moods and emotions are totally determined by another person’s moods or emotions?
- Is there someone close to you, who effects completely and utterly how you feel?
- Are your concerns and efforts always about someone else, rather than yourself?
Positive answers to these questions may indicate a co-dependency.
Co-dependency is a dependency on another person. It is when you become so involved in another person’s life, that you lose your own identity.
An individual can be co-dependent on any significant person in their life i.e. partner, spouse, child, sibling, friend. Over concern for another person becomes paramount and often results in the individual neglecting their own needs.
In an intimate relationship, co-dependency can take on other forms and be highly aggressive. One partner can be over anxious about the other and constantly try to control them and having unrealistic expectations.
Recovery is learning to let go of a co-dependent relationship; it is about being together but independent of each other; it is about allowing yourself to learn who you are, without being enmeshed with another person. In a healthy non- co-dependent relationship, each person accepts the other for who they are, each person allows the other to grow and learn from their own mistakes. A fundamental part of recovery is about letting go of the control of another person.
In recovery, the co-dependent will discover how to release themselves from extreme enmeshment with another person and learn to be a relevant, independent person.