The term “codependency” is often confusing and unclear to many individuals. Although codependency has its origins in addiction, it is now understood to apply to many different situations. In Codependent No More, Melody Beattie defines a codependent person as “one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior”. Codependency can exist within romantic relationships, friendships, families, caretaking or even our place of employment. If you find yourself unable to detach from an individual, you may be experiencing codependency.
Characteristics of codependent behavior include:
- Low self-esteem and self-worth
- Inability to set boundaries
- Caretaking tendencies
- Obsessions with a relationship or someone’s behavior
- Caregiving behaviors
- Denial (either about own behavior or someone else’s)
- Intimacy problems
- Emotional pain and reactivity
Counseling and support groups can assist in recovery from codependency. It is never to late to detach with love and live your own life.