Many people have developed a pattern of being in relationship with significant others that negates their own personal needs and wants. We often discuss co-dependency in the context of substance abuse, but this is not always the case. Some co-dependency traits can be traced back to children who were raised by parents suffering from physical or mental illness. Relationships of any nature can be influenced by co-dependency.
Some of the characteristics of co-dependency include low self-esteem, people-pleasing, conflict avoiding, difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries, resentment, anger, care-taking/controlling, and problems with intimacy.
Freedom from co-dependency is achievable and it is worth the effort. Recovery can lead to improved health, intimate relationships, self-acceptance, assertiveness, and wholehearted living. Recovery from co-dependency is not necessarily independence, although this is part of the transition. We are, by nature, social creatures and being “inter-dependent” is striking a balance between identifying and trusting our own voices and observing and respecting the needs of others.