What is Co-Depenedency?

Co-dependency can be defined as an addiction to people, behaviors or things. Co-dependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things and events on the outside. To the co-dependent control or lack of control is central to every aspect of life. Co-dependency is difficult to label because so many of the co-dependent actions seem to be acts of kindness or Godly. Aren’t I supposed to prefer others over myself as the Bible says? Don’t I put other people’s needs over my own? How can I tell what is co-dependency and what is acts of kindness or Godly behavior? For most co-dependents the answer is in the motive behind the action.

  • Am I sacrificing my identity, desires, or needs to make the other person feel good about themselves or to keep the peace?
  • Am I expecting my behavior to make me feel loved and or accepted?
  • Am I trying to “manipulate” the other person to do or feel the way I think is appropriate?
  • Am I being compliant with the other person’s desires just to keep peace even when I don’t agree or want to participate in the particular activity?
  • Am I agreeing with the person so that I won’t be rejected?
  • Is my happiness bound up in what the other person thinks about what I say or do?

If the co-dependent is in a relationship with an alcoholic or drug addict:

  • Am I loosing sleep because of someone’s drinking or use of drugs?
  • Do I try to deny or conceal the drinking or using situation from friends of family? Do I cover for and protect the person?
  • Do I feel responsible and guilty for the drinking or using behavior?
  • Am I beginning to withdraw from friends and outside activities?
  • Have I taken over responsibilities that used to be handled by the other person?

These are just a few of the ways we can check our motives to see if our behavior or thoughts are co-dependent.

I have achieved almost 18 months of sobriety in co-dependency. I am trying to learn better ways of doing things. I have learned to set boundaries and keep to them. I set a boundary with my ex, Brett, about lying to me. I told him that if he lied to me one more time I was leaving. In the last fight we had, he lied to me so I kept my boundary and left.

I used to try to “fix” everyone and everything around me. I was looking back into my past and started to notice that a lot of where my “fix it” stuff came from was when I was a child. When my mom and sisters were fighting I always tried to “fix” the problems. I was the mediator in my household. It seemed  as though if there was a problem I was the one trying to calm everyone down. There were many violent things that happened through out my pre-teen and teen years when it comes to my sisters but I won’t share them here. That is a more private post for my sponsor and I to share!!! 🙂

~One Day At A Time~


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