Co- dependency is a learned behavior that often times is passed down from one generation to another by watching parents relate in this type of system. It is sometimes referred to as “relationship addiction” because many times codependent relationships are one sided and can be emotionally destructive.

A few of the characteristics of Co-dependent people are:

· An over inflated sense of responsibility for the actions and feelings of others
· A tendency to get involve with others that they can love, pity and rescue
· Poor boundaries
· A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time
· An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything and put up with the unimaginable to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment
· An extreme need for approval and recognition
· A sense of guilt when trying to assert themselves
· A need to control others
· Lack of trust in themselves
· Fear of being alone
· Difficulty identifying and feeling their feelings
· Problems with intimacy
· “Stretching” the truth

One of the more salient points of James Redfield’s Celestine Prophecy related to codependency. Redfield likened it to walking around like the letter C – half a circle. “We are very susceptible to a person… some other circle half complete, coming up and joining with us – completing the circle that way – and giving us a burst of euphoria and energy that feels like the wholeness that a full connection with the universe provides,” he writes. “In reality, we have only joined up with another person who is looking for their other half on the outside too. This is the classical co-dependency relationship.”
Codependents languish in the absence of their partners, whether it be a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse. The sky is never as blue as when their lover is near. While well-meaning, the codependents’ biggest fault is loving others too much and themselves too little.
Codependents sometimes try to “save” others who have a myriad of problems. Yet underlying this impulse to “help,” there is an issue of control. Individuals may see it as trying to control their own lives, but often others get caught up in this sea. Codependents do more than their fair share and may end up feeling unappreciated. A codependent will do anything to hold onto relationships and avoid abandonment, which especially becomes a problem if the relationship is abusive, unhealthy or ill-suited to begin with.
Codependents can sabotage themselves in relationships. At the first sign of neediness, partners flee in droves. Codependents are also the first people to be taken advantage of, since it’s presumed they’ll put up with just about anything. The tendency to enable others’ bad behavior can cause undesirable results. For example, a codependent may always pick up after a messy spouse, but then unfortunately, the spouse never suffers a consequence that may give him an incentive to change. Another side of the codependent system is with two codependents paired together. These two may value their relationship so much that relationships with family and friends suffer, careers fall by the wayside and life is a mere shadow of what it could be as they only live to satisfy each others needs.
Recovery from co-dependency is a process that is completely possible when we do our personal growth work and begin to heal our lack of self esteem and fears of abandonment. Here are a few tips that will get you on the road to recovery from co-dependency:

1. Begin to start taking extreme care of you! That means start eating a balanced healthy diet, get regular exercise and develop spiritual and social interests outside of your relationship.

2. Take a look at your internal boundaries and values and begin to realize what is important to you. Stop “giving yourself up” so that others are happy. Begin to speak your truth expressing how you truly feel. It may seem scary at first, but it does get easier with practice and will greatly improve your self esteem.

3. Get to know you better. Begin by journaling your inner most feelings, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Imagine your life as though it were perfect and begin to take baby steps everyday in the direction that will create the life of your dreams.

4. Get the support you need. Sometimes we need help to overcome the challenges of codependency so reach out to a professional of your choice or join a support group that shares help and support on this subject.

Borrowing from the James Redfield metaphor, you, in essence, must become a full circle – a complete person – before you can link up with someone else and create a healthy relationship. When two complete beings join in a union, they become a chain and their magnified energy leads to greater bliss for both people. Healthy, independent people have more to contribute to daily conversations and have deeper more meaningful relationships and are better able to adapt to whatever life throws their way. Just a few of the many benefits of breaking the co-dependency patterns in our life.

Author's Bio: 

Deb Klugger is a Life and Relationship coach, international speaker, author and workshop leader. Deb specialises in helping people overcome the drama and trama of divorce and move into the joy and excitement of healthy living.For more information visit