Psychology Definitions: Codependency
Codependency is a concept for imbalanced relationships where one person enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement and/or undermines the other person's development.
We should differentiate between depending on another person — which is a positive and desirable trait, necessary for trust — and codependency, which is harmful.
Healthy dependence is when two people rely on each other for support and love, sharing in responsibilities. Both partners find value in the relationship.
In codependence partners lose individual identities, interests, or values outside of the relationship. Autonomy is sacrificed in fear of losing a partner. Codependence is built on fear; healthy dependence is built on trust.
One or both partners can exhibit codependent behaviors.
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