Find out if you are exhibiting co-dependent behavior......
(Jesus) said to her,
"Daughter, your faith has
healed you.  Go in peace."
                    Luke 8:48
The Word For Women Network  An Interactive Ministry  
"Characteristics of Co-dependents and The Co-dependent Personality"

"Characteristics of Co-dependents: Modified from Schaef (1986)"

"1. External referencing: distrusting own perceptions, lacking
boundaries, believing one cannot survive without a
relationship/addicted to relationships, fearing abandonment,
believing in the perfect union.

2. Caretaking: become indispensable, become a martyr

3. Self-centeredness: personalizing all events, assuming
responsibility for other's behavior.

4. Over-controlling: increasing control efforts when chaos
increases, attempting to control everything and everyone,
controlling without caring for those controlled, believing
that with more effort you can fix the addict/family.

5. Feelings: unaware of feelings, distorting emotional
experiences/accepting only acceptable feelings, fearfulness.

6. Dishonesty: managing all impressions made, omitting/lying about
the truth, rigidity.

7. Gullibility:  being a bad judge of character, unwillingness to
confront, over-trusting, accepting what fits the way on wishes
the way things were.

Lay symptoms of Co-dependence

Changing who you are to please others
Feeling responsible for meeting other people's needs at the
expense of your own
Low self-esteem
Driven by compulsions
Taken from Soul's Self Help Central.
Click the link below for more information.
Co-dependence (or codependency) is a popular psychology concept popularized by
Twelve-Step program advocates. A "codependent" is loosely defined as someone who exhibits
too much, and often inappropriate, caring for persons who depend on him or her. A
"codependent" is one side of a relationship between mutually needy people. The dependent, or
obviously needy party(s) may have emotional, physical, financial difficulties, or addictions they
seemingly are unable to surmount. The "codependent" party exhibits behaviour which controls,
makes excuses for, pities, and takes other actions to perpetuate the obviously needy party's
condition, because of their desire to be needed and fear of doing anything that would change
the relationship.

Co-dependence can also be a set of maladaptive, compulsive behaviors learned by family
members in order to survive in a family which is experiencing great emotional pain and stress
caused, for example, by a family member's alcoholism or other addiction, sexual or other abuse
within the family, a family member's chronic illness, or forces external to the family, such as

Symptoms of codependence are controlling behavior, distrust, perfectionism, avoidance of
feelings, problems with intimacy, excessive caretaking, hypervigilance or physical illness
related to stress. Codependence is often accompanied by clinical depression, as the
codependent person succumbs to feelings of frustration or sadness over his or her inability
to improve the situation.

Codependency advocates claim that a codependent may feel shame about, or try to change,
his or her most private thoughts and feelings if they conflict with those of another person.
An example would be a wife making excuses for her husband's excessive drinking and
perhaps running interference for him by calling in sick for him when he is hung over. Such
behaviors, which may well lessen conflict and ease tension within the family in the short
term, are counterproductive in the long term, since, in this case, the wife is actually
supporting ("enabling") the husband's drinking behavior. So, sometimes, the codependent
is referred to as an "enabler." It is also worth noting that since the wife in this case is
dependent on the husband's alcoholic behavior, she may actually feel disturbed, disoriented
or threatened if she sees clearly that he is emerging from his dependence; the threat to her
position as a confidante and needed loved one might lead her unconsciously to resist the
husband's steps towards recovery. Similarly, a codependent parent might resist his or her
child's steps toward independence; whether early or late in life.

Codependent people have a greater tendency to enter into relationships with people who
are emotionally unavailable or needy. The codependent tries to control a relationship
without directly identifying and addressing his or her own needs and desires. This invariably
means that codependents set themselves up for continued unfulfillment. Codependents
always feel that they are acting in another person's best interest, making it difficult for them
to see the controlling nature of their own behavior.