Co dependence

We very often assume that co dependency (enmeshment/care-taking) only applies to adult children of alcoholics.  It can happen in any family and does.  In fact, co dependency is perhaps the most common form of individual and family dysfunction.  It is pervasive and yet is very often unrecognized.  Examples of co dependency/ enmeshment include:

  • controlling or attempting to control and manipulate the behavior of another often through guilt or punishment
  • allowing one’s self to be controlled by another
  • telling another adult what they should or shouldn’t do
  • putting one’s needs aside and making the ‘other’ the focus of your life
  • discouraging minor and adult children from becoming independent
  • looking to the children-including very young children-to meet the emotional needs of the parent
  • one’s well being is tightly tied to another person’s emotions and behaviors–for example, “you leave and I fall apart”

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