Codependency is a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is suffering from a psycho-pathological condition. In many instances, one's legitimate needs for love and security are blocked in a relationship by a dysfunctional person, often affected by narcissism or some type of addiction.

Dina, as a little girl, knew that her mother was unfaithful to her father. When her mother abandoned them, she took care of her father and her four other siblings. A few years ago, she gravitated toward a needy man and married him. The man turned out to be unfaithful and sex-addicted needing "rescue." Despite her husband's ongoing dysfunction and unwillingness to get help, she couldn't set healthy limits and let go so her husband can heal through his consequences.

Codependency doesn't look damaging because it feels loving. But the truth is, it obstructs thinking and clouds the dangers ahead. This is a result of codependency's lack of objectivity, being controlled, and controlling others. A codependent is a fixer with a warped sense of responsibility that enables or empowers the continuity of the other person's destructive patterns. He or she assumes the burden of the consequences of the other person's dysfunction and gets in the way of the healing process.

To know if you are codependent, ask your self some questions:

*  Do I fear what others think of me?
*  Do I make excuses for other people's poor choices and bad behavior?
*  Do I desire to take responsibility for other people's problems?
*  Do I have a sense of fear or anger if I'm not in control of a situation?
*  Do I allow people to speak to me in an abusive, disrespectful manner?
*  Do I try to control others?
*  Do I believe leniency is an expression of love?

Remember, most codependents don't believe they have a problem!