Codependency Vs. Interdependence
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Codependency Vs. Interdependence

Relationship dynamics are shaped by the interplay between dependency and codependency in the complex environment of human interactions. This built-in rhythm of dependency encourages self-assurance and mutual trust. It is comparable to a dance in which both partners create mutual harmony. The foundation of a good relationship can be built through interdependency which allows each person to maintain their independence and strong sense of self while creating a strong emotional bond. For this to happen, it is essential to understand the difference between codependency and interdependency.


What Does Codependency Mean?

What Does Interdependence Mean?

How Does A Relationship Become Codependent

Can Someone Who Is Codependent Change?

What Type Of Therapy Treats Codependency?




What Does Codependency Mean?


When two people in a relationship are emotionally, physically, cognitively, and/or spiritually dependent on one another, codependency develops. This dynamic can exist amongst friends and family as well as romantic partners, and it frequently leads to dysfunctional patterns in relationships (American Psychological Association, 2023). In simple words, codependency can be called “Relationship Addiction”.


This type of dependence often appears in relationships where one partner struggles with addiction, whether it be to alcohol or other substances (Salonia et al., 2021). The concept of “codependency” was first used in the context of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1950s. It was created to help partners of individuals who were struggling with substance misuse, individuals who were caught up in the challenging and unsafe lives of the people they loved (Wright & Wright, 1991).


In a codependent relationship, one individual is focused entirely on fulfilling the needs of the other partner. This type of dependency shows up as a persistent focus on what is required of the other partner and all the decision-making and worries are centered on how the thoughts and actions may produce an effect on the codependent person. Furthermore, the codependent person can experience a severe sense of personal meaninglessness in their partner’s absence and think that their entire existence would end without the other person’s involvement and presence. The relationship’s complicated codependency can be explained by the delicate interaction between over-reliance and emotional attachment.



What Does Interdependence Mean?


In an interdependent relationship, partners maintain a strong sense of individual identity while also acknowledging and appreciating the importance of their emotional bond (Rusbult & Van Lange, 2003). Interdependence in a healthy relationship refers to striking a balance between looking after yourself and your partner. Together, they strive to fulfill each other’s needs without becoming controlling or depending on one another to feel important.


It’s similar to allowing each other the room to be who you are, the flexibility to get together when necessary, and the self-assurance to make choices without contemplating too much how they will impact your relationship.


Codependency Article

Photo By: Andrea Piacquadio

How Does A Relationship Become Codependent?


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