When one family member suffers from a severe problem, the entire family unit is impacted. Alcoholism, domestic violence, and emotional abuse are examples of difficult problems families face. Each person typically adapts their behavior pattern to adjust to the situation. Sometimes these changes seem to make the situation easier because conflict can be avoided. Unfortunately, these changes often enable destructive behavior patterns to flourish within the family unit. This process is referred to as codependency.
There are a variety of situations which can be labelled codependent, and no two stories are exactly alike.
Dealing with codependency is a challenging process. However, counsellors and community groups can be helpful in changing destructible patterns. If you think you are involved in a codependent relationship, a professional counsellor can help you identify and change unhealthy behavior patterns.