Understanding codependency characteristics first involves understanding where this behavior comes from. Like any pattern of behavior, codependency is learned from family members. Codependency is a survival characteristic, one that is used as a coping mechanism with stressful situations. Much like addiction, codependency is used to avoid dealing with stress. However, this a poor coping device, and can result in ill feelings both for the codependent and the other person in the relationship.

Codependency can affect families, romantic partners and even platonic friendships. When a person becomes possessive and controlling it can burden a relationship that should be built on trust. It is believed that codependency is learned from family members who become codependent because of a stressful family situation, such as addiction, abuse, illness or poverty. Exposure to this kind of environment, as well as to family members who do not know how to handle stress, can cause a child to learn codependency as a means of coping.

Realizing that one has a problem is the first step. A codependent person may be confronted with the issue or gradually realize that he or she is pushing away loved ones. Realize that there is help for codependency, and it usually does not require medication or psychological counseling. On the contrary, many people have been helped by attending codependency meeting groups and by simply taking in information on codependency and stress.

A codependent friend or codependent wife could learn to identify his or her own behavior and what bothers other people so that they can change controlling characteristics. The solution may involve talking things out or giving more trust to a loved one. Some have even found that a codependency forum can provide moral support to anonymous web users.

If you would like more information on codependency help then visit HowToBeSaneWhenLifeIsnt.com. This site offers practical suggestions on how to eliminate stress in your life, cope with a challenging world and heal your body and mind.

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Claudine Struck "The Mind, Body, Spirit Expert" author of "How to Stay Sane When Life Isn't." If you are ready to make you a priority, cultivate healthy relationships and live a more sane, happier life then this inspirational and unique approach to integrating mind, body spirit is for you. Get free tips now at howtostaysanewhenlifeisnt.com