Addicted people often have a counter part – another person, who is the enabler and who is involuntarily, but ver effectively doing everything to keep the addicted person at his or her habit. This is difficult to understand, if you have not made the experience of being co-dependent yourself, or have watched someone close to you in such a relationship.
Co-dependency is not unusual. We are all co-dependent to some degree, as we are all connected and locked in the world of opposites. This is the victim – offender analogy and it means that in each victim, there is an offender and in each offender, there is a victim. We are all related and often attracted to the very personality traits, that we have to develop ourselves.
You see this very clearly in the relationship of the addict and the co-dependent person. By caring for the addicted person, denying the seriousness or the damage that is being done to everyone involved, or seeing themselves as indispensable, the co-dependent person allows the addicted person to stay in the chasm of self-destructive behaviour, and more often than not keeps them in it.
People who are co-dependent are addicted as well and there is a personality pattern, that is prone to developing codependency. Codependency is defined as an an emotional, behavioral, and psychological pattern of coping which develops as a result of prolonged exposure to and practice of a dysfunctional set of family rules. In turn, these rules make difficult or impossible the open expression of thoughts and feelings. Normal identity development is thereby interrupted; codependency is the reflection of a delayed identity development.
What is is the co-dependent person gets out of it ? I think it is a sense of control, of being needed and being superior. The relationship of an addicted person and the co-dependent ally is one of a power struggle. Codependency is, essentially, an addiction to another person; the compulsive need to control that part of their life that is out-of-control. It has been said that “When a codependent dies, someone else’s life flashes before their eyes!”