Codependency used to refer to the often unbalanced relationship between an individual suffering from SUD and their partner or family members. Today, this term is used more broadly to describe unhealthy relationships where one individual is stuck in a giver role, while the other remains in a taker role.
It is important to note that caretaking on its own does not mean codependency, it is the loss of self, and self worth that indicates that codependency may be present.
In a codependent relationship, the giver may be afraid to leave the relationship because they are afraid that the taker cannot make it without them. Additionally, they may not know who they are without the need of the taker. On the other hand, the taker also has a hard time leaving because they have become reliant on the giver.
Codependent relationships can occur within various relationships: