We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Co-Dependents Anonymous?

Lainie Petersen
Updated Jan 29, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Co-Dependents Anonymous is a self-help support group for individuals who want to be in healthy relationships. Using a "12 step" system, Co-Dependents Anonymous offers confidential, free assistance in a supportive atmosphere. Live meetings take place all over the world, and some groups meet online as well. The organization does not provide psychotherapy but does encourage its members to “work” the 12 steps of recovery from co-dependent behavior. People who are interested in joining the organization are encouraged to find a local meeting and attend it six times before making a decision about whether the group is helpful.

Many mental health professionals have begun to pay attention to the problem of co-dependence. Although the traits of a co-dependent relationship were first identified by people observing marriages and partnerships in which one partner is a substance abuser, the co-dependent dynamic exists in relationships where neither partner abuses drugs or alcohol. Instead, one partner places a high priority on preserving the relationship and will engage in self-sacrifice to the point of harming himself or herself to please or satisfy the other partner. In relationships that include substance abusers, co-dependency might manifest itself in one partner “covering” for the irresponsible behavior of the addict. In other relationships, the co-dependent partner might take primary responsibility for maintaining contact with or meeting the needs of the other partner.

Realizing that co-dependency is an unhealthy behavior, Co-Dependents Anonymous was founded by other co-dependents as a self-help alternative to continuing in unhealthy relationship dynamics. The organization uses the recovery model set forth in the "12 steps" and "12 traditions" first established by Alcoholics Anonymous. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous operates as a fellowship in which members can share their experiences and offers support to each other as they attempt to recover from the sickness of co-dependency. Much of the work of Co-Dependents Anonymous takes place in the form of structured meetings and accountable relationships between members and their “sponsors” — individuals who have been in the program for a longer period of time and who can provide one-on-one support.

The 12-step philosophy of recovery is a spiritually based process in which the co-dependent acknowledges that he or she has no control over the behavior of others and seeks the aid of a “higher power" that might be able to help the person normalize his or her thinking and behavior. During the process of working the 12 steps, the Co-Dependents Anonymous member works to develop a better understanding of himself or herself and his or her behavior. The person also makes amends to those whom he or she has harmed and eventually seeks to assist other co-dependents in their recovery.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By anon263931 — On Apr 26, 2012

Can a codependent really love his partner? What if the partner does the same things for him, or doesn't he like to be loved?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.