Five Core Issues of Co-Dependence


Codependence is a complex and misunderstood condition affecting individuals in various relationships. It is characterised by unhealthy and excessive reliance on others for self-worth, identity, and validation. Understanding the five core codependence issues is essential in recognising and addressing these patterns.

Let’s look at the core issues of codependence and provide insights on how to overcome them.

1. Low Self-Esteem

One of the primary core issues in codependence is low self-esteem. Individuals struggling with codependence often have an exaggerated need for external validation and work with a lack of self-worth.

They may believe their value comes from caring for others or meeting their needs, neglecting their well-being. Overcoming low self-esteem involves cultivating self-compassion, setting boundaries, and engaging in self-care activities that promote self-worth.

2. People-Pleasing

Codependent individuals tend to be people-pleasers, constantly seeking approval and validation from others. They prioritise others’ needs and desires above their own, often at the expense of their well-being. Overcoming the people-pleasing pattern involves learning to assert oneself, setting healthy boundaries, and understanding that it is okay to prioritise personal needs and desires.

3. Enabling and Rescuing Behaviors

Codependent individuals often enable and rescue behaviours, trying to fix or save others from their problems or consequences. They may take on excessive responsibility for others’ actions and shield them from facing the results of their behaviour. Overcoming enabling and rescuing behaviours requires recognising the importance of personal boundaries, allowing others to take responsibility for their actions, and focusing on personal growth rather than trying to control or change others.

4. Poor Communication

Effective communication is crucial in healthy relationships, but codependent individuals often struggle with assertiveness and expressing their needs and feelings. They may fear conflict, rejection, or abandonment, leading to passive-aggressive behaviours or avoiding confrontation altogether. Overcoming poor communication involves developing assertiveness skills, learning to express needs and emotions openly, and practising active listening to enhance understanding and connection.

5. Identity Diffusion

Codependent individuals often struggle with a blurred sense of self and rely on others to define their identity. They may prioritise the needs and desires of others over their own, losing touch with their values, passions, and goals. Overcoming identity diffusion involves exploring personal values, rediscovering individual interests, and nurturing personal growth and self-discovery.

Getting Professional Help

Recognising and addressing these core issues is crucial for individuals seeking to break free from codependent patterns. It requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and a commitment to personal growth and healing. Seeking therapy or seeing a counsellor experienced in codependency can provide valuable guidance and tools for overcoming these challenges.


Remember, overcoming codependence is a journey that takes time and effort. It requires embracing self-love, setting healthy boundaries, and developing strong self-worth. By addressing the five core codependence issues, individuals can create more beneficial relationships, cultivate personal fulfilment, and embark on self-discovery and emotional well-being.


Understanding the five core codependence issues is crucial in breaking free from unhealthy patterns and fostering personal growth and well-being. By addressing low self-esteem, people-pleasing tendencies, enabling and rescuing behaviours, poor communication, and identity diffusion, individuals can cultivate healthier relationships and prioritise their needs and desires. Overcoming codependence requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and a commitment to personal growth.