Remember our question from Part One: How do I know if I am acting codependent or loving? Also, let’s review our definitions of “codependent” and “loving”:

Love: An intense feeling of deep affection. For the purpose of this article, we will include some more distinctions of love:

  • Brave
  • Kind
  • Trusting

Codependency: Codependency, for the purpose of this discussion, is a recognizable system of learned personality traits that negatively affect knowing one’s self and others. Codependents become dependent on “others’” approval and control the situation in order to get this approval. Codependents often avoid honesty and confrontation, which can enable abusive behavior. Thus, the codependent does not require the abusive person to change or improve.

So when we compare love and codependency, I believe we will find actions from love are different than codependent actions, which are based on fear. In general, it takes an emotionally strong person to live in love, not codependency. As we said in our definitions, codependents are driven by the need for others’ approval, so fear of not having that approval drives the behavior. People operating out of love are not driven by fear. Codependency is usually a way of being someone unconsciously decided they needed in life to survive.

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