John is the head of a non-profit organization that benefits the poor. He is loved and respected, yet feels it is never enough. His identity is his work. He neglects his family and friends.
Jane is the mother of three. She dedicates her life to her children’s needs and wants. She has no social life and no interests of her own. Her only sense of identity is as a mother.
Sally is a “closet” alcoholic. She works all day, but at night and on weekends she is consumed with alcohol. Every activity must include the opportunity for alcohol. She lives to drink.
Sam’s marriage looks perfect from the outside. On the inside, Sam is unable to separate from his wife. He calls her many times during the day. When they are apart, he becomes anxious and feels empty inside.
Each of these people is co-dependent.