Defining what comprises a codependent relationship or the karma that may be involved is not a simple task. Just as causes have many effects which in turn create more causes, there are numerous factors to consider in a codependent personality which vary from person to person. Not all of them represent pathology.
Many associate some kind of excessive reliance, between needy people, which involve an addiction by one or both, perhaps physical and emotional abuse. These are probably the most obvious, especially where adaptive behavior has been necessitated for real or perceived survival, although gradations exist within most relationships.
Lack of confidence in the other persons ability to survive without the other is characteristic also involving guilt, a sense of responsibility to save the other no matter what the cost, often leading to resignation which is difficult to objectify without outside intervention. Isolating situations to understand, runs the risk of missing the patterns that contribute to exhibiting the underlying attraction especially when lack of self confidence is a factor.
Assessing these situations from within usually entails the very judgment that made it appear so inevitable, which is why it is so difficult to see the blind spot it creates. Repetitive cycles that occur, whether the initial causes are ever perceived, usually contain an implicit message, or else they wouldn’t continue to occur. Some may ascribe a divine or cosmic significance fated or ordained for them, however once intuited, events and behavior can change the feelings of “destined” martyrdom.
Once patterns of the compulsive nature of “inescapable events” is introspected; reflection, decision and action can follow that clarify, transforming thoughts and feelings which can alter behavior. The recurring attraction to these situations will lessen over time, and other choices become available either assertively created or attracted by unanticipated events.
More on codependent relationships at another time.