Having lived on both sides of the co-dep issue, brava Esposa for your post. Wish more co-deps would read it...or at least hit some Al-Anon meetings. (lol...and that's my POLITE expression of an opinion).

Controlling and/or being controlled are natural reactions, but only limited in their usefulness. Put another way, being a helicopter has about the same effect as being an annoying housefly.

As I've progressed in my recovery I've learned when the expression of various emotions are appropriate and inappropriate. Sometimes a blowup is appropriate. And sometimes that gets the message across. Sometimes just going with the flow is appropriate. Sometimes it's being a door mat.

What comes out of it is the freedom to not feel as if one's walking on eggshells all the time. My responses and reactions become more honest and spontaneous.

btw, I've yet to learn to do it perfectly.