How can I say that 2 people are dependent each other in a formal letter.

Is it ok to say that :

My father has been living with my mother for more than 30 years and they are dependent to each other emotionally.

  • 1
    Since the second phrase is a conclusion, you might also write "...for more than 30 years, so/therefore they are dependent..."
    – user3169
    Feb 27, 2016 at 17:43
  • 2
    Cleaner to say "... they depend on each other ..."
    – lauir
    Feb 28, 2016 at 5:29

3 Answers 3


You have no problem with your verb; however, we typically use the preposition on in this case, not to:

They are dependent on each other emotionally.

As a footnote, the ngram shows this to be the case.

  • "You have no problem with your verb". Is verb you meant to say?
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 28, 2016 at 20:16
  • @JavaLatte - The verb is are; that seems like the right verb to use in this case. (I mentioned "verb" because of the title of the question).
    – J.R.
    Mar 29, 2016 at 9:00

You could put it in the following ways:

they are emotionally attached


they are emotionally connected


The word you are looking for is codependent. If two people depend on each other, they are codependent. However, this word has a negative connotation in many contexts because emotional codependency is seen as unhealthy in relationships. It is even used sometimes as a kind of "diagnosis" of problems in a relationship.

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