January 27, 2008

Co-dependency

Co-dependency happens when two people form a relationship with each other because neither feels that he or she can "stand alone." Neither person feels capable or self-reliant. It is as if two half parts are trying to make a whole. Both partners are seeking to become psychologically complete by binding the other partner to themselves. For example, a woman may spend most of her attention and time assisting her lover in recovering from drug addiction. She feels a sense of purpose and may appear to be wonderfully self-sacrificing. However, she may also be avoiding her own unhappiness and personal issues, like her fear of abandonment. Her partner may believe that he can't deal with his addiction without her. He sways between feeling grateful for her help and resentful for what he feels is her nagging and smothering behavior. Many co-dependent partners feel "let down," "taken advantage of," or "trapped" by their needy partner when they are really "trapped" by their own overwhelming neediness. The addicted partner is also using his complaints about the relationship to avoid dealing with his own neediness and addiction. In a co-dependent relationship, "We need each other," which can be a healthy thing, often covers over "I need you to need me"; this can lead to "I will keep you needy because, if you ever get better, I am afraid that you will leave me." This kind of interaction is grounded in desperation and often spawns abusive and obsessive relationships grounded in neediness and control rather than love and respect. It’s a vicious cycle and one that I have been guilty of once in my life and it lastest 8 years. I suggest if you find yourself in this type of situation to seek help. There are many “self help” books out there that can help you take the first step. If it’s a mild case, this may be all that you need. If its not, I suggest counseling. You must admit to yourself that you have a problem first. Denial is a terrible place to live.


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2 comments:

Rhonda said...

Well, that was impressive. Nice post.

Come by my place when you can. I've tagged you on 2! Play if you like.

I have some photos for today as well that are neat :)

No Nonsense Girl said...

Very interesting, I'm glad to not to be in that circle. It's not very sane and good to live.

Have a great day!