When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy/girl who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy/girl, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex from her. He is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he is. Codependents also tend to arrange their worlds so that they are financially dependent on a man. Mom is taking care of the kids so that Superman can go out and take over the world. In the mean time each year that passes by is another year that she is out of her career field, not developing her earning power and many times feeling not good enough because they aren’t earning their own money directly. Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my spouse or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy. http://www.familytreecounseling.com/marksblog/?s=When+a+Codependent+starts+a+romantic+relationship+
… it’s a lot easier to be lost than found.
It’s the reason we’re always searching,
and rarely discovered…
so many locks, not enough keys.
Most of us who grew up in families affected by the disease of alcoholism never did really grow up in many ways. Sure, we grew up physically — but emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually many of us are still stuck back there in early childhood. We never learned a “normal” way of thinking, feeling or reacting. As long as things are going smoothly, we’re fine. However, when we experience conflict, controversy, or crises and we respond with less-than-adult-like reactions. Over the years, those who have studied the “adult child” phenomenon have compiled a list of common characteristics which many people who grew up in dysfunctional homes seem to share. The following characteristics were developed in 1983 by Dr. Janet G. Woititz. You may recognize some of them.
…guess at what normal is.
…have difficulty in following a project through from beginning to end.
…lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
…judge themselves without mercy.
…have difficulty having fun.
…take themselves very seriously.
…have difficulty with intimate relationships.
…overreact to changes over which they have no control.
…constantly seek approval and affirmation.
…feel that they are different from other people.
…are either super responsible or super irresponsible..
…are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.
…tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self loathing, and loss of control of their environment. As a result, they spend tremendous amounts of time cleaning up the mess.
These characteristics are, of course, general in nature and do not apply to everyone. Some may apply and others not. http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/adult/a/aa073097.htm
Wine hath drowned
more men than the sea.
If the alcoholic has more or less continued to hold down a job, he is politely called a “functioning alcoholic.” But he is an alcoholic nonetheless. He works much below his potential, he neglects or abuses his family and he may not live very long if he continues the self-abuse. Like all addicts he lies (bold-faced lies, lies of omission, cover-ups, minimization), he makes excuses, he blames others for his drinking, and he continues to seek out and use alcohol regardless of consequences. If there are children present, they copy the lying, justifying, blaming behavior which they see modeled. They also learn to keep family secrets and to cover for their alcoholic parent. In other words they join in the “dance of alcohol” and participate with their parents, learning how to be alcoholics or how to live with them when they grow up. If you are living with an alcoholic, there are steps you can take too. Perhaps more importantly at first, there are things you can learn to avoid so that you don’t further your partner’s alcoholism. Making excuses for him, for example, only makes things worse. By Neill Neill http://ezinearticles.com/?Youre-Married-to-an-Alcoholic—What-to-Do?&id=930249
That’s the problem with drinking,
I thought, as I poured myself a drink.
If something bad happens you drink
in an attempt to forget;
if something good happens
you drink in order to celebrate;
and if nothing happens
you drink to make something happen.
Negative default positions are often relationship destroyers. No matter how much a more typical relationship partner loves and values another, he or she will not be able to survive continuous onslaughts of negative default positions. It is the classic “I can’t win for losing” conundrum. Anytime either partner comes from a core experience of a basic negative attitude towards the other, all disagreements will eventually be twisted into a one-sided criticism that defies reality. Those predetermined expressions of invalidation will doom the targeted partner to a life of defending his or her basic worth. Unless martyrdom is the goal, that person will eventually leave the relationship. If you can identify your own fixed, negative default positions, you can replace them with a far more successful set of skills that can turn frustrating, repetitive conflicts into positive resolutions. When you have mastered that new process, you can create a deeper intimacy through embracing each other’s differences and opening up to the possibilities of deeper intimacy. Taken from “Rediscovering Love” by Randi Gunther, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rediscovering-love/201208/do-you-want-stay-in-love-then-examine-your-default-position-when-you-
You cannot reason people
out of a position that they
did not reason themselves into.
A serial monogamist is a person who has many sexual partners in his or her lifetime, but only one at a time. He or she will seemingly form what looks like a lasting commitment to one person, but the commitment is usually only superficial. Some such people are incapable of commitment for a long period of time. The partnership can either be through marriage or a more casual relationship. Usually, the serial monogamist is aware of the pattern that he or she follows, and each relationship may be entered into with a how long will this one last? frame of mind. This does not mean that he or she does not try to commit, but it seems that commitment is not something the person feels comfortable with. Fear of commitment and perfectionism play a large part in the thinking of this type of person. Childhood influences typically also a play a large part, and bad role models may give them an inherent fear of commitment. They are unable to cope with the pressure of the family unit for long periods of time and eventually seek their independence once again. If the partnership begins to show problems similar to those witnessed in childhood, then it will no longer mirror the ideal the serial monogamist has in his or her head. Many people think that they can be the one to change the serial monogamist’s way of thinking, but this is sometimes a futile effort. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-serial-monogamist.htm
We are the inheritors of a wonderful world,
a beautiful world, full of life and mystery,
goodness and pain. But likewise are we
the children of an indifferent universe.
We break our own hearts imposing
our moral order on what is,
by nature, a wide web of chaos.
Abuse: Touching someone’s body without their permission, hitting, punching, pinching, slapping, tickling, pulling hair, hitting with objects, banging the head, so that marks are left on the person…Punching someone to the point of knocking them off their feet, slamming them into walls or hard objects, strangling or choking someone…Intimidating someone with the threat of violence, punching walls or throwing objects. …you might think that because some other member of your family was receiving the blows you are not a victim of physical abuse, but (you were) if the underlying fear is, “When will it be me?” Physical sexual abuse is bodily sexual activity with a child or touching in a sexual way. It includes: intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, an adult masturbating a child or having a child masturbate an adult, sexual hugging, sexual kissing, and sexual touching. Many people who have been molested or incested feel responsible for what happened, feel that they caused it to happen or wanted it to happen. I have also heard clients express acceptance since it was the only kind of attention that they received. You are not responsible and it is not acceptable behavior. A child will not seek out sexual encounters except what may be age-appropriate sex play with other children. It is the adult’s responsibility to set appropriate boundaries and protect the child. Taken from “Adults Abused as Children” by Licia Ginne, LMFT http://www.latherapists.com/articles.html
The consequences of your denial
will be with you for a lifetime
and will be passed down
to the next generation.
Break your Silence on Abuse!
Patty Rase Hopson
The purpose of defining abuse is so we all have a common language and so we can fully experience and embrace the depth of the hurt we have suffered. It is not about blaming but lets us understand why we may always feel like someone is blaming us, or out to get us. We have our feelings in a context that makes more sense and gives us options to choose our behaviors and not just always reacting to things. It helps us to understand why we may feel or think the way that we do. We all struggle with understanding and believing in how these behaviors have affected us. From the safety of our lives now we can look back and rethink our experiences. We tend to empower our past experiences — like being a latchkey kid – by saying it toughened us up, that it built our self-confidence or independence. Yet research supports that being left on your own actually causes us to doubt our perceptions, feelings, thoughts and lower self-esteem. Latchkey kids were forced to grow up too quickly and take on too much responsibility, and they were not allowed to be afraid. As you grow up and develop intimate relationships, you may find it is hard to form close relationships. Trust has been broken and there is a fear to depend upon anyone else. A fear of feeling let down and rejected the way you did as kid when no one was around. Taken from “Adults Abused as Children” by Licia Ginne, LMFT http://www.latherapists.com/articles.html
Research on child abuse suggests
that religious beliefs can foster,
encourage, and justify
the abuse of children.
When contempt for sex
this creates a breeding
ground for abuse.
One of the reasons for this jealousy is insecurity. A man may be paired with a very beautiful woman and feel that he is not quite handsome enough to be with her. The male may feel that she’ll dump him for somebody else. Even if he feels, quote, unquote “handsome enough”, every time she smiles and looks at somebody else-he will still feel insecure about himself and his relationship with his partner. Insecurities can be the heart and soul of every jealousy: insecurity about appearance, relationship status and such. Through such feelings, comes a loss of trust, faith-never mind self-esteem. In the vast majority of all cases, the jealousy is simply not warranted. But say that to an insecure man. First, he’ll deny it. But when it becomes very apparent, he’ll say that she probably is cheating on him-wants another man. You may stand there, in deep consternation and befuddlement over these illusory jealousies. But he will still feel jealous, and may not be able to stop it. The wife or girlfriend in question ends up feeling insecure over her own relationship. She feels restricted or under a tight leash because she may have a number of male friends and her male partner cannot handle it. Jealousies have torn apart many a relationship over the years. It verges on and has easily crossed the lines of paranoia and obsessive behavior. By bukisa.com http://www.modernghana.com/lifestyle/2170/16/why-are-men-so-jealous.html
A woman never forgets
the men she could have had;
a man, the women he couldn’t.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
It is always striking when a bright, attractive and otherwise accomplished person cannot maintain an intimate relationship. Most of the time the person appears in my office as the bewildered half of a distressed couple. Their spouse’s/partner’s complaints are legion: the offending partner doesn’t listen, they’re in their own world, they have little or no interest in sex, they prefer to be alone, they are unable to intuit or understand emotion. The spouse complains that the marriage consists of two people sharing the same living space, splitting chores. The person’s childhood usually provides clues to the problem. Sometimes, people tell terrible stories of abuse and neglect: in these cases one can easily understand why intimacy is avoided. But other times people depict a non-eventful childhood, devoid of conflict or even moments of common unhappiness. When pressed they remember few specific details positive or negative–and this is the rub. When their full story is revealed, it becomes clear the person dulled the abrasive experience of day-to-day family life by paying little attention. In doing so, they successfully pushed people away and retreated to the safety of their own inner world and preoccupations. This unconscious strategy reduced conflict and guaranteed their emotional survival. From “Why Can’t Some People Maintain Intimate Relationships?” by Richard A. Grossman, Ph.D. http://www.voicelessness.com/intimacy.html
It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages.
Codependency comes in many forms. One aspect is doing for others what they should and need to do for themselves. It may make the other person feel good for the moment, and us important, but it keeps them over-dependent on us. This kind of relationship is extremely unhealthy. Another aspect of codependency is rescuing people from the logical consequences of their negative behavior patterns. This, too, keeps them immature and over-dependent on us. For every alcoholic (or other addict), who is already over-dependent on his alcohol, they say there are four codependent enablers supporting him and his addiction. As long as they are doing this, he never has to get better. If he refuses to acknowledge his issue, get into a recovery program, and resolve his problem, there comes a time when those who are enabling him need to say enough is enough! They need to exercise tough love, quit protecting him or her, get out of the way, and let him crash! This is the most loving thing they can do after they have tried every other avenue of tough love and found that none of it worked. The bottom line of codependency is that need is mistaken for love. The codependent needs to feel needed in order to feel loved. But it’s not love at all. It’s need. It may look like love and it may look very Christian but it’s neither. Furthermore, the codependent person wants to fix others to avoid facing his own issues. Taken from “The Counterfeit Love of Codependency” by Dr. Billy Kidd http://drbillykidd.hubpages.com/hub/codependents-r-us
A hot-tempered man
must pay the penalty;
if you rescue him,
you will have to do it again.