DrBev, I don’t like being Alone. I feel like a relationship ‘Predator’. I don’t realize how many womyn/men I hurt until it’s too late. Lonely, I can’t seem to handle me, myself and I, not by myself. I need another’s body next to mine to feel whole. I feel frustrated, I feel like nothing is going to change in my life and angry every time I don’t get my needs met. If my partner, lover, or spouse would just get help, I won’t be mad all the time. I would be happy if they would just do right. DrBev, I keep getting myself in relationships that end up in the game called ‘Blame and Finger-Point’.
This is very much a characteristic of codependency, Serge Prengel, says of this kind of behavior “It’s your fault!”. This is not very different from what happens when kids bicker: “But, mom, he started it!”. Bickering kids would very much like to have a grown-up validate their feelings by punishing the other kid.
When we feel that we are adults then grown-ups are supposed to be able to go beyond these feelings in order to resolve their differences between themselves. Resorting to blame makes it harder to understand each other and find common ground. In fact, the blame game seems to turn into an ever escalating cycle, where it becomes harder and harder to stop and acknowledge each other.
Remember what you did to get that person in a relationship; You gave to them excessively. Gifts, time, attention and advice are all things a codependent will give in abundance in order to gain control.
Has it occurred to you that you can identify other people’s problems and mistakes easily and feel a strong need to give advice? On the other hand, you find it difficult to admit your own mistakes and will blame others instead. Feel anxiety, pity and guilt when faced with someone else’s troubles, rather than a healthy amount of empathy.
Ever wonder why other people, lovers, spouse don’t do for you like you do for them. You become overly offended by perceived uncaring and rudeness. You perceive people as selfish when they do not care excessively for your feelings the way you would theirs.
DrBev, what can I do to change? Identify your codependency issues with the help of counseling or support groups. Undoing codependency can be liberating. You’ll learn how to value yourself and your needs, how to relax and enjoy life more. Also, you’ll learn how to avoid getting involved in future relationships that support a codependent dynamic.
It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.
A classically codependent person, when asked about themselves, will reply by talking about the other person. Obviously, before someone with this type of behavioral defense can experience any self-growth, they have to first start opening up to the idea that they have a self.
The process of owning self is frustrating and confusing. The concept of having boundaries is foreign and bewildering. It is an ongoing process that takes years. It unfolds in stages. There is always another level of the onion to peel.
So, for someone whose primary pattern is classically codependent, the next level of growth will always involve owning self on some deeper level. A very important part of this process is owning the right to be angry about the way other’s behavior has impacted our lives – starting in childhood.