Codependency: This term originated in the context of Alcoholics Anonymous, and was used to describe the relationship between an alcoholic and their spouse (who often tolerated, enabled, or otherwise supported their behavior.) The term codependency has trickled over into other types of unhealthy relationships, regardless if there is an alcoholic involved or not. In these relationships there is one person enables or supports another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. These relationships are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.
Example: A wife who calls in sick for her alcoholic husband who is drunk and passed out on the couch, or, a wife who excuses her husband’s cheating by blaming the other woman for throwing herself at him, and then blaming herself for not giving him more attention.
Narcissism and codependency often goes together, as the Narcissist is a “taker” and a codependent is a “giver.” Over time, the codependent partner is often left feeling exhausted and empty (like a “shell” of a person) and their life has become one where they have a hard time knowing who they are, or having any sense of identity outside of their relationship. Because Narcissists are master manipulators, they are highly skilled at first pushing, and then steam rolling over their partner’s boundaries–and if the partner is codependent, then their boundaries are often very flexible and easily pushed to begin with. To the people who know their dynamic well, and all of the destructive behavior the Narcissist has subjected them (and their children) too, their relationship is often seen as incredibly dysfunctional. The codependent may see this to some extent, but often chalks up their issues to the normal highs and lows of any couple. The codependent partner may also feel that by staying in this highly volatile relationship somehow proves their level of committment to their partner or to their marriage (although a relationship with a Narcissist is never a marriage, it is a manipulation where the Narcissist expects their partner to live up to their vows, while they go about acting on all of their whims–which generally involve lying, cheating, and stealing).
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 30: Book Club Discussion on “Recovering from Narcissistic Abuse” by Joanna Moore - June 27, 2017
- Live Stream from June 21, 2017 - June 25, 2017
- Episode 28: Gratitude Can Help Keep You Grounded - March 21, 2017