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As a life-long codie, and long-time member of Al-Anon and CoDA, I beg to differ with the author's stance. I have yet to meet a single person married to an addict who wasn't an enabler/codie. From time to time, we compile lists of what codies do and endure versus "normies."

I married two alcoholics. I stayed in abusive relationships long after the tread had worn off the tires. Other people's moods or attitudes dictated how I acted or reacted.

No, not every woman in a toxic relationship is necessarily codependent, but every codependent woman I've ever known gravitates towards some form of "toxicity," in order to fix the other person, or to validate their own self-worth by covering up and making things right by "helping" their partner see the light.

Am I specialist? Nope. I'm just a codependent.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm just trying to see how they decide the difference between an abused person (who is not codependent) and a Codependent?

Do they just assume if your abused, you must be Codependent?

If you have been in more than one toxic relationship, does that automatically define you?
 

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I'm just trying to see how they decide the difference between an abused person (who is not codependent) and a Codependent?
I want to say this in a way that will not be construed as mean-spirited or judgemental. However, that is difficult to do.

Frequently I find people are trying to label a person with difficult personality traits with one of the many diagnoses in the DSM-IV; in other words, they are BPD, ADHD, OCD, etc.

Labels are just that - labels. So here is my take on this: if anyone is in an abusive relationship, and they are tolerating the abuse, they have an issue that has been labeled "codependency." It is a label; nothing more.

The most important facet is figuring out what to do with one's injured/damaged personality traits in order to choose better partners and friends with whom to engage in life.
 

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I'm just trying to see how they decide the difference between an abused person (who is not codependent) and a Codependent?

Do they just assume if your abused, you must be Codependent?

If you have been in more than one toxic relationship, does that automatically define you?
I think most of us are codependent to some degree. Our society has fueled it. Some of us are a little codependent and others are so much so that they will yes allow any kind of abuse.

If you are abused then yes I would most certainly assume you are codependent. Furthermore if you've been in more than one toxic relationship then the problem is you. Your 'issues' however you wish to label them are causing you to attract these type people. This is also codependency.
 

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I think people who choose to "stay" in a toxic relationship are indeed co-dependent. I was in one for 22 yrs. & was textbook co-dependent. I was free to leave anytime (this is America).

I saw myself as a "victim"...poor me, my husband is mean, angry, controlling, etc.

But in reality, I was a "volunteer" in the toxic relationship. IMO a victim would be a rape victim (held down & forced into sex) or another such crime.

I participated & allowed the abuse - co-dependent.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another question would be,,,

If most/all BS's/abuse victims are basically Codependent, what are all abusers/ cheaters?

Would they all fall into narcissists,or at least some other personality disorder? I don't agree with cheaters only being selfish, disrespectful, etc... We all know right from wrong.

I might get attacked on this,, but I don't believe, unless there is a personality flaw that anyone could cheat on/abuse their spouse or loved ones... Somewhere in their heart/back of their mind, they think of their spouse/kids...

Something has to explain their weakness, their inability to stop their behavior.... (yes, some confess, is this just because they know it's wrong, or because the AP dumped them, the AP's spouse finds out or a third party finds out and threatens to expose or other deciding factors, not just because of guilt?
 

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I think the users/abusers/cheaters are codependent too. It's just the other side of the same coin. Codependents need the users as much as they need us. Yin/yang, light/dark, that kind of thing.

I know this is deep and twisted but I've done a lot of reading on this and believe it to be true. Without willing victims there'd be no abuse. Think about it.
 

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I disagree with the author. People who continually and repetitively engage in unhealthy dynamics when they could choose not to are codependent. Period. She takes six items "from a long list" as she herself describes, and uses ONLY those six things to make a blanket statement about every abuse dynamic. That's flawed logic at its finest. Would her readers think "Since the abused person meets the other thirty criteria, but not these six, they must not be codependent?"

It's not possible to function in this society without depending on others to a degree. How would you label the differences between independence, inter-dependence, co-dependence, and dependence?

They'll all a matter of degrees on a continuum. My personal opinion is that inter-dependence is the only area of that continuum where emotional health and social success can both be achieved.
 

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People who continually and repetitively engage in unhealthy dynamics when they could choose not to are codependent. Period.
:iagree:I agree with Kathy. Codependency is a dysfunctional repetitive behavior. The author, while conceding that the abused women exhibit such behavior, argues unconvincingly that it isn't "codependency" because of how they acquired it: from years of abuse by their angry husbands.

Well, of course, if one defines codependency to exist only when a wife learns it in early childhood from her mother, then one can logically conclude that many abused women are "not codependent." To claim that this is a result of the empirical study, however, is silliness. It is the result only of the author having defined the problem away for those women.

I note that, with the term "codependency," it is important to always define up front exactly what you mean about it. Because it is not considered a mental disorder, it is not defined in the diagnostic manual DSM-IV. Nor are there any plans to do so in the DSM-5 scheduled for release this May. As long as most religions in the world continue to prescribe "selflessness" as the key to heaven -- and most nations continue to rely on their young peoples' willingness to sacrifice themselves for national security, there is little chance of a definition forthcoming.

Interestingly, the author quotes from CoDA, the largest association of "codependents" in the world. If you go to CoDA's website, you will find much discussion but absolutely no definition. Instead, CoDA offers an absurd list of more than fifty "patterns and characteristics" -- more traits than the DSM-IV lists for all ten personality disorders COMBINED. For a good laugh, take a look at it at New Patterns of Codependency.

I say "absurd" list because the only "pattern" left out of that lengthy list is the one on the wallpaper in your kitchen. Clearly, CoDA is a political organization that, in order to appease the many thousands of separate member groups it relies on for funding, has obediently included all views and suggestions.
 

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Another question would be,,,

If most/all BS's/abuse victims are basically Codependent, what are all abusers/ cheaters?

Would they all fall into narcissists,or at least some other personality disorder?
I'm trying to figure out why you need a label for bad behavior. Not everyone who cheats or abuses is probably in the DSM-IV.

Do you hope to find closure by putting a label on bad behavior?
 

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Clearly, CoDA is a political organization that, in order to appease the many thousands of separate member groups it relies on for funding, has obediently included all views and suggestions.
And, clearly CoDA is behaving in a codependent manner by trying to appease its own members, right? I did not realize CoDA was a political organization. Does it align itself with particular parties or candidates?
 

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I did not realize CoDA was a political organization. Does it align itself with particular parties or candidates?
Prodigal, sorry I wasn't clearer about that. I didn't mean "political" in the sense of government politics. Rather, I was referring to the strong politics going on inside any large nonprofit organization, especially one dependent on member funding. Even the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is vulnerable to its own internal politics, as the various factions fight tooth and nail over the categories and organization of the new DSM-5.
I'm trying to figure out why you need a label for bad behavior. Not everyone who cheats or abuses is probably in the DSM-IV.
The labels are important in order to understand what it is you were dealing with. Even if you intend to walk away, such an understanding can be valuable because you may be at risk of leaving one person only to run into the arms of another just like him -- if you don't know the red flags to look for.

Moreover, the information imparted by a knowledge of individual, separate PD traits is a tiny fraction of what you can learn by studying those same traits as a group. The reason is that the separate traits reinforce and exacerbate each other when they occur simultaneously in the same person.

For example, if I only tell you that a woman is verbally abusive, you likely think "beoytch." If I only tell you that she frequently does black-white thinking and self-cutting, you likely think "unstable, weird beoytch." If I only tell you that she has event-triggered tantrums and abandonment fear, you think "immature, frightened beoytch." What else can you think? No effort is made to connect the dots.

But if I say, instead, that those five traits -- when seen together -- comprise a well-known pattern of traits psychologists have observed for seventy years, I have the opportunity to tell you an enlightening story (a theory, actually). To a man like me who had been living with a BPDer wife for 15 years, this story produces that light-bulb moment when the clouds part, the sun shines, and the chaotic years of bewilderment suddenly make total sense. It explains how all the pieces fit together. Instead of seeing only leaves, for the first time I could see the tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm trying to figure out why you need a label for bad behavior. Not everyone who cheats or abuses is probably in the DSM-IV.

Do you hope to find closure by putting a label on bad behavior?

No, I'm not looking for closure, yet what makes a person show a pattern of bad behavior, if it's not a disorder?

I just don't believe that everyone who ends up in a toxic relationship should automatically be labeled.

Everyone displays signs of Codependency, just as most everyone displays signs of narcissism,, but they don't label people with this as freely.
 

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No, I'm not looking for closure, yet what makes a person show a pattern of bad behavior, if it's not a disorder?
Well, before modern psychiatry and the DSM, I suppose someone who exhibited bad behavior was just labeled a mean S.O.B. or evil.

In this world, even with the DSM, maybe some people are just no damned good. They might just be mean or seeking revenge, or whatever ....

There aren't always answers to "why?" I have asked, "why?" myself concerning a number of situations that have occurred in my life. Do I have an answer? Nope. But I'm not going to go on an archaeological dig in order to find one.

As long as I'm at peace with myself and keeping my side of the street clean, I'll be satisfied with not knowing a lot of the "why's" in this lifetime.
 

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I didn't mean "political" in the sense of government politics. Rather, I was referring to the strong politics going on inside any large nonprofit organization, especially one dependent on member funding. Even the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is vulnerable to its own internal politics, as the various factions fight tooth and nail over the categories and organization of the new DSM-5.
Thank you for clarifying. I worked for a non-profit; I know what you mean.

To a man like me who had been living with a BPDer wife for 15 years, this story produces that light-bulb moment when the clouds part, the sun shines, and the chaotic years of bewilderment suddenly make total sense. It explains how all the pieces fit together. Instead of seeing only leaves, for the first time I could see the tree.
I really do appreciate you explaining to me how a diagnosis made a difference in helping you to make sense of your situation. Refreshing to get a non-defensive, honest response to my statements. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really do appreciate you explaining to me how a diagnosis made a difference in helping you to make sense of your situation. Refreshing to get a non-defensive, honest response to my statements. Thank you!
Was I defensive or lying? I thought I was only asking opinions and different views on this subject... I mostly questioned because I have had one counselor tell me I was a Codie, and then another say I'm not.

I did understand your statements, and yes I see Codependency in myself,, just as I see narcissism in my STBEXH...

I have been reading into this subject, since I have separated from my H because of infidelity and abuse...

Just felt like your statement was sarcastic.
 

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This was interesting. Glad not everyone just assumes women are Codependent in toxic relationships.


Are women who live with abusive partners codependent?
I found the article very strange to say the least. And the responses to it. I would classify the author (and those who responded to it) as having victim personalities.

The ultimate boundary against an abuser is absolute and total No Contact. Stay in contact, it’s guaranteed you’ll get abused.

Stay with the abuser then you do so because you want the things they provide you with. In that way you enable your own abuse. If you didn’t value or want what the abuser provided you’d have been long gone.
 
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