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Codependent's Inner Voice: "I Can’t Live Without Him/Her"

Uploaded 8/30/2011, approx. 3 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

I wrote the following entry for her blog as a guest author.

First, such an addiction is an organizing principle. It serves to explain behaviors and events within a coherent narrative, a fictional story, or a frame of reference.

So, people would say, I acted this way because.

Second, this dependence or addiction gives meaning to life.

Third, the constant ups and downs satisfy your need for excitement and thrills.

Fourth, and most crucially, your addiction and emotional ability place you at the center of attention and allow you to manipulate people around you to do your bidding.

So, while you can surely survive without your intimate partner, you believe erroneously that you cannot go on living without your addiction to him or her.

You experience your dependence as a warm and familiar comfort zone. You are addicted to and dependent on your dependence, not on your partner.

But you attribute the source of this dependence, the source of this addiction to boyfriends, maids, spouses, children, parents, anyone who happens to fit the bill, and the plot of your narrative.

But the truth is that they come and go. Your addiction remains intact. They are interchangeable. Your dependence is immutable.

So, what can you do about it?

Extreme cases of co-dependence, known as dependent or borderline personality disorders, require professional help. Luckily, most people with dependent traits and behaviors are clustered somewhere in the middle of a spectrum of dependence.

Here are a few simple rules.

First of all, help yourself by realizing that the world never comes to an end when relationships do. It is your dependence which reacts with desperation, without you.

Next, analyze your addiction. What are the stories and narratives that underlie it? Do you tend to idealize your intimate partner? If so, can you see him or her in a more realistic light, words and all? Are you anxious about being abandoned? Why? Have you been dramatically abandoned in the past as a child, perhaps?

Write down and describe the worst possible scenario. The relationship is over and he or she leaves you. For good.

Is your physical survival at stake? Of course not.

Number four, make a list of all the consequences of the breakup.

In right, next to each result and outcome, what you can and intend to do about it. Armed with this plan of action, you are bound to feel safer and more confident.

Finally, make sure to share your thoughts, fears and emotions with friends and family. Social support is indispensable. One good friend is worth a hundred therapy sessions. Good luck.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Masochistic Personality Disorder (Masochism)

Masochists have been taught to hate themselves and consider themselves unworthy of love, leading to self-destructive behaviors. They avoid pleasurable experiences and seek suffering, pain, and hurt in relationships. They reject help and render attempts to assist futile. Masochists tend to choose people and circumstances that lead to failure and avoid those that result in success or gratification. They adopt unrealistic goals and generate underachievements, leading to rage, depression, and guilt.


Fight Abandonment and Separation Anxiety

Codependent behaviors such as clinging and smothering are rooted in a deep fear of abandonment and separation. To overcome this, codependents must confront their anxieties through psychotherapy, medication, and self-help methods such as meditation and engaging in meaningful activities. Codependents should also adopt a scientific approach to their relationships, construct alternative hypotheses, and test them before making impulsive decisions. The longevity of long-term relationships lies in being transparent and expressing emotions and concerns honestly. Finally, codependents should prepare detailed contingency plans for every eventuality to reduce anxiety and gain control.


Codependence and Dependent Personality Disorder

Co-dependence is a complex multi-faceted and multi-dimensional defense against the co-dependence fears and needs. There are four types of co-dependence: abandonment, control, vicarious, and counter-dependent. The dependent personality disorder is a much disputed mental health diagnosis, and clinicians use subjective terms such as craving, clinging, stifling, humiliating, and submissive. Codependents are possessed with fantastic worries and concerns and are paralyzed by their abandonment anxiety and fear of separation.


Borderline Codependent: Clinging Child, Punitive Parent

Codependency in parents can lead to children who only receive conditional love based on their performance. This can result in a child who is objectified and treated as an extension of the parent. The child learns that to obtain affection, they must perform, leading to a lack of self-love. This can result in a psychopath, passive-aggressive personality disorder, masochistic adult, or an adult with depressive disorders. Codependents often experience extreme abandonment anxiety and swing between self-effacing and explosive behaviors due to divided loyalties between their partner and internalized parent.


Codependency State Of Mind, Not State Of Affairs

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the relationship between narcissists and their intimate partners, explaining that narcissists only need their partners to provide them with sex, supply, sadistic and narcissistic services. He also clarifies the terms codependent, counterdependent, and independent and discusses dependent personality disorder. The pathogenesis of co-dependency is brought about by parents who teach their children to expect only conditional transactional love, leading to the child feeling rage and anger at the unjust mistreatment. To overcome codependency, one should realize that the world never ends when relationships do, analyze their addiction, make a plan of action, and seek social support.


Self-destructiveness: Learn to Identify It!

Self-destructive behaviors are common and often go unnoticed. These behaviors can be a rejection of life or a rejection of oneself in life. Examples of self-destructive behaviors include constricting life, love addiction, perfectionism, self-denial, depression, anxiety, numbing, dissociation, and masochism. These behaviors often stem from insecure attachment and a lack of self-love, leading to a scorched earth policy and an inability to form attachments.


Narcissist's Fantasy Sex Life

Narcissists and psychopaths often have a fantasy-based sex life that reflects their psychodynamic inner landscape, including fear of intimacy, misogyny, control-freak tendencies, auto-eroticism, latent sadism and masochism, problems of gender identity, and various sexual deviances or failures. Their fantasies often involve the aggressive or violent objectification of a faceless, nameless, and sometimes even sexless person, and they are always in unmitigated control of their environment and the people in it. The narcissist's self-exposure to their intimate partner often elicits reactions of horror, repulsion, and estrangement.


Narcissistic Woman's Sex Narratives (ENGLISH responses)

Narcissistic women have different sexual fantasies than narcissistic men, with women focusing more on narratives and context, while men focus on body parts. Narcissistic women tend to have fantasies of domination and control, often involving violence and extreme BDSM practices. High-functioning narcissists and psychopaths often engage in unusual and uncommon sexual practices as a way to compensate for denying their true nature in their daily lives. However, this behavior can lead to their downfall if they lose balance and spend too much time engaging in extreme sexual activity.


How Codependent Sees YOU (Intimate Partner)

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses how codependents see their intimate partners. Codependents are clingy and needy, and they insist on repeating sentences that border on brainwashing or indoctrination. They leverage learned helplessness into an art form and use emotional blackmail to get what they want. There are five categories of codependency stemming from the respective etiologies, including co-dependency that aims to fend off anxieties related to abandonment, co-dependency geared to cope with the co-dependence fear of losing control, vicarious co-dependency, borderline co-dependency or borderline narcissism, and counter-dependency.


Histrionic Woman's Guide to Men

Histrionic women respond differently to two types of men. The first type is men who openly desire the histrionic woman, but after a brief affair, they begin to bore her. The second type is men who are visibly attracted to the histrionic, but are very avoidant emotionally, or even absent emotionally. Histrionic women abhor intimacy and love, but they need mind games. With these men, there is always some game going on.

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