"A classic codependent scenario is being asked where you want to eat and saying "oh, I don't care, wherever you want to" and then being angry because they take us somewhere we don't like. We think they should be able to read our mind and know we don't want to do whatever. Typically, in relationships, one partner will ask the other to do something and the person who can't say "I don't want to do that" - will agree to do it and then not do it. This will result in nagging and scolding which will cause more anger and passive-aggressive behavior."
***"Passive-aggressive behavior can take the form of sarcasm, procrastination, chronic lateness, being a party pooper, constantly complaining, being negative, offering opinions and advice that is not asked for, being the martyr, slinging arrows ("whatever have you done to your hair", "gained a little weight haven't we?"), etc." ***"As a kid I was very angry at my mother for not protecting me or herself from my father - but it was not ok to be angry at my mother so I was passive-aggressive in various ways. . . . I also "showed" her and my dad by not getting the type of grades as I was capable of getting in school. I have spent much of my life sabotaging myself to get back at them." ***"Avoiding conflict also denies intimacy - we cannot be emotionally intimate with someone we can't be angry at. Conflict is an inherent part of relationships and is to be worked through to grow from - conflict is an important part of the garden that grows deeper intimacy."
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The Web Site of Spiritual Teacher, codependence counselor, grief therapist, author, Robert Burney and Joy to You & Me Enterprises
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Robert is the author of the Joyously inspirational book
The Dance of Wounded Souls
The Emotional Dynamics of Dysfunctional Romantic Relationships 2
"It is normal for relationships in this society to deteriorate into power struggles over who is right and who is wrong"
This is a continuation of the web page: The
Emotional Dynamics of Dysfunctional Romantic Relationships
This page includes quotes from Codepenence: The Dance of Wounded Souls and quotes from other articles, columns, and web pages written by Robert Burney. The internal links within this article open in a separate browser window.
Here are two excerpts from
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls:
Each of us has our own spectrum of behavioral defenses to protect us from fear of intimacy. We can be codependent in one relationship and counterdependent in another - or we can swing from co to counter - within the same relationship.
Fear of abandonment issues
*People pleasing, gentle, nice & kind - sometimes seems pathetic and weak
*Avoids conflict, can't own anger - sets self up to be victim because of not having boundaries (feels unfairly unappreciated or shamefully unlovable)
Able to be emotionally vulnerable but often in manipulative way (cries instead of expressing anger)
When afraid that abandonment is happening can get needy and clingy - beg, grovel, abandon self completely
Terror of intimacy causes them to pick unavailable people (don't believe they truly deserve someone available and loving)
Sees setting boundaries as being controlling
Sometimes calls childish clinging love
*(passively controlling & manipulative)
Fear of being taken hostage, of being smothered
*Tough, strong and independent - sometimes seems abrasive, abusive, and cold
*Uses anger as shield, has walls instead of boundaries - often overreacts then isolates in shame (feels like "bitch"/"bastard" etc.)
Terrified of being emotionally vulnerable - feels life threatening (to be "weak" "wimpy" "needy")
Is terrified of needy, clingy part of self so reacts to perceived neediness by being cold, mean
Terror of intimacy causes them to be unavailable, to run from someone who loves them - often feel that they are incapable of loving
Sometimes uses setting boundaries as way of controlling
Sometimes sees caring as being clingy
*(aggressively controlling & manipulative)
(From Q & A page about passive-aggressive behavior)
"Passive-aggressive behavior is the expression of anger indirectly. This happens because we got the message one way or another in childhood that it was not OK to express anger. Since anger is energy that can not be completely repressed it gets expressed in indirect ways. This takes the form one way or another, overtly or subtly, of us acting out the Codependent battle cry "I'll show you I'll get me.": As a kid I was very angry at my mother for not protecting me or herself from my father - but it was not ok to be angry at my mother so I was passive-aggressive in various ways. One was to not show any feelings. By the time I was 7 or 8 I was being cool in a passive-aggressive response to her attempts to be close to me I would not let her touch me, I would not show happiness if something good happened or pain if something bad happened. I would just say "it's ok" no matter how much it wasn't. I also "showed" her and my dad by not getting the type of grades as I was capable of getting in school. I have spent much of my life sabotaging myself to get back at them.
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