Tag Archives: codependence

Codependency Categories: Active, Passive and Anorexic Codependents

Codependency Categories: Active, Passive & Anorexic Codependents

Excerpts from Ross  Rosenberg’s book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love  People Who  Hurt Us.

Active and Passive Codependency

As a direct result of the codependents questioning themselves about being a narcissist, I categorized codependency into two sub-types: passive and active.  Although all codependents are habitually and instinctively attracted (and later bonded) to severely narcissistic partners, one is more active in their perpetual but unsuccessful attempts to obtain their narcissist’s love, respect and care (LRC), while the other is more passive.  Although both try to control and manipulate their narcissistic partners, they go about it differently.

Passive codependents are more fearful and avoidant of conflict.  For complicated reasons, mostly related to their extremely low self-esteem, fear of being alone and tendency to be in relationships with controlling, dangerous and/or abusive pathological narcissists, the passive codependent attempts to control or influence their narcissistic partner through carefully, if not meticulously, executed control strategies – most of which are intended to fall under their pathological narcissist’s radar (awareness).  Because of the secret and hidden nature of their control strategies, passive codependents are perceived as more resigned, stoic and compliant than active codependents.

Active codependents, on the other hand, are overtly manipulative in their control strategies in attempts to rectify the LRC inequity in their relationship.  Being less afraid of conflict, they often engage the pathological narcissist in arguments and confrontations.  They also are prone to aggressive altercations, lying and manipulating, in an effort to avoid being harmed or to meet their own needs.  They are therefore experienced as controlling, antagonizing and manipulative.   In addition, they may want others to see them fight, control, and manipulate their narcissistic partner, as it serves as a paper thin attempt to feel powerful and in control.

Active codependents are often mistaken for narcissists because of their more openly controlling demeanor.   Like the passive codependent, they believe that “one day” their pathologically narcissistic partner will realize their mistakes and wrong-doings and finally give them the love, respect and care they so desperately want and need.  It just never happens…

Although different “on the outside,” both the passive and active codependent share the pathological “others” self-orientation.  While the active codependent may seem stronger, more in control and more confident, both share the same deeply embedded insecurities and feelings of powerlessness.  Both are unable to break free from their dysfunctional relationship.

Codependency Anorexia – Starving One’s Self of Love

Codependency Anorexia occurs when a codependent surrenders to their life-long relationship pattern to destructive pathological narcissists.  The codependent often transitions to Codependency Anorexia when they hit bottom and can no longer bear the pain and the harm meted out to them from their malevolent pathological narcissists. It is paradoxical in a sense, as it occurs during a moment of clarity, when the codependent realizes that they are completely powerless to stop their attraction to lovers who, in the beginning, feel so right, but shortly thereafter, hurt them so badly. In an effort to protect themselves from the long line of “soul mates,” who unexpectedly convert to “cellmates,” they flip their vulnerability switch to “off,” which results in a complete shutdown of their emotional, relational, and sexual machinery.

Although their intention is to avoid getting pummeled again by the next narcissist, they unknowingly insulate themselves from the very human experience of intimate romantic love. This defense mechanism serves to protect codependents from the cascade of resulting consequences of their debilitating love choices. By denying their human need to connect and love passionately, they are, in a sense, artificially neutralizing The Human Magnet Syndrome. Or in other words, they are removing themselves from any possibility of close romantic love, healthy or not.

To maintain their codependent anorexia, codependents ultimately have to divorce themselves from their emotional and sexual selves. As a result, they “starve” themselves from the very human need to connect romantically, intimately, and sexually. Such deprivation often leads to long-term mental and relational health problems.

In the codependent anorexic state, the codependent is hypervigilant of any person or situation that would lead to a potentially harmful and dangerous intimate relationship. They often over compensate in social situations to avoid either showing interest in someone else or accidentally reacting to someone else overtures. To that end, they also deprive themselves of everyday social events, in order to not accidentally bump against a vulnerable or threatening situation or person. And if a person or event does threaten the codependency anorexic barrier, a shock of extreme anxiety uncomfortably steer them back onto their self-depriving but safe course.

The anorexic codependent is unable to recognize that their disconnection or disassociation from their vulnerable relational and sexual self is harmful, if not debilitating. Notwithstanding, they continue the path of intimacy deprivation so that they are able to maintain their distorted and deluded sense of power and control over real and invisible threats. At the end of the day, they are not hurt by another pathological narcissist. But, they also live their life in a barren desert of loneliness and fear.

Codependents cannot shake the unrealistic belief that happiness will only come if they are in a relationship. They look to other people to make them feel happy and fulfilled. It is only through an intimate relationship that they will be able to feel complete. Codependents tend to rely on a source outside of themselves – their romantic partners – to make them feel worthwhile and lovable.  As a result of the codependent’s reliance on pathological narcissists to make them feel good about themselves, they seldom experience self-love or healthy levels of self-esteem.

 

Since the codependent unconsciously chooses partners who are unwilling, unmotivated or unable to meet their personal and emotional needs, they may choose the path of control to get their pathological narcissist partner to give them what they want and need. To some, it is counterintuitive for codependents to be controlling. There are indeed codependents who do give up and take a passive victim-based role in their dysfunctional relationships. However, because most codependents take on the lion’s share of the relationship responsibilities such as child care, house cleaning, cooking, shopping, and/or financially supporting the relationship/family, they cannot afford to acquiesce and relinquish control of their family’s life. Without maintaining some semblance of control, they and their family or relationship would certainly suffer. To most codependents, the idea of stopping their attempts to get their narcissist partner to reciprocate or behave fairly and responsibly is tantamount to giving up on their relationship; something that codependents are mostly unwilling and incapable of doing.

Codependents often develop compulsive or addictive-like patterns while trying to control their narcissistic partner. Their compulsion to control someone who cannot be controlled puts them on a circular path that always brings them back to where they started: angry, frustrated and resentful. Much like the hamster on its wheel, they run around and around trying to get somewhere, but always end up in the same place. No matter how fast and how long they run, they never actually leave the place where they started – their dysfunctional relationship with a pathological narcissist. Their attempts to seek the unobtainable create a series of personal and relational failures that ultimately remind them of their powerlessness over others. This pattern is self-reinforcing. The more they fail at controlling the pathological narcissist, the worse they feel. Over time, they get worn down by their failures and consequently give up on the hope that the one-way nature of their relationship will ever change.

Codependents are slow to give up hope that their partner will eventually give them what they want, deserve and need. However, for some codependents, their patience eventually runs thin. Their naïve belief that their narcissistic partner will give them what they have so sacrificially and patiently been waiting for eventually transforms into bouts of anger and resentment. Realizing that hoping and waiting does not get them what they want, i.e., their spouse to be stop drinking, stop an affair, or to show them love and thoughtfulness, they resort either to direct or passive forms of aggression. Instead of running on their hamster wheel, they start to actively attempt to control their unyielding partner. So the stereotype that codependents are passive victims who wait a lifetime to get what they want is just not true.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

 

“CODEPENDENCY” NO MORE! HOW TO RECOVER FROM SELF-LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER

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Ross Rosenberg has pioneered 15 principles that help his
patients resolve their painful dysfunctional relationships patterns.
Have you been stuck in multiple relationships that bring mostly conflict and almost no joy? If this is your pattern, you may be suffering from what Ross Rosenberg calls “Self-Love Deficit Disorder,” which is caused by “The Human Magnet Syndrome.”

When a therapist colleague and friend recently asked me to explain what Self-Love Deficit Disorder is and how to treat it–I panicked. Although I love talking about my latest discoveries, especially my renaming of codependency to Self-Love Deficit Disorder. I paused to think of the best response. Being fatigued from seeing six psychotherapy clients that day, I considered using the therapist’s conversation maneuver of avoiding the subject by asking a similarly difficult question about a topic on which the client loves to talk. My second impulse was to skirt the question by explaining that the answers are best explained in my latest seminar video–the six-hour “Codependency Cure.”

These discoveries organically materialized in my life as a direct result of my need to heal emotional wounds and to tear down the emotional, personal, and relational barriers keeping me from experiencing self-love.

My third impulse, the best one, was to proudly and enthusiastically share my “children” with yet another person. Those who know me well understand how my Human Magnet Syndrome, Codependency Cure, and Self-Love Deficit theories and explanations are byproducts of my own family of origin issues (trauma), my roller-coaster journey to recover from it, and the joy of learning to live free from codependency. These discoveries organically materialized in my life as a direct result of my need to heal emotional wounds and to tear down the emotional, personal, and relational barriers keeping me from experiencing self-love. This is not just a set of theories I like to talk about, but a personal mission that I plan to be on for the rest of my life.

Although I wasn’t excited about the prospect of talking shop at that moment, I tapped into a well of energy and enthusiasm that gave me the much needed boost to give a condensed rendering of my latest work. But this time, I set a boundary (for me and them): it would only be a fifteen-minute explanation! I figured since I had already given many radio interviews, written many articles, created training courses, and, of course, been a psychotherapist for 29 years, it would be a piece of cake.
And … I did with time to spare! Knowing that others might ask me the same question again or would benefit from a similarly condensed rendition of my conceptual and theoretical work, I decided to create a written version of this discussion. The following are my 15 guiding principles of Self-Love Deficit Disorder and The Human Magnet Syndrome.

♦◊♦
1. “Codependency” is an outdated term that connotes weakness and emotional fragility, both of which are far from the truth. The replacement term, “Self-Love Deficit Disorder” or SLDD takes the stigma and misunderstanding out of codependency and places the focus on the core shame that perpetuates it. Inherent in the term itself is the recognition of the core problem of codependency, as well as the solution to it.

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2. The absence of self-love results in deeply embedded insecurities that render a person powerless to set boundaries and/or control their narcissistic loved ones. The person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder, the SLD, is often oblivious or in denial about their dysfunctional relationships patterns with narcissists, as to admit to it, would require them to face their core shame and pathological loneliness.

3. PNarc’s (Pathological Narcissists) have one of three personality disorders and/or have an addiction: Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

4. The SLD was once a child who was raised by a PNarc parent who flew into fits of rage, anxiety, sadness, and/or depression if and when their immediate needs were not catered to or immediately met. This child emotionally survived by avoiding their narcissistic parent’s anger (narcissistic injuries) by morphing into the “trophy,” “pleasing,” or “favorite” child that the PNarc parent needed them to be. This child grew up learning that safety and conditional love were available to them if they buried their own needs for love, respect and caring while becoming invisible.

5. The inherently dysfunctional SLDD/PNarc “dance” requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners: the pleaser/fixer (SLD) and the taker/controller (PNarc). When the two come together in their relationship, their dance unfolds flawlessly: The narcissistic maintains the lead and the SLD follows. Their roles seem natural to them because they have actually been practicing them their whole lives; the SLD reflexively gives up their power and since the narcissist thrives on control and power, the dance is perfectly coordinated. No one gets their toes stepped on. SLD’s dare not leave their dance partner, because their lack of self-esteem and self-respect makes them feel like they can do no better. Being alone is the equivalent of feeling lonely, and loneliness is too painful to bear.

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6. Men and women always have been drawn into romantic relationships instinctively, not so much by what they see, feel or think, but more by an invisible and irresistible relationship force. “Chemistry,” or the intuitive knowingness of perfect compatibility, is synonymous with the Human Magnet Syndrome. This is the attraction force that brings compatibly opposite, but exquisitely matched, lovers together: SLD’s and PNarc’s. Like two sides of a magnet, the care-taking and sacrificing SLD and the selfish and entitled PNarcs are powerfully drawn together–sometimes permanently.

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7. SLD’s feel trapped in their relationships because they confuse sacrifice and selfless caring with commitment, loyalty and love. The SLD’s distorted thinking and value system is fueled by an irrational fear of abandonment, loneliness and core shame.

8. When an SLD sets a boundary, insists on fairness or mutuality, or attempts to protect themselves from harm, the PNarc partner punishes them with some form of active or passive aggressive retaliation. The actual consequence, or the threat of it, freezes the SLD inside their unhappy dysfunctional relationships. Over time, the PNarc achieves complete dominance over the relationship because they have systematically extracted any semblance of self-confidence and courage from the SLD.

9. SLDD often manifests as an addiction. The enthralling emotional drama of dysfunctional relationships or the belief that the SLD can control a PNarc is the “drug” to which SLD’s become addicted. Despite losses and consequences, the SLD addict hypnotically pursues their drug of choice. “Relapse” is inevitable if the SLD should leave the PNarc before resolving the underlying problems responsible for the addiction.

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10. Pathological loneliness and the fear of it drives SLDD addiction. It is SLDD addiction’s primary withdrawal symptom, which lasts between two to six months. This toxic form of loneliness is excruciatingly painful and is experienced physically, emotionally, existentially, and spiritually. In the throes of pathological loneliness, the SLD feels isolated, unloved, unsafe, and fundamentally unworthy.

11. Core shame drives pathological loneliness. It is the feeling of being fundamentally damaged, bad and/or an unlovable. Core shame was caused by attachment trauma.

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12. Attachment trauma is caused by the traumatic childhood experience of being raised by an abusive or neglectful PNarc parent. This form of trauma is largely repressed and is beyond the SLD’s capacity to remember. Attachment trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are similar mental health problems or are one of the same. Resolving this trauma requires a psychodynamic, family of origin, addictions, and trauma informed psychotherapist.

13. SLDD is not a primary psychological or emotional problem. It is a symptom of other underlying and more severe psychological problems. With the resolution of SLDD Addiction, pathological loneliness, core shame and, ultimately, the attachment trauma, the SLD will, perhaps for the first time, be able to love themselves.

14. According to the rules of “relationship math,” the addition of ½ + ½ (an SLD and PNarc) = 1, which is ½ of a relationship comprised of enmeshed and dependent partners. But the addition of a 1 + 1 (two self-loving individuals) = 2, which is 1 whole relationship comprised of mutually and reciprocally loving interdependent adults.

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15. Self-love is the antidote to codependency or Self-Love Deficit Disorder. And since the human spirit is capable of astounding feats, then the all the pain and suffering that it takes to achieve self-love is well worth the effort. George Elliot had it right: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.

♦◊♦

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has asked me about my work. It is through explaining my ideas and concepts to others that I have been able to hone in on the universal truths about which I am so devoted to teaching and writing. For more information and resources, readers can consult the Advanced Clinical Trainers website.

www.ClinicalCareConsultants.com

www.AdvancedClinicalTrainers.com
www.youtube.com/user/clinicalcareconsult
www.facebook.com/RossRosenbergCCC
www.twitter.com/Rossrosenberg1

Codependency No More! Introducing Self-Love Deficit Disorder. SLD

Codependency No More!  Introducing Self-Love Deficit Disorder

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
10/28/15

codependency no more

 

SELF-LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER – SLDD

“Codependency” is an outdated term that connotes weakness and emotional fragility, both of which are far from the truth.  The new term should recognize the problem with which all codependents struggle: a deficiency of self-love.  Without it, they are perpetually and hopelessly attracted to pathological narcissists.  With great pride, I would like to introduce “Self-Love Deficit Disorder!” It is time to take the disgrace out of the name of Codependency and place the focus on the shame that perpetuates it.

self love

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT  © 2015

Clinical Care Consultants Owner

Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner

Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer

Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

FINALLY, AN UPDATED and SIMPLIFIED CODEPENDENCY DEFINITION. Codependency Redifined

codependency definition

FINALLY, AN UPDATED and SIMPLIFIED CODEPENDENCY DEFINITION

Regrettably, the term “codependency” has been overused, misused & often misunderstood. It has become a caricature of its original meaning. To the general public, the term now implies that a person is weak, needy, clingy & even emotionally sick. Like the term “dysfunctional,” it has been lazily & conveniently reshaped to fit our mainstream lexicon. A revised definition has long been overdue.  And here it is!

“Codependency is a psychological condition that is manifested in relationships. Codependents give a great deal more love, care and respect (LRC) to others than they expect, request and ultimately receive. Even though they are resentful and angry about the LRC inequality, they do not terminate the relationship. They convince themselves, that they alone, can change the narcissistic nature of their loved one. In the event that they or their partner do end the relationship, codependents perpetually find themselves on the giving end of a new relationship.”

Codependency Subtypes: Passive and Active

There are two sub-types of codependency: passive and active. Although all codependents are habitually and instinctively attracted (and later bonded) to severely narcissistic partners, one is more active in their perpetual but unsuccessful attempts to obtain their emotional manipulator’s love, respect and care (LRC), while the other is more passive. Although both try to control and manipulate their narcissistic partners into meeting their LRC needs, they go about it differently.

Passive codependents are more fearful and avoidant of conflict. For complicated reasons, mostly related to their extremely low self-esteem, fear of being alone and tendency to be in relationships with controlling, dangerous and/or abusive emotional manipulators, the passive codependent attempts to control or influence their narcissistic partner through carefully, if not meticulously, executed control strategies – most of which are intended to fall under their emotional manipulator’s radar (awareness). Because of the secret and hidden nature of their control strategies, passive codependents are perceived as more manipulative (than active codependents).

Active codependents, on the other hand, more boldly and overtly attempt to manipulate their narcissistic partner into meeting their LRC needs. Being less afraid of conflict and subsequent harm, they are prone to initiate arguments and confrontations with emotional manipulators. Active codependents are often mistaken for narcissists because of their more openly controlling demeanor. Even though they are caught in a never winning cycle of trying to control someone who is neither interested nor capable of meeting their LRC needs, they are typically not able or motivated to end the relationship. Like the passive codependent, they believe that “one day” their pathologically narcissistic partner will realize their mistakes and wrong-doings and finally give them the love, respect and care they so desperately want and need. It just never happens…

Although different “on the outside,” both the passive and active codependent share the pathological “others” self-orientation. They both remain with pathologically narcissistic partners while being unhappy, angry and resentful at the lack of reciprocity, mutuality and fairness in their relationship. While the active codependent may seem stronger, more in control and more confident, both share the same deeply imbedded insecurities and feelings of powerlessness. Both are unable to break free from their dysfunctional relationship.

Codependency Anorexia (Codependency Turned Off)

Codependency Anorexia occurs when a codependent surrenders to their life-long relationship pattern to destructive pathological narcissists. It occurs when they hit bottom and can no longer bear the pain and the harm meted out to them from their malevolent pathological narcissists. It is paradoxical in a sense, as it occurs during a moment of clarity, when the codependent realizes that they are completely powerless to stop their attraction to lovers who, in the beginning, feel so right, but shortly thereafter, hurt them so badly. In an effort to protect themselves from the long line of “soul mates,” who unexpectedly convert to “cellmates,” they flip their vulnerability switch to “off,” which results in a complete shutdown of their emotional, relational, and sexual machinery.

To maintain their codependent anorexia, codependents ultimately have to divorce themselves from their emotional and sexual selves. As a result, they “starve” themselves from the very human need to connect romantically, intimately, and sexually. Such deprivation often leads to long-term mental and relational health problems.

Codependency Anorexia Full Article: http://goo.gl/KrP8MG

Codependency Recovery Induced Narcissism

When the over-zealous (and excited) recovering codependent goes overboard in setting boundaries and showing the world their new sense of empowerment, personal power, and heightened self-esteem. Many people, especially those who are narcissistic will accuse this codependent of being narcissistic. Many mistakes and judgement errors can occur during this temporary transition toward better emotional and relational health.

Two humorous examples are from the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXZs3mjGlQU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-VBcSukH_8

copyright-symbol-for-web-2 2015, Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

Clinical Care Consultants Owner and Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner

Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer

Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

Counseling Today’s Online Magazine Top 15 Read Articles

2014yearinreviewCT Online’s most-read articles posted in 2014:

As we flip the calendar forward to January, we’re taking some time to reflect on the more than 150 articles that were posted at CT Online in 2014.    From a remembrance of Maya Angelou to an in-depth piece on eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), we’ve focused on the news and issues that affect the counseling profession.

Milestones of 2014 include approval of a newly revised ACA Code of Ethics and the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC)’s first-ever conference, held in New Orleans in September.

15. The dance between codependents and narcissists (Online Exclusive, posted in March) bit.ly/1nMLV3K  Ross Rosenberg

1. 2014 ACA Code of Ethics approved by Governing Council (Online Exclusive, posted in March) bit.ly/1i4ehSO

2. Addressing clients’ prejudices in counseling (Knowledge Share, posted in January) bit.ly/1i3TuAG

3. A living document of ethical guidance (Cover Story, posted in May) bit.ly/1B28EP1

4. The toll of childhood trauma (Cover Story, posted in June) bit.ly/1JOMshA

5. EMDR for the co-occurring population (Magazine Feature, posted in May) bit.ly/1JON7Q5

6. Counseling goes to the movies (Online Exclusive, posted in December) bit.ly/1AWKDcq

7. The inner life of the counselor (Knowledge Share, posted in April) bit.ly/1CCkktk

8. Sex offender therapy: A battle on multiple fronts (Magazine Opinion, posted in March) bit.ly/1HvTqU

9. Connecting with clients (Cover Story, posted in August) bit.ly/16Nb2Az

10. ACA’s first counselor compensation study reports varied pay, good benefits (Online Exclusive, posted in September) bit.ly/1xdNJLT

11. Quieting the inner critic (Cover Story, posted in January) bit.ly/LZ0Uu9

12. America’s mental health disparities (Online Exclusive, posted in December) bit.ly/1E7Z2bA

13. CACREP degree to be required for counselor licensure in Ohio (Online Exclusive, posted in May) bit.ly/1x0e4uP

14. The toughest kinds of groups (Knowledge Share, posted in February) bit.ly/1mBAfAq

Loneliness Is The Glue that Binds Codependents to Narcissists – Rosenberg

 

 

 

 

 

I created this for our upcoming April 25 training with Joyce Marter, LCPC Psychotherapist, Author & Speaker and Michele Lowrance. The Trauma of Divorce: Healing and Empowering Strategies.  My portion of the training is entitled: “Reversing the Human Magnet Syndrome: Breaking Free From a Toxic Marriage”

More info about the training: http://goo.gl/dasxRploneliness slide

4 Stages of Codependency Recovery. 4 Stages of Codependency Treatment

My latest video on codependency, 4 Stages of Codependency Recovery, outlines steps of the recovery process.