Sunday, September 19, 2010

☆♥*♥☆ Co-dependence~Relationships ☆♥*♥☆

by Lorraine Valente

We're quickly approaching the entrance of the Sun into Libra, at the same time both Mars and Venus are in passionate Scorpio. Libra is the sign most associated with relationships and Venus is Libra's ruler and she is transiting a sign (Scorpio) ruled by fiery Mars also in the sign of powerful Scorpio. Libra's often have difficulty selecting a partner because they seek an ideal of how relationships should be that doesn't often match reality. Disillusionment sets in as a result of unrealistic expectations causing an inability to fully commit. Alternately, when actually in a committed relationship, Libra may exhibit one or many co-dependent traits.

What is co-dependence? 

It may be stated that co-dependence is a form of conformity, to another's wishes. It appears consistent within family dynamics in which addiction or emotional abuse occurs in one or more family members. Co-dependence is a dysfunctional process and learned set of behaviors associated with either living with or choosing to be in close proximity to any dysfunctional individual.

Co-dependence is a major manifestation of the adult child syndrome; a child having grown up in a troubled, unhealthy, or dysfunctional family where family members are completely enmeshed in each other's lives. Being enmeshed allows the controlling and more dominant individual complete control over the codependent one. Being in love, in this instance, means being in control. According to Charles Whitfield (1991), co-dependence is characterized by 12 character traits.
  1. It is  learned and acquired.
  2. It is developmental; a failure to develop, arrested development.
  3. It's outer focused.
  4. It's a disease of lost self hood.
  5. It has personal boundary distortions.
  6. It is a "feeling" disorder manifested by low self-esteem, fear, shame, anger, confusion, and numbness.
  7. It produces unhealthy dependence on others by not trusting, withholding, manipulating, exploitative, and controlling.
  8. Relationship difficulties with self and others.
  9. It's primary.
  10. It's chronic and progressive,
  11. It is malignant and treatable.
  12. Excludes a Higher Power.
Characteristics of co-dependency are as follows:

Co-dependent individuals are likely to hook up with a Narcissistic partner who runs the show for both of them. This attachment style is likely to have been learned from behaviors mirrored to the child via the family of origin. The dominant individual manipulates the other to keep him/her attached to the relationship. This dynamic is prevalent in incidences of domestic violence, where the passive, co-dependent individual becomes an emotional punching bag playing peace-maker to ward off the abuser. However, the passive individual, consciously or unconsciously, instigates a reaction so the cycle continues and they maintain their victim status. There's a huge payoff for the victim; attention, concern, favors, not having to accept responsibility, and even financial incentives.

Surround Yourself only with people who lift You Higher!
Co-dependent individuals only feel good about themselves a a result of being liked by someone else.  They tend to push aside their own interests and hobbies and spend time on the "other's" interest and hobbies. Fearing anger or rejection determines what is spoken; opinions are kept to oneself. Decision making is an impossible task and most are left to the other person because they choose to not voice any opinion or desire.  If a person has no opinions or wishes then they can never be made to feel wrong by the controlling individual, who's happy to play the dominant role. In essence, codependency is another form of passive aggressiveness. Co-dependents are people-pleasers and sometimes victims or martyrs. Co-dependent individuals are always in survival mode and they hand over their power to others. They focus outside of Self, neglect, and lack trust in their own inner experiences. They live in a swamp of denial. A co-dependent person focuses attention on completely pleasing another while placing ones own personal growth, development, interests, and values aside to please or succumb to anothers agenda.  

Characteristics of healthy dependence & independence are:

  1. Is reciprocal and shares.
  2. Directly asks for and accepts help and support without manipulation
  3. Supportive with clear and flexible boundaries.
  4. Real with self and others.
  5. Non-abusive, non-exploitative, non-manipulative, and trusting.
  6. Prefers relationships with healthy, independent, and dependent people.
  7. Appropriate amounts of shared and spontaneous contacts and activities.
  8. Free and growth oriented.
  9. Includes a Higher Power.
Forming Partnerships
The goal of relating is interdependence, forming healthy partnerships and alliances with others. Sharing power within a mutually trusting partnership is the goal. The healing process requires commitment, discernment and trusting ourselves by only associating with trustworthy individuals. That requires seeing ourselves, situations, and others clearly thereby changing behavior patterns. Integration, awareness, and personal growth and contentment is the outcome.

If you want to learn more about this topic and others, schedule a phone or e-mail consultation at Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

Lorraine Valente


Whitfield, C. (1991). Co-dependence: Healing the Human Condition. Deerfield Beach: Florida. Health Communications Inc.

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