|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
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What's Wrong with Me?
My telephone rang at 10:00 P.M. The sad voice was too familiar. In half-apologetic, half-desperate tones she said, 'You have got to tell me if I'm going crazy.'
For nine years, my friend Margaret had called periodically to say her adulterous, abusive husband was once again trying to charm his way into her affections while continuing to live in adultery with his secretary. All it took from him was a kind word or a tender touch, and momentarily, the rage within her was silenced as she hoped against hope that maybe this time they would salvage their marriage.
During their lives together, he had threatened her, lied to her, abandoned her, and been unfaithful to her. Yet whenever I would suggest that we are not intended to live continuously in such relationships, she would whimper, 'But, if I don't have him, I'll be all alone. Just having him part of the time is better than not having him at all.'
For years her drama has had the same story line. He cheats, she gets angry and threatens to leave. He repents with sweet words and plays the role of devoted husband. She convinces herself he has changed. He cheats, she gets angry, and the cycle starts all over again. Each time, her spirit dies a little more, and yet she can't find a way of escape.
The attractive businesswoman took me by surprise as she told the bizarre tale of chasing her roommate around the block, begging her to come home after they had quarreled. Lynn poured out her feelings of rage and disappointment about her friend Diane.
Lynn's childlike brown eyes looked pouty as she detailed Diane's inconsiderate actions toward her. This roommate, with whom she had shared everything, was slighting her, spending too much time with another woman at work. Their frequent arguments always seemed to be ignited by the failure of one to meet the other's need for companionship. The weekend had been a repetition of so many others.
Lynn had wanted the two of them to go to a movie, but Diane already had made plans with her friend at work. The nagging and accusations began, and in an outburst of frustration, forty-year-old Diane stormed out of the house, vowing never to return. Lynn ran out after her, begging her to talk. Through tears, Lynn promised that she would be better if Diane would just come home.
Many years ago I met a wonderful friend. We clicked immediately. We enjoyed doing many of the same things. We loved to talk and dream, and we liked the way our friendship felt. It became a real comfort zone for both of us. Whenever I needed to talk, she was there. Whenever she wanted to go somewhere, I went with her.
The easy camaraderie and the heady feeling of immediately becoming 'best friends' flattered our egos. My friend needed me and I loved being needed. Every protective, encouraging thing I did was received as a precious gift. Her gratitude was unending, and I loved it.
Then one day things changed. I can still remember the dark cloud that quietly floated across my comfort zone. Someone else had come on the scene. She was bright, bubbly, and loved to do fun things with my friend. It soon became evident that I was not needed very much anymore.
At first my reaction was one of slight annoyance, similar to the response you have to the buzzing of a mosquito in your ear. Then my feelings became irritated. The irksome bug had bitten me. As the welt of anger and irritation grew, I realized I had been attacked by jealousy. That made me furious with myself and even more furious with my friend and her friend. Soon the welt was scratched raw and a full-blown infection set in. It didn't take long to spread, and ugly open sores appeared for all to see. The healing of those infected areas took a long time because the jealousy episode was just one of many irrational, destructive scenes to be played out in our relationship.
Today, the sores are healed, but the scars remain as silent reminders of an agonizing time when a relationship controlled my emotions and consumed energy that should have been more profitably given to other relationships and activities.
While the circumstances differ in each of these cases, the root problem is the same: codependency. This root grabs hold of the soil of your heart so firmly that pulling it up and destroying it is a phenomenal task. It takes time, determination, and an unshakable faith in God and his power to intervene in your life.
What is codependency? Simply put, it is a relationship between two people who allow one another's behavior to profoundly affect the other. In an attempt to 'feel good' about himself, a participant in a codependency will try to control the physical, emotional, and spiritual behavior of the other person, or he will compromise his own physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being for the sake of the other person. Both the control and the compromise are predicated on the belief that this relationship must exist for personal esteem, security, and intimacy. This is a very clinical description of a heart-rending, destructive situation that kills many relationships and breaks the spirits of people who had nothing but good intentions when they first met.
Unfortunately, one of the laws of human relationship is if we look to another person for security, intimacy, and esteem and can't receive enough, the relationship will crumble. No one can sustain the unrealistic expectations of another, no matter how dear that person is, if he feels responsible to give the impossible. Eventually the intense demands will crush the relationship's life and spontaneity, leaving only obligation and resentment. And for the individual who feels so desperately needy, disappointment after disappointment will set up a track record for failure in every significant relationship. Misery will only compound as his search for security, intimacy, and esteem goes on.
Table of ContentsContents
Definition of Terms
1. What's Wrong with Me?
2. What Are the Symptoms of Codependency?
3. Why Do I Act This Way?
4. Codependency in Parent-Child Relationships
5. Codependency in Marriage
6. Codependency in Friendship
7. Codependency in the Workplace
8. Help! I'm Dependent!
9. Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Appendix A: How Can I Have a Relationship to Christ?
Appendix B: Your Value in Christ
Appendix C: The Attributes of God
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very helpful for me in my marriage and walk with Christ.