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Aren't SOME mothers codependent on their kids? What's the difference?

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3:24 am
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

I hope I don't get a backlash of angry posts from this topic…I seriously am just wondering about the definition of codependency and how we use it in society, as there are some people (counsellors, professors, authors) who DON'T believe in the term codependency..! (My friend who has a PhD in clinical psych had to ask me for the definition of it today, has told me years ago that her professor doesn't 'believe' in codependency…) A university of mine said that EVERYONE is codependent, we're all interrelated. (I later did a paper defining the difference between codependency, dependency, and INTERdependency..a healthier way to relate :). )

Anyways…I see ALOT of women who are codependent on the man in their lives…but I also see ALOT of women (lots of very young single women in particular) who seem to revolve their life around their kid(s) in an extreme fashion…to the point where they have no other interests AT ALL. Almost like their children are their best friends (how healthy are those boundaries?). I know, all kids need guidance, direction, love, etc. etc….I'm talking about the kind of excessive caring where the mother is actually dependent on the child LOL Depends on him or her for entertainment, companionship, a shoulder to lean on…etc.

Then I see 'healthy' relationships where all the woman does is talk about her husband…is this not codependent as well, or no? I guess if the woman/man isn't hurting…they are fine or healthy. I guess it all comes down to: are each of them getting their needs met?

Just trying to get some clarity on what a healthy/unhealthy relationship looks like between two individuals. : /

B/c from the women that I know…MOST of them seem to be codependent as well… They seem 'ok' now…but would be far far worse if they were going thru the steps of leaving, like many of us are. I dunno…just thinking about this whole 'problem'/illness/unhealthy relating patterns or whatever it is… : /


3:27 am
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

oops ..typo..
i meant to say a university PROF of mine doesn't believe in codependency. he was also very huge into universal collective thought, etc. and thought we are all a part of each other, and need each other..or something like that LOL :)

3:41 am
June 28, 2008



posts 14

A parent and child have a dependent relationship at the beginning which, if the parents are healthy,becomes interdependent.

From what I have gathered, codependency is a dysfunctional way of being in relationships where the individuals involved become enmeshed with each other and there is blurring of boundaries. Parents can create codependent relations with their children but this is no the nature or the relationship.

3:52 am
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

Interesting ideas, Kitty.

I always thought that the term codependent derived from a fairly tight context; the alcoholic is directly dependent on alcohol, while the non-alcoholic is co-dependent or indirectly suffering from the chaos of alcoholism via the alcoholic partner.

In the sixties, this lead to an expansion of the AA strategy to include the family in the recovery program.

I remember sitting through some pretty heavy lectures on systems theory as a prerequisite for a course on counseling addicts.

Probably the simplest metaphor is that a family is like one of those mobiles, where half a dozen objects hang off the same set of strings and sticks. When the wind blows each object moves in a pattern that is both separate from and related to the other objects.

To put the idea in simple crude terms; if the alcoholic quits drinking, the spouse has to find something else to nag about, or maybe even stop nagging. Often the alcoholic would do well at the clinic but fall off the wagon when they went back to the family which had not changed.

Virginia Satir was one of the guru's of this period with her family therapy approach to addiction.

There is one legacy in this work that I feel we may have lost. "The problem is in the relationship not in the individual." That is not to say that some challenges relate to the individual; like sobriety.

These days we seem to have a lot of terms which denote individual pathology, like "she is a narcisist" or "he is codependent"; like it is wired into their genes.

I think its more helpful to define a relationship as toxic or dysfunctional if the parties are not getting the outcomes they desire. Narcisism could be one of those relationship toxins, for instance.

I agree with your professor in saying that someone in an isolated highly dependent relationship is codependent in that context; but not necessarily in a healthier relationship.

So I say do not make a toxic object of your ex. Rather look for the toxins within the relationship between you. Healthier choices are a much more effective remedy than the blame game.

What do others think?

3:57 am
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

To address the mother-child relationship. If both Mum and kids are happy and healthy in the relationship, then no, a devoted mother is not codependent, in my opinion. Some of the behaviours may be similar to those displayed in a codependent relationship, but the relationship is not codependent; it is healthy and rewarding and therefore by definition functional.

It is achieving what everyone was hoping it would.

4:06 am
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

I just remembered something my Dad used to say, which is a good example of the centrality of the relationship, rather than the nasty individual.

He used to say, "it takes two to create an insult; one to hurl the insult and the other to take it on board and let it hurt them."

When you are healthy enough to say, "thank you for the feedback and please have a nice day", an insult cannot happen.

5:05 pm
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

I LOVE it, Wizard! "Thankyou for the feedback…and please have a nice day!" LOL

Wow. Excellent words, I appreciate your response, consideration, and for sharing :) THANKYOU!

Now…I'm off to have a FRIKKEN FANTASTIC TIME WITH THE GIRLS (whom I don't even know : / YIKES! girls can be soo mean!) but whatthehell…
I'm planning on having ALOT OF FUN TONIGHT, AND I WILL!!! :D wahooooo!!

~ KC

6:31 pm
June 28, 2008



posts 8


Mother-child Relationship
1. Mothers have a legal obligation to take care of their kids.
2. children cannot take care of themselves independently
3. Mothers cannot spend too much time with their kids.
4. It is in the childs best interest if their mother puts them first
5. If the mother is happy to spend all of her time and attention on her kids then it is not a problem. If it makes her unhappy then it is.
6. A relationship with a child gets codependent when you are referring to an adult child that does not accept responsiblity for their actions. i.e. a parent who gives an adult child money that isnt working. If the adult child gets money from the parents it takes away their ambition to work and figure things out for themselves. Then the parent winds up becoming resentful. The child feels controlled, but puts up with the parent cause they need money, and it becomes a dysfuntional mess.

Mother- Adult Sex partner relationship

1. Mother has no legal obligation to take care of her sex partner. Sex partner is legally responsbile for themself.
2. Sex partner can put a roof over their own head, food in their own mouth and clothes on their own back
3. Mothers sex partner is not a child is an adult and all adults need to spend time alone, to take care of themselves, go to work, take care of their responsiblities.
4. Mother doesnt need to put sex partner first cause sex partner is able to decide what their priorities are cause they are an adult.
5. Again a full grown healthy adult human does not need another human spending all of their time with them. They dont need to be controlled or supervised.
6. A parent an adult child have a healthy relationship when the adult child is living a seperate and independent life and the two interact in an enjoyable fashion instead of only contacting a parent when they NEED something.

8:50 pm
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

Hey, guys, you´re inspiring!

Wiz, what do I say? Ditto for "So I say do not make a toxic object of your ex. Rather look for the toxins within the relationship between you." This post would be such fertile ground in libs side.

Kitty, Des, Fantas, Wiz, please check this one page article It answers and sums up a lot.

Yes, we humans are not needy, yes we humans are not faulty… in the drawing board, as far as how we were designed to be. But somewhere in our path up to here we got a bit lost less "source-like", Id say. It can be very liberating to know just where/when we started to deviate from our perfect design, because we will name it to tame it (was it you who said it here first Fantas?).


8:52 pm
June 28, 2008


New Member

posts -1

Plus it´ll spare a lot of pain reliving every sad inciddent in our lives.

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