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Codependent Behaviour: Is It Running Or Ruining Your Life?

By Michael David Lawrience B. A., B. Com

I am a white male born in Canada and now living in the United States for half of my life. I only recognized my codependent behavior 2/3’s of the way through life. Codependency had been running and ruining my life for all that time without me knowing. It took another 20 years for full recovery from codependency.

Although I have visited India twice for spiritual development, I have little understanding of how codependent behavior affects Indian men or women. I apologize for this; however, the areas of codependency remain the same regardless of our culture. Therefore take what I say and apply it to your situation where you can.

Codependency
I am led, however, to understand that some Indian men have behavior described as the “Mama’s Boy”. I will talk about that later. I now give you a brief summary of my personal challenge with codependency.

It has taken me many years of learning how to develop my inner masculine strength to stand in the truth of who I am while in relationship with women. My pattern, until my relationship with my present wife, Lyn, has been a fear of judgment and being hurt for revealing my thoughts and feelings. My fear kept me prisoner to codependency.

When my partner felt good, I felt good. When she expressed unhappiness, I fell into a pit of misery. Sometimes the woman became the persecutor berating me for lack of communication and I went into feeling victimized.

My mate, however, became just as victimized by the persecution of my icy unloving silence.  It has taken seeing my emotional patterns and a great deal of inner work to release these subconscious archetypes of past emotional pain.

It has taken listening to my intuition; letting go of control and trusting. It has taken courage to go beyond my childhood experiences of feeling unloved and the trauma of an alcoholic father.

Codependency creates much suffering in relationships. I believe from teaching about codependency to groups for a number of years that over 90 % of American families have some degree of codependency, from mild to severe.

It could be different in India; however, I am unfamiliar with any studies. The questions still are: Are you or have you been codependent? Can you recognize the behaviors of codependency in your boyfriend or husband?

As Pia Melody, author of Facing Codependency says, The heart and soul of codependence lies in the difficulty codependents have knowing what their feelings are and how to share them. In her book she talks about different types of boundaries – energy fields around us to keep people from coming into our personal space.

People who have been abused may use walls instead of healthy boundaries, walls of fear, anger, silence, or words for a feeling of safety and they can switch from one type of wall to another to remain invulnerable. They (walls) do not allow for intimacy . . . . A wall can be appropriate, however, when a person needs protection from someone who is abusing them, says Pia.

Codependence counselor, Robert Burney says, Codependency . . . to be emotionally anorexic.  Not having our emotional needs met in childhood sets us up for the behavior patterns that cause our adult emotional needs to go unmet . . .  reflections of our Spiritual wound  . . . that deep empty longing can only be filled spiritually, by reconnecting with our Source.

The above quotes describe the essence of codependency related to feelings, needs, and boundaries. I will the list the five main areas of codependent behavior.

1. Inability to recognize our needs.
2. Lack of taking care of ourselves, fulfilling our own needs.
3. Inability to know how we feel.
4. Lack of skill or fear of expressing our feelings.
5. Poor personal boundaries. Fear of standing up and saying “No.”

I will soon talk about the behavior of some Indian men known as “Mama’s Boy. I address this in reference to Indian women and how they might better handle it to achieve better emotional health for themselves.

First I will clarify my relationship with my own mother. My father staggered through life drunk much of the time, angry and shouting at my mother. I retreated inwardly and kept my mouth to protect myself.

Since my father chose to be absent a lot of the time, both physically and emotionally, I unconsciously as a child took on the role of my father to protect and look after my mother.

You can see the roots of my codependent behavior. Rather than taking care of my own needs I felt I needed to care take of the women in my life. I numbed my feelings and had no skill in expressing them. Last of all seeing the behavior of my parents I had no idea of good personal boundaries.

Codependence And The “Mama’s Boy”

Let’s come back to the “Mama’s Boy” concept. This is an adult man still unhealthily connected to his mother. His mother is over involved in her adult son’s life, emotionally needy, and demanding her son’s attention.

The mother makes financial, career, and relationship decisions for her son. She provides the emotional support that a girlfriend or wife naturally would fulfill. The son continues remaining a boy emotionally. Why would such a man need any other woman?

In the above codependent relationship the son looks after the mother’s needs and feelings to the detriment of his own. He probably fears expressing his own feelings and of course we can see the unhealthy boundary issue.

This son places his mother’s happiness above that of any other woman. As a woman would you want your boyfriend or husband to treat you like a piece of furniture rather respecting and loving you? Would you like to feel invisible or be treated like a doormat?

Would you like to constantly compete for your partner’s attention and have your needs ignored while his mother controls and dominants him and receives all his love? Will you let your codependency or that of your partner run or ruin your life?

Here is a simple test to recognize your own degree of codependency. When you find yourself attracted to or involved with a man who has a codependent relationship with his mother will you stay and struggle as a third-class citizen, or will you say I deserve respect and love and leave that relationship?

Michael David LawrienceMichael David Lawrience is the author of Emotional Health: The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain coming to Amazon as a softcover in mid-June 2011. Michael is a certified Residential Coach III with over 13 years’ experience teaching teen’s self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-reliance. He has over 35 years’ experience as a holistic health practitioner with a B.A in Sacred Healing and has been a certified Bowenwork Practitioner since 2005. His niche is emotional health with extensive personal experience related to codependency recovery, strengthening self-esteem, healing the inner child, stress management, and meditation which he has practiced for over 40 years.

I hope you enjoyed this article with Michael and that you’ll check out his softcover book when it is ready at Amazon mid-June. You can 0rder other versions here now at www.emotionalhealthtips.com Read FREE 1st 50-pages the book The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain.

Resources for Emotional Healing:

  • Working With and Healing Your Inner Child & Inner Adolescent – The happier your childhood, the less of a problem you’ll now have with your inner child. Conversely, the more pain you went through then, the more problems you’re likely to have now. These meditations can be the first step in going back and healing that childhood, and that adolescence. You get two complete visualization meditations. The first one guides you to meet and interact with your inner child. The second one guides you to similarly work with your inner adolescent.
  • Healing Your Ego – You need a strong, healthy, positive ego to function in life. To do that, first you need to take back the power you’ve given it. And then follow specific technique to heal it. Heal your wounded ego with these three audio files on healing your ego and returning it to its rightful place – as a servant who delivers information to you.
  • Why Men Leave And Other Unexpected Surprises – Do you repeatedly find yourself in hurtful relationships, or are seeking to save your relationship or troubled marriage? This revealing, intimate ebook, is the result of years of psychological study and field research with the aim of understanding male psychology in relationships, the fears they face, and hopes they have in a relationship. It gives a full picture of what men need to be happy, find to be challenging, or finally unbearable in their relationships.

Pro EFT Articles and Downloads - Life Coaching with LindsayPhoto source shho

Emotional Relationship Drama: Would You Like To Stop Yours?

By Michael David Lawrience B. A., B. Com

Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. ~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Relationships we choose or end up in reflect back to us like a mirror who we are inside. They reflect our emotional states, our beliefs, and our wounded unhealed aspects.

We can choose to ignore or remain unconscious of what our relationships mirror about our internal states. Worse we can blame and get angry at our partner for what they reflect about us. Then the drama, emotional conflict and turmoil will continue recycling, endlessly.

Relationship Drama

On the other hand, we can choose to recognize that everything our relationship reveals can be used for greater understanding and healing of ourselves and thereby our relationship. It is best if both partners have a willingness to do this.

Our relationships besides reflecting our internal states also show the patterns we learned and took on unconsciously from our families.

As Rahasya in the article, Counseling, says, “It seems that suffering patterns repeat themselves. If we look at a family, the suffering pattern gets inherited, gets transferred from grandparents to parents to children.”

I see the truth of what Rahasya says in my first relationship. I felt joyless and trapped in my birth family growing up and now again I felt trapped in my relationship with Angelique.

So how do we overcome our inherited family patterns of drama? Charlotte Kasl in her book, If the Buddha Married, expresses the suffering that occurs in relationships.

Understanding our attachments, how our expectations, fears, and demands lie at the root of our individual suffering, including our suffering in relationships . . . .

We discover how we can use our highly charged flashes of emotion to help us wake up rather than retreat from our relationships. We learn to stay present to ourselves and acknowledge our anger, fear, or hurt, so we cease hiding from ourselves and those we love.

To summarize what Kasl says, we can use the feelings of anger or hurt sparked by our relationships to stay present with those feelings within ourselves.

As we move through them however long that takes, this allows them to change, to empower ourselves and our relationship. Also first of all we can express how we feel to our partners without acting out for instance our anger.

For example we could say, “I feel so angry right now I could pick up this chair and smash it. I am not going to do that though. I am going to instead feel this anger without acting on it. I am going to fully feel it inside my body and just stay present with it.”

The main obstacle in love is fear, the fear of turning vulnerable, of surrendering and, ultimately, of suffering … What we should not forget is that pain is normal in a relationship. By shutting down your affective flow, you block both pain and love from reaching you,” says Stefan Anitei, science editor.

Because of past suffering, I believed in ignorance that more feelings meant more suffering so I remained in a permanent state of emotional numbness, afraid to feel.

Locked inside my body, without expression, the pain never had a chance of releasing so I suffered. In addition, Angelique and I both blocked our expression of love for each other.

Robert Burney, codependence counselor in the article, Letting Go of Unavailable People says, “We need to focus on healing our self, on understanding and healing the emotional wounds that have driven us to pick people who could not give us what we want emotionally.”

Have you picked partners out of your own unrecognized and thus unhealed trauma that remained unemotionally capable of nurturing you?

Without knowing, we create a cycle of conflict, a cycle of hurting, attacking, and withdrawing from each other. This cycle then goes on and on without either person ever noticing his or her role in it.

It’s this cycle of conflict that creates the suffering in relationships,” says Bill Ferguson, author, and relationship workshop leader in the article, Learn How to End Conflict in any Relationship.

Like most people growing up, I received no education on the dynamics of a healthy family, proper communication skills, or awareness and expression of feelings without blame.

I resolved no longer to continue the misery of my parents in my relationships before I ever entered relationships and yet, I ended up out of ignorance repeating the same patterns of conflict.

Fortunately, I stopped the emotional drama in my relationships through recognizing and healing my codependency, becoming aware of, speaking to, and healing my inner five-year-old boy, and integrating my inner feminine energy and emotions with the help of my women partners.

At the beginning of this article I mentioned how relationships mirror back to us who we are. Here are some tips for your benefit.

See these tips adapted from author Shakti Gawain’s article, How to Apply the Mirror Principle to Your Relationships.

1. Think about people you admire. Write down 5 qualities you like about them. These positive qualities also describe you.

2. Think about someone who upsets you. Write down 5 words that come to mind when you think about that person. Do you have some of these same qualities?

Note: When you get angry at your partner or someone stop and reflect what is this telling me about myself? It has nothing to do with them. It is all about us. Are you ready for positive change and the ability to transform your relationships? Are you ready to stop the drama in your relationships and take a good look at yourself?

Michael David Lawrience is the author of Emotional Health: The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain coming to Amazon as a softcover in mid-June 2011. He is a certified Residential Coach III with over 13 years’ experience teaching teen’s self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-reliance. He has over 35 years’ experience as a holistic health practitioner with a B.A in Sacred Healing and has been a certified Bowenwork Practitioner since 2005.

Michael’s niche is emotional health with extensive personal experience related to codependency recovery, strengthening self-esteem, healing the inner child, stress management, and meditation which he has practiced for over 40 years. I hope you enjoyed this article with Michael and that you’ll check out his softcover book when it is ready at Amazon mid-June. You can 0rder other versions here now at www.emotionalhealthtips.com Read FREE 1st 50-pages the book, The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain.

Resources for Emotional Healing:

  • Working With and Healing Your Inner Child & Inner Adolescent – The happier your childhood, the less of a problem you’ll now have with your inner child. Conversely, the more pain you went through then, the more problems you’re likely to have now. These meditations can be the first step in going back and healing that childhood, and that adolescence. You get two complete visualization meditations. The first one guides you to meet and interact with your inner child. The second one guides you to similarly work with your inner adolescent.
  • Healing Your Ego – You need a strong, healthy, positive ego to function in life. To do that, first you need to take back the power you’ve given it. And then follow specific technique to heal it. Heal your wounded ego with these three audio files on healing your ego and returning it to its rightful place – as a servant who delivers information to you.
Attract the right man

How To Attract The Mate Of Your Dreams

If you want a better relationship, you must become a better person. To attract the mate of your dreams, you must become the person you want to attract.

In my quest to find the perfect mate, I often ended up dating or attracting people who were completely wrong for me. It was only when I realised a simple truth that my entire concept of relationships changed.

The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. If you extrapolate this to relationships, you could say, “The kind of person you attract depends on the kind of person you are.”

Our relationships, and the people we attract into our lives, are just a reflection of who we are, at that point in our lives.

We often talk about men (or women) being “emotionally unavailable” or unwilling to commit to a better relationship. But the kind of people we attract into our lives often tend to be people who mirror our personality or the issues we are dealing with, in some way.

If, deep down, you have a fear of commitment or of “losing your freedom”, then you’re going to attract a mate with the same issues. If you have no self-love or low self-esteem, you’ll end up attracting people with the same problems.

The reason why we see patterns in our lives, why we get into abusive or unfulfilling relationships, is because we’ve not dealt with the issues that were responsible for creating our own beliefs and personalities.

If you think positive thoughts, you’ll attract good things to you. If you respect people and do good by them, you’ll elicit the same response from them. If you want to attract a person with all the qualities you want in a mate, then you must develop those qualities in yourself.

Want your mate to be more loving, giving and kind? Then, become more loving, giving and kind.

Want your mate to be health-conscious? Start taking charge of your own health and fitness.

Want your mate to have a good sense of humour? Take the time and effort to develop your own sense of humour.

Want your mate to be financially secure? Get your own finances in order.

Want your mate to be emotionally available? Commit to sharing more of yourself first.

If you’ve been attracting the wrong kind of people into your life, take a good look at the person in the mirror. Get to know yourself better. You’ll find the answers are all inside you.

If you want a better relationship, you must become a better person. To attract the mate of your dreams, you must become the person you want to attract.

© Priya Florence Shah