Spend a few minutes thinking how many times you acted like a child in a relationship, when you couldn’t get your own way. Maybe you still act like a child in a present relationship. Adult childishness occurs in many unconscious forms, getting treated like a child by a know-all partner, making you feel like a dog when they say ” FETCH “, and patting you on the head in a patronising way, is one way. It’s OK to be trained as a pup as a fetish set-up but tiresome to be controlled by a partner to the extent you feel inadequate or trapped. When it comes to acting out control, the reality is that a person who feels victimised often needs a controller, as much as control freaks seeks out other kids to bully. Many still believe that a good relationship consists of finding a babysitter lover or substitute parent which is why protection, safety and security are high on the emotional agenda disguised as ” Love” or” Being in Love “. I know of many gay men who wait to be ‘rescued’, the low esteemers who people please in order to be loved, but when you don’t love yourself it is also difficult to receive love when it comes your way. The core of co-dependency is fear of rejection or abandonment, so it’s no surprise that many internet profile addicts gain love and acceptance from how many messages they receive in the morning before work. Fewer messages means less attention, and while an adult accepts this situation for what it is, a codependent adult in a child’s mind sees it as total rejection of self. The sexual attention we got in our twenties wanes as we age, while the need to be noticed can increase as hair recedes and bellies expand. Such is gay life. Off course we have to thank the Bear Brigade for changing these viewpoints, but not every 45 year old wants to wear a tartan shirt, a beard and go TONKER till 2am.
” Codependent’s experience quite a few intense emotions about current events that are not mature adult feelings but stem from other sources. For example, a codependent may easily pick up and carry feelings for others taking on board misguided responsibility. Codependents are also prone to harbour feelings picked up during childhood from parents and to project them onto others in adult life. In addition, codependents can quickly sink into a child ego state when current events trigger a child feeling reality that was not sufficiently dealt with during childhood. When we sink into the child ego state, we feel small, vulnerable, and often defensive. Even in recovery, however, these old feelings will continue to come up to a certain degree. The difference is that when they do come up, you can unload them with a therapist/counsellor or aftercare support or with friends who are mature enough to listen to them. This will prevent you from using these strong feelings from childhood to create intensity within your relationships. “
Recovery from codependent patterning means responding to your partner or situation, rather than re-acting or reacting like a child who can’t get their own way. This reaction seldom works long term in a relationship, because the partners mind and mouth clam up as an act of survival, in much the same way that a mother reacts to a crying child night and day. She switches off until she can’t stand anymore. Constant nagging of a partner just takes them back to childhood, to those previous times of emotional silence when they felt helpless, victimised and controlled. When one partner is in recovery from Love Addiction and the other is not, a re-written script gets acted out when patterns change and reality is faced. Partners often refrain from adhering to the new regime because it means growing up and taking responsibility for themselves, which defeats the object of the exercise in starting the relationship in the first place. This is why it takes courage to change. Just because you may be excited about a new way of thinking, working and expressing yourself, others may not, but the reality is that when WE make a stand of change others are challenged to follow. Without this level of challenge we dig deeper into our own emotional graves – and stay there.