Everyone knows someone who needs a relationship like a junkie needs a drug, often serial romantics, who cruise gaydar looking for their gay romeo, only to be thwarted 2 weeks later when “the relationship” falters. Many subconsciously look for a relationship in the belief it will cure their sexual compulsions, late night cam cruising, chem use and other distractions, “if I had a relationship none of this would happen” they convince themselves. Some gay men find a partner to rescue, fix and people please, thinking they will stay – this is codependency – the avoidance of ones-self, the fear of aloneness – the love drug.
Many codependents just can’t stop helping.
They sense the pain of others like a satellite dish, dishing out uninvited advice and scowl when you don’t use it. ( . . they were only trying to help, you see. ) They sit by phones planning the future to take themselves away from the pain of the moment. They often have no bounderies.
They worry a lot about other people but take little care of themselves, the kind of person who states ” I will always be there for YOU ” while totting up grudges on lists for payback time. They are kind people with misplaced intention or need to be in control. They often hold a romantic illusion of love, moving in quickly with a partner or become serial relationship seekers ready to take hostage for keeps. They always insist ” we can work it out ” when all around are shaking heads.
If it hurts it isn’t love.
Codependent love is conditional love – for some it means conditional on staying together for ever to avoid the pains of future rejection, loss and purpose. Same sex marriage has been used in this way as quick fix cement for the cracks, as gay divorce figures rise.
Unconditional love is adult and deemed more spiritual, less egotistical, loving them enough to let them go when they want without manipulation or anger.
We need to be trained to do this appropriately and in an adult fashion, to experience interdependence for continued harmony.
When a relationship no longer works, I work with one person or both individually before considering couples counselling. This has proved to be more fruitful allowing the partnership to fix themselves. Though in most cases one partner refuses to take inventory, feeling they are right and communication crumbles.
HOMEWORK TIP : WORK ON YOURSELF only, change yourself, change the game and partners are forced to follow. Start finding your voice, learn the power of clear honest communication and rediscover the buried self, the wounded emotions and the healing power of action.
Are you babysitting your partner, parent or friend & always on a rescue mission as a human ambulance or parenting them to change? Do you think you are always right? Nag. Nag. Nag. Long-term it will never work, your efforts are in vain including paying off their CC Cards and court judgements. The old stereotypes of Relationships must and can change into equal responsibility within the relationship. One fixing the other is over. Let them do it for themselves. Stop enabling.
Recovery from Codependency is not only possible but essential but you don’t have to have had, or be in a relationship, to experience this subconscious fear based thought system. It affects us all somewhere – the desire to avoid responsibility for self.
CLUBBED OUT or NOT QUITE OUT?
Using Relationship & Addiction Coaching for over 25 years with gay clients affected by child abuse, drink or drug dependent parents, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B & C, sexual and gender confusion is my rare experience.