4 thoughts on “Boundaries, Blaming, and Enabling in Codependent Relationships

  • March 15, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Boundaries are great and necessary for couples to maintain barriers for when problems arise!the essence of love becomes the major factor which contributes to the future of the relationship,how do we react in the hardest times?🤗

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  • March 15, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    I can see this in my husband. People will ask him to do things which they are completely able to do themselves. He won’t say no to them. Then after he has done this first “task” somebody has gotten angry or upset so he then tries to pacify them and feels responsible for their feelings. I’ve tried to tell him that none of these things are his responsibility but he will always justify his actions as “helping somebody out”!! It drives me crazy…lol.

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  • March 17, 2019 at 9:11 am

    How does a codependant go about making their “resonsibility” list ?

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  • July 3, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Hmmm, I find the example of Janna and her mother a bit confusing.

    My perspective on this situation is that Janna’s mother is emotionally manipulating her which is, obviously, a form of emotional or psychological abuse. I can see how boundaries defined as what we are and are not responsible for in correlation with others would help Janna recognize the manipulative tactics of her mom. However, it doesn’t address the Karpman Drama Triangle created by the emotional manipulation in which Janna is either the persecutor or the rescuer while her mother holds the power position as victim.

    Nor does it address Janna’s societal expectations of family taking care of family. If her mom was evicted because she was so certain of Janna’s financial help, friends and family would likely judge Janna harshly for not helping her mother out even while they acknowledged the difficulty and problems created by her mother.

    To label Janna as enabling or codependent under these difficult circumstances (rock and a hard place) seems to minimize the abuse and duress Janna is actually a victim of and erodes any compassion we might feel for Janna. If Janna just let her mother be responsible for herself and let her mother bear the consequences of her own actions, then Janna wouldn’t have the problem with her mother emotionally manipulating her.

    The way I see this scenario, is Janna didn’t create the problem; however, she is certainly responsible for solving the problem of dealing with her mother’s irresponsible ways and the manipulative strategy her mother is using to solve her own problem. Karpman describes the only way out of the drama triangle is to accept the persecutor role. That is a difficult position to take for decent people. No one wants to be perceived as the villain particularly when we’re the victim. It hurts our sense of self and self esteem. Janna being boundaried and telling her mother ‘no’ does not seem like an outcome of appropriate self care. Perhaps if Janna replied, “I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having financial difficulties, what are you planning to do,” perhaps her mother would be ok, move on, and take responsibility for her situation but if her mother is the type of person who groomed her daughter to rescue her then she most likely will continue to escalate until she gets what she wants.

    Dealing with the difficult, selfish, toxic styles of unhealthy people strikes me as a complex, difficult and utterly unrewarding position to be in and the recognition of boundaries, counseling, and personal insight certainly helps us control our own emotional reactiveness but doesn’t actually resolve the unreasonable expectations foisted upon us by others and the consequences of thus.

    So I’m left wondering where the realistic, negative consquences for healthy boundaries fit into this article?

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