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Old 01-09-2019, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Codependency versus Dependent Personality Disorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by bronzeowl View Post
Codependency means you rely on a person. This can be because of illness (physical or mental), and in fact usually is. Have you been diagnosed with anything else (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc)? If so, maybe he means your illness makes you codependent on her. It's not uncommon for people with mental illness to be codependent. It doesn't necessarily mean they feel like they can't survive otherwise, though. It basically just means they struggle to (as in have a hard time finding a job because of their symptoms, have a hard time shopping because of symptoms, etc).

Whereas with dependent personality disorder we feel we literally can't survive without the person whom we depend on. With us, there is often a deep seated fear of losing this person. Many of us may jump from relationship to relationship to avoid having to be independent. Being independent feels like an impossible task. I often fear losing my partner, because I'm terrified that I won't be able to support myself. I am not only codependent on him, but I feel like I literally need him.

Make sense?
Yes, it makes sense. I'm in a somewhat similar situation. My wife & I have been married 23 years; a couple for 26. There were many problems from the time we started dating and I kept trying to 'figure out' what was going on, empathetic and trying to help her understand herself. My bipolar illness re-emerged in 2004 and I went from working full time to part time until I was too sick to even work 10 hours a week. I became dependent on my wife for a roof over my head and couldn't contribute to paying the bills.

From the time we started dating, she was verbally and emotionally abusive and because I was madly in love with her, I tolerated it. Five years ago, in couples therapy, I came to understand that I have a dependent personality but I also had developed learned helplessness and feeling hopeless. She knows it and exploits it. I'm like an indentured servant, not her husband who has an illness. No autonomy nor independence. She calls the shots because she has the money.

I can touch and taste freedom but, even though I receive a monthly Social Security check and have some money in the ban k, I'm so utterly fearful of reclaiming my life and I hate myself for the man I've become.
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