Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

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I've been indulging in a guilty pleasure: watching LifeTime movies. This weekend: "keeping secrets" movies. Might as well be called "I'm a self-centered bastard but you'll do anything for me" weekend. Most of the films feature men who are bigamists, who have affairs, who abuse their wives...

This latest one has the woman going nuts and ending up in a support group for co-dependents. One of the women speaking at the meeting talks about how she discovered that her behavior "was as crazy as his" so she put a sign in her mirror that says, "You're looking at the problem".

Really?? It is true that some of us will let ourselves be abused in ways that others will not. We will make excuses for the selfishness of our partners, we will destroy our own lives trying to help others, and what this is supposed to mean is that we are "avoiding looking at ourselves".

Well, sure, we need - yes, I include myself - to be able to say no, to be able to say "sorry, I can't" and we need to be able to disappoint others, to stop worrying about being liked or being loved. We have to be willing to be alone and be strong.

Even so. Partners - men or women - who take advantage of this type of person are, for heaven's sake, the ones at fault here. When I have been in relationships with men who lied to me, who took advantage of my good will and generosity, who used me, I did not make them what they were. I did not make them treat me this way.

We need to learn to be stronger but we are not the ones at fault.

I am not a natural victim, looking for an abuser. I am tired of programs that insist that we have some sort of disorder, called "co-dependence". I don't need the label and neither does anyone else.

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