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Codependency and Moms

Updated on May 7, 2014

My mom and grandma. I sure love them.

What a beauty my mom was. I miss her.
What a beauty my mom was. I miss her. | Source

The word codependency has a bad name!

Somebody get over to Wikipedia and straighten them out on this lousy definition of codependency. It is kind of an addled approach that sounds like it came from someone who is dependent on peer approval. Codependency is a mega word that is over used and misunderstood. Moms create codependency. It is normal for a mom to create codependency. Is mom made codependency a bad thing?

Codependency is as simple as the word. “Dependent on other” it is used as a classifier so it usually means an unhealthy dependence on another. And it usually is between too very close individuals. So read this lengthy “definition” we will touch on some of the issues it raises.

Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.

Take it enaturally

Moms create codependency

Get over it!

When a baby fox cub is not codependent on its’ mother it will wander and get eaten for sure. When young children are too independent they do not look first to their mother for guidance. Take my word for it, trial and error for young children is not an appropriate learning technique. Hands in boiling water or on stove tops or playing in street are just not cool at all. Codependency is not a bad word and so often it is healthy.

Let us look further at nature. Bees and flowers are very codependent it does not mean it is unhealthy. But it does seem that all the Naricissist flower does is sit and look pretty while the bee does all the work. So maybe at least a lopsided relationship.

Here is a screwed up relationship. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Man. Can man just leave them alone after making them the way they are? Is man now codependent upon them f

or food?

What is your view?

Are you codependent on your mother?

See results

You really cannot blame someone else.

That the dependent be dependent means the “other” is not a healthy person is not true. There are people that are literally dependent on what celebrities do or do not do. Others who we claim are “addicted” to soap operas.

How many of us are dependent on food? Probably all of us. And though that sounds normal, some of us big old boys have an unhealthy codependency on food.

Now I hope that some are saying that these examples miss the boat. For they surely leave out an essential concept on the surface. Happiness of another is not in this mix. Most clinically determined codependents are in unhealthy relationships. Many not so nice people are drawn to the ease of manipulating the dependent. But to suggest that that concept is essential in a codependent is silly because a true diagnosable codependent could do it to the happiness of a stick. It is not the true happiness that the dependent is looking for but rather their own idea of what makes the other happy. If they were really that worried about the other persons happiness they would stop the over dependency.

Here is a fun story. My brother on mother’s day one year bought mom a baseball glove for a present. He got the idea from the bible. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Well truth be told he was no hypocrite. That brother was the most independent and least empathetic of all six of us children.

Listen up to your mom no matter how tough you get.

I will take a healthy dose of mamma's dependency any day.

I am adopted and my birth mother did the most codependent thing she could do. She gave me up so I could be healthy and happy at the cost of her own broken heart. Now my adoptive mother made me the youngest of six very codependent. But then cut me off at a young age, probably more like an abandonment. That created in me an unhealthy codependency on my wife. But when we recognized it we cut it down and slowly weaned me from the unhealthiness of it. It still lingers but I am such a no good at getting rich the realization became clear that I would never meet my own expectations of keeping another happy, so adios to that idea. These are normal and great transitions. So now I blame my mom for creating in me a very healthy adoration of women in my life. Thank you mom.

So mothers on mother’s day should be adored and worshipped. Our happiness on that day should be contingent upon their happiness. Just as so long ago every day they were in fact codependent on our happiness. And yet we were the codependent ones.

This idea about taking advantage is understandable from a psychological point of view. But here is a fun example of what may at first look codependent and unhealthy. Two anniversaries in a row I bought my wife long stem roses. On the second time my wife had found out how expensive they were and chastised me for spending the money on something that would just die. Really! So the next year I nurtured twelve beautiful roses from my garden. I bouqueted them up and she then suggested that I was cheap for not buying them. The next year she got a card and kept her mouth shut. Had I tried a third time I would have been the idiot.

Life is awfully good and I am sure glad that mom gave me a healthy dose of codependency. I will always be beholding to her for that and much more. I still say sometimes, “WWMD?” (What Would Mom Do?) And you know what? I very seldom come up with a bad answer when I take the time to ask that question. I am still reliant upon her good judgment and practical wisdom.

P.S. yes I intentionally misspelled the flower.

Hoorah for moms. This boy is way dependent on his mom. But he is only 3 years old.

Love from mom beats all other loving.
Love from mom beats all other loving. | Source

A whole industry over manipulation and call it codependency

Codependency is real and should be taken seriously

This article was meant to give a different perspective. And to try and knock some good old common sense into how we talk about these issues. Manipulating others is standard fare for anyone in business, education, politics or military. Needing to do it to fulfill something missing is probably not good. But most the time it is just ordinary folks doing bad things and that is more sad than bad.

AL-ANON while specifically for folks involved with alcoholics is understood to have a great program for folks who think they a codependent on another who abuses substances. I am not fully familiar but understand it works on the twelve step program. And the success of that should not be overlooked if you need help.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you very much Lady, I appreciate your reading and comments.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Co dependency is, as you say, unhealthy from the psychiatric definition of it. But, as you also point out, we are mutually dependent on each other and it's a part of life. I'm glad you got out of the unhealthy aspect of codependency with your mom, and got into the better, healthier side of it. Your love for your mother is very heartwarming as well.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like my little dependencies. We need them. I also like being depended on.

    • ologsinquito profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      I don't like the word codependency either. Eventually, it will probably fade out of use, and not a moment too soon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thank you swilliams, loved your gift ideas ;-)--- how fun at:

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very intriguing article and again I just love the classic picture of your mom! I loved how you broke the concept of your article, pointing out the the good aspect of relying on your mother at an early age. There is a fine line indeed in which it is left up to the child to discern once he or she becomes of age. Great Job! Very thought provoking and useful! Voted up!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise, Thank you for sharing that, I hope it helps others. I neighbor lady is helping me trick my wife, I am giving her the roses and she is giving me a wonderful bouquet!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      B. Leekley that is a great story, thank you for sharing it on my humble hub. That "co" really is a kind of misnomer as applied to someone who "suffers" from it.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      My husband and I had a codependent depressive relationship for a number of years. When I was depressed, he would pull himself together and get things going around the house. Then, he would wear himself down and get depressed, and I would have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and get moving. Thankfully, we have since abandoned that cycle, and have a much healthier relationship. By the way, I received flowers today from him. He has learned that it is okay to buy them, and I love to get them as a surprise!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I thought that "co-" used as a prefix means jointly and equally. Two co-chairs of a committee share the responsibilities of leadership jointly and equally. To co-operate means to do jointly and equally together. So a co-dependent relationship with an addict means to share psychologically in that dependency. From the late 1950s to the mid 1970s, my father attended AA meetings and my mother attended Alanon meetings, each giving to others the sort of help to succeed in the 12 step program that they had gotten. My mother had been codependent on my father's boozing through the 1940s and 1950s, meaning in her case that she based her sense of purpose and worth on commitment to her role of "mothering" my father along with four children. Adjusting to my father attaining sobriety about when the children were leaving to go to college was an adjustment for her. The years of ironing my dad's white shirts and scrubbing the kitchen floor at 2 a.m. and then cooking my dad's poached egg at 6 a.m. before driving him to the commuter train and getting the children ready for school and having a hot supper for six ready at 6 p.m., and of going to business meetings with my dad to help him cope with his phobias while the older children babysat the younger, and of shouldering 99% of child raising duties so my dad could come home from work and drink, were over. She learned to have her own interests and hobbies and to be my dad's equal partner, not his codependent, in the business they started and in their marriage.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lady, we are well to set up boundaries. In youth (10-30) we struggle with defining those. My mom was quite the manipulator. But she was honest about it and so we learned to love her for it. Thank God I listened to her when she did not like some of my girlfriends. And did not with my wife of ten years.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, Acceptance, Courage and Wisdom are hard fought for commodities. We should cherish those that have them instinctively. Thanks for you constant support.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      I have been called a manipulator by my adult children. It isn't in a good light either so I stopped talking to them. That way I cannot be accused of doing anything if I do not talk to them. Strange it does feel because I love my two girls dearly. The one stopped all connections with me because I did not like her new boyfriend......who is telling her not to talk to her mom. That is the second boy that has told her that and she listened. I am afraid of what to say to either of them for fear that I will be banished. They are no longer codependent on mom.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A lovely tribute to your mother...mine is gone, sadly. As for Al Anon, yes, it is a twelve step program similar to AA...they do good work there.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Be grateful, There is that beauty in a devotion to another. While we must be on guard, we must never let worry interfere with that devotion. All who call you mom are fortunate indeed.

      Thank you for adding this much love to my hub.

    • be grateful profile image

      Angela Marie 

      4 years ago from Maryland

      This is a lovely article. I feel the beauty and brokeness of your heart. You seem to be a good man, and kudos to you for realizing you were bringing toxicity to your marriage, and having respect to fix it and the integrity to improve. I to was adopted, in a strange round' about way. Not quite like your situation, but I think our common ground is that of empathy. Our circumstances allowed us to become more thoughtful of others, appreciative of "home-life", and we adore the powerful bond between a Mother and her Child. An essential quality in a quality human-being.

      My entire being changed when I entered Mother-hood. I wrote a hub about it...well, part of it.


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