Saturday, May 02, 2009
Great Relationship with a Spouse
It has become common knowledge that Elizabeth Edwards knew her husband John was having an affair before he announced he was running for President. Despite that fact, Mrs. Edwards failed to confront her husband and, in fact, supported his infidelity by standing by silently as he acted like a saint.
Why do so many spouses, especially women, choose to enable infidelity? Mrs. Clinton is perhaps the best known woman to "Stand by her man" while he had multiple sex partners. This is an example of what folks working in the fields of addiction would call, "Co-Dependency". This means that the Co-Dependent is as addicted to enabling the behavior as the one doing drugs, serial sex, food, etc.
This was obviously not the first time for John Edwards nor was it for Bill Clinton. Any man who risks his reputation, career and livelihood for a hook up is addicted or dependent. It was apparent that both Edwards and Clinton were Narcissists and addicted, but both wives protected and promoted them while advancing their addictions.
When I was doing therapy such marriages were quite common. One spouse took advantage of another and yet the victim would seek counsel and claim that they were the real problem not the addict. Sometimes it was physical abuse but usually it was emotional an sexual in nature and too often the offended spouse refused to put her foot down.
Enabling an addiction is often excused as showing them "Love and respect". I have often been told that the Co-Dependent is showing Christ's love to the offending husband. When he engages in awful behavior time and time again she is expected to "Forgive" him one more time.
This is one reason that such couples need assistance. They will not be able to discover a mutually up building relationship unless they find a good therapist. Mrs. Edwards did not, to my knowledge, find a good therapist, she simply helped her philandering man to cover up, lie and continue his narcissistic road to hell and now she is writing a book telling how she did it.
Pain is inevitable but misery is optional. The Edwards are showing us how to make pain into chronic misery. (By the way, John and Elizabeth Edwards are worth 20 to 30 million dollars. She obviously does not need the money. Is she addicted to shame?)
See the LifeWay Counseling Center if you need help escaping from such a sick system.