– “Doctor…I need to consult my husband on everything—I depend on him.”

Paola X. is a successful physician that has settled in South Florida after completing her training in New York a decade ago. We met in an Italian-American social event a few years back and we have been friendly ever since. She is married to a very successful American professional and they have a nice family of four. However, her initial upbringing in a traditional Neapolitan family where the authoritarian figure of her father dominated even the secondary matters at home has marked her.

She has invested all her energies and time availability in the creation of a welcoming hearth for her husband and children, even though she is a very busy professional herself. She plans all their daily activities at home, being the perfect homemaker. However, all that dedication has come at a heavy personal price as she does not have any independent activity, let alone a supportive network of loyal girlfriends.

A rewarding loving relationship entails sharing a lot of time and activities with your partner, but do you have to share everything, all the time? There is a danger that any attempt of decoupling for the most menial task in a banal period by one partner might be construed as a sign of disloyalty by the dependent one. Individuals that have suffered unusual verbal and/or physical abuse as children are more likely to experience what psychologists call “anxiety of separation” in modern practices.

We all strive to love and be loved but the necessity of being always in the company of our partners can lead to great personal anxiety and undue stress in the couple. Moreover, to preserve the close relationship at all costs, the dependent individual can accept and endure various forms of abusive partners’ behavior. One of the sad tenets that we have found in the discovery of abused women is that they usually erroneously feel that “they need their partners”, delaying their rescue. We have witnessed how a few women have refused to press charges against physically abusive partners, even when the physician and/or social worker have helped them.

Sadly, the couple’s children can become hostages of these unhealthy relationships and in a few instances they are passive, suffering witnesses to intolerable levels of abuse.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.


20 thoughts on “The emotional dependence

  1. The same goes for my web page, which I consider like a virtual cabinet. Especially for emotionally distraught ladies. Un baccione.

  2. This was a fantastic post! I know that I devote all my time to helping those around me. I often neglect myself in order to make sure everyone else is doing okay. I am working on that dependency issue. I have always been very codependent, but acceptance is the first step in that!

    1. Good morning dear Alyssa and thanks for your nice commentary. I am glad you liked it so much. How are your health and “spirits” doing lately? Un bacicone. A posto!

      1. I am hanging in there! I have good days and bad days, but I try to focus more on the good days! I had some issues with doctors not listening to me and doing everything wrong for my health, but things are much better with them now. Some doctors do not like to listen:)!

      2. You’re absolutely, totally right in demanding their full attention, at least for a few minutes, when you sit in front of doctors. Having sworn the Hypoccratic oath, we must put aside our professional and personal problems when we take care if patients. Speak up!

      3. One of my doctors was being a bit of a pain in the butt, so I asked him if he took the Hypocratic Oath. He came around! Stubborn man! I think I hurt his feelings when he said that Trump was going down in history as the best president and I said you must be joking!!

      4. As a rule I hardly ever discuss any Politics or Religion in the office to avoid untoward controversies. Patients come to feel better and I don’t want to risk upsetting them.

      5. That’s the proper way to be in the office. He was telling me that it’s against the law to be prescribed pain medicine and Xanax, even though he said initially the Xanax needed to be prescribed by a psychiatrist. All I said was the crazy laws are coming from the top down. He was very unprofessional! I hope this won’t offend you, but I strongly dislike the one on top right now

      6. You can say whatever you want dear and I will take it in stride. I do strongly agree that the federal or state governments should not restrict the access of chronically suffering patients to their medication, cannabiss included. Since the times of the Brits the colonials defended their right to keep medicinal plants for family consumption. And now we have a reborn King George to tell us what to do with our bodies? No way!

      7. I think it is completely absurd for federal and state governments to restrict doctors to do what they feel is right for their patients. I was on the same medications for years and suddenly I had to decide what worked better for mem pain medication or the Xanax. I haven’t seen anything suggesting there is a law. Because of my horrible pain I decided pain medication is required, I just need to find a way to reduce anxiety. Stress and MS do not play nice with each other!

      8. Sorry. But I couldn’t help it. North Carolina is supposed to be one of the most progressive states in the South, which attracted many corporate headquarters. And the Research triangle.

      9. I think that is just an illusion. NC and SC are not progressive at all. They have denied the ideas of medical marijuana time and time again, which is fine with me, but it helps so many. What they are doing now with opidiods and benzos is crazy. The research triangle has some great doctors but the state itself is back in the early 1900’s. All I can do is hope for positive changes. I do know that going into doctor’s appointments prepared with notes is helpful and keeps things on track. I have only had 2 amazing specialists and they both retired which is really unfortunate. The younger crowd seems incompetent.

      10. Oh Lord! You have a tough road ahead. But don’t despair. People like you should band together to exert pressure on the body politic.

  3. Afternoon, dear. Hope you’re enjoying your WE.

    Great post. I’m very interested in the topic.

    I agree with what you said, but let’s not forget verbally abusive partners, who are as detrimental to the relationship as physically abusive ones.

    Abusers are pretty good at convincing victims that the abuse is their fault. There’s a more sophisticated form of psychological abuse, when false information is presented so as to make victims doubt their own memory, perception, and finally sanity.

    Then, there are abuser’s constant I love you’s and I’ll change, along with bribing victims with gifts and complimenting them so as to erase previous instances of harassment. That’s the so-called cycle of abuse. That’s why lots of victims find themselves entrapped and find it hard to press charges or leave their partners.

    Finally, victims lose self esteem after in most cases years of abuse, blaming themselves for everything that went wrong, and probably thinking – Well, I’m no saint either. We have our good moments. What if I stay single?

    So, yes, this emotional dependence is the worst thing victims are faced with.

    1. Good morning and thanks for this great commentary. I liked that you expanded further on the perspective of the “abused woman” who is almost always a frail, impressionable and vulnerable human being. Yes, the “fear of ending up alone” is something that affects us all in this modern society, women and men as well. Sometimes that reasonable fear can prod us to make unreasonable choices that will damage us. In Spanish there is a sage saying that goes like this: “mas vale estar solo que mal acompaado”Un baccione. Arrivederci!

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