What You Need To Know About Co-dependency

I'm going to give you a shocking and yet accurate definition of a co-dependency. The definition is shocking because the 12-step program, conventional licensed therapy, and just about every co-dependent group deny and/or violate this simple and accurate definition.

In fact if they applied this definition, they would lose most of their members. What's even more shocking is that the definition I am going to give you used to be the standard definition of co-dependency.


A regular part of my practice is counseling the partner of the sexually addicted person. It's not uncommon for the partner to label herself as a co-dependent. Then she feels guilty for contributing to her partner's addiction and might even hate herself for not realizing that she had gotten involved with a sexually addicted guy. But what she doesn't realize is that men are experts at hiding their sex addiction from women.

Sex addiction for a man is different than sex addiction for a woman.

I help sexually addicted women. I also counsel in situations where both the man and the woman are addicted to masturbation, porn, promiscuity, etc. I also counsel in situations where the man or the woman uses their partner for addictive sex. And I counsel women suffering from serious intimacy problems. They seek me out because they've heard about me from a friend or a relative. Women trust me with their sex addiction and intimacy issues because I understand their situation. I also never make a pass at a client and I approach a woman's sexual conflicts as an adult with years of experience in the field of sex addiction.

And although I am not a woman and I could never experience sex as a woman or think like a woman, I have spoken to so many women throughout the years I can converse with women about sexual issues. I can also provide the women with insights into how a man thinks about sex and sexually addictive issues. So, please take my word for it when I say that men and women do not experience sex or sex addiction the same.

Interestingly, women are more likely to consider themselves co-dependents. A man involved with a sexually addicted woman usually does not consider himself a co-dependent. He will, however, consider himself an inferior lover if the woman he's involved with is sexually addicted.

A definition of co-dependency and why you are most likely not co-dependent:

A co-dependent is "a person dependent or his or her partner's addictive behavior." In other words, the co-dependent needs his or her partner to act addictively. Here are a few real life examples:

-The woman who was angry at me for helping her partner stop his masturbation/porn addiction because "I don't have anyone to watch porn with."
-The woman who did not want her husband to stop drinking because she did not want to have to drink alone.
-The woman who wanted her husband to continue masturbating addictively because "I'd rather fold clothes than have sex."
-The woman who wanted her husband to go to strip clubs because she wanted him out of the house so that she could hit the bars and pick up men.

You get the picture. Here's the co-dependent question to ask yourself or anyone else who believes she is a sex addiction co-dependent:

Do you depend on your partner's sex addiction? If you do not depend on his sexually addictive behavior, you are not a co-dependent. You have not contributed to or caused his sexually addictive behavior.

You are also probably not an enabler:

Some women believe that they enabled their partner's addiction because they did not end the relationship when they discovered the addiction. I suggest that you did not end the relationship because you saw the good in your partner and you wanted to stick by him and help him overcome his addiction.

If you tried to get the addiction stopped and you did not abandon him when he failed to overcome it, you were not an enabler. You were a woman who loved her partner and wanted to save her relationship. I think you still love him and still want to save the relationship. I suggest that you download all 48 chapters of The Most Personal Addiction for free so that you can begin the process of saving your relationship.

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Articles in this category

How To Talk To A Sexually Addicted Partner | What You Need To Know About Co-dependency | The Letter To A Partner | Someone Close To You Is Addicted To Sex |