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Parent-child relationship model

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Parent-child relationship model

Postby newtohpd » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:15 pm

I was reading about the relationship model and how co-dependents typically act as the "parent" (nurturer, caregiver, rescuer) in a relationship with an HPD, who acts as the "child".

I was wondering that if I stopped being the "parent" and treated my X as an "adult", would I have been able to force her to act as an "adult" too, atleast to some degree. So going by the idea that if I changed my behavior (which is what I can do), could I have indirectly influenced her behavior to a certain degree and made her responsible.

Has anyone had any experience with this?
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby caro81VA » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:33 pm

Yeah, our parent-child relationship was one of the primary issues that came out in marriage counseling.

I definitely am predisposed to act in a "parent" role. However, I really worked on that, with no change coming from him. He was really only able to interact in the role of a "child". Except when he had more of a narcissistic swing and then he was the "parent". As far as I was concerned, having an adult-to-adult relationship was completely out of the question. And when forced to give an answer for why I left, that was the reason I really focused on. To me, even though there was a lot more wrong with him as an individual, the lack of a mature adult relationship was the key thing that was wrong with us as a couple.

To put it another way, I think you are getting into big trouble when you try to change or control someone else's behavior by modifying your own. Especially when that other person is cluster B.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby newtohpd » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:00 pm

I agree Caro. Infact, even when I posted this question, I knew somewhere inside that such ideas will not work with a Cluster B.

Like you, I was also predisposed to be a parent - probably the reason why I attracted her - a good source of nurturing and caregiving. (I was a parentified child and therefore a severe co-dependent as well)

Its only that sometimes I wonder if my giving up the parent mindset would have atleast provided me with better acceptance of her behavior and flaws - thereby reducing my reactions and anger towards her - which in turn may have reduced her insecurity, loneliness, feeling bad and fear of abandonment that she chronically felt inside her. Being a parentified child and a co-dependant, I was the perfect enabler for her behaviors and a perfect trigger for her acting out. I was an extreme parent and she was an extreme child :D

But then I tell myself that, in the long term I would have been frustrated anyway - since her impulsivity, shallowness and need for immediate gratification (not just flirting but all forms) might not have gone away anyway. Also there is no guarantee that her insecurity, loneliness and fear of abandonment would have gone away either. My need for an adult-adult relationship and intimacy would not have been met in the relationship and I would have been in severe crisis if I had gone ahead with the marriage.

While trying to recover from this relationship with my HPD ex (its been almost 5 months now), I am also trying to recover from my parentification as a child. A relationship with a PD involves a lot of abuse, but so does parentification of a child - and I guess this makes it confusing for me at times, since I tend to mix up both of these, in terms of understanding.

Thanks for your reply.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby Jay Mack » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:49 am

Newbie -

I'm three months out from my 8 year HPD and likewise, I held up on marriage because of the same issues:, impulsivity, shallowness, immediate gratification and extreme flirting, and, I would add, the two most destructive of an HPD's issues, deceit and self-centerdness (if that's a word). I really believe that those two traits drive all the other issues an HPD exhibits.

I say "held up on marriage" because she had, at my insistence, been to three different counselors for an extended time each over 4 years and while some of the destructive behaviours abated for awhile, they eventually came back in full force, and I was astonished that at 46 she was still as flirtatious as a 23 year old. And the most telling, I was beat up pretty bad in the last six months over my "inability to make a committment" and upon pointing out that we couldn't go 4 months without her seducing another man, or experiencing the devaluing process, her usual response was "all marriages have difficult times. I just don't think they equate their destructive habits as caustic in a marriage. So, you probably made the correct call in determining that in the long term you would have been frustrated. CMJ pounced on a new poster on another thread and I think he's absolutely correct, the majority of them don't or can't change.

The parent child relationship issue is odd to me, that approach must be exhausting in a relationship. I couldn't imagine there's anyway to treat an HPD that would minimize their destructive behaviours, and in the end, which we know always comes, you have to correct yourself as part of the recovery.
Last edited by Jay Mack on Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby newtohpd » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:22 am

I would add, the two most destructive of an HPD's issues, deceit and self-centerdness (if that's a word). I really believe that those two traits drive all the other issues an HPD exhibits.


Jay Mack - I completely agree. Infact, I have responsibilities of an extended family. Whenever I tried to imagine her with my family and friends, I was terrified, since I could see that her self-centeredness and deceit would destroy my family and friends. I am loved by a lot of people and I love them a lot - I just couldn't imagine how hurt all my loved ones would be if she continued with her self-centered and deceitful behavior.

And then I was worried about kids after marriage - if their mother behaved this way, what would my kids learn. I would be devastated in life, if my kids grew up deceitful, self-centered and damaged.

Too many lives at stake - for me this "prize" was just not worth the "price" in life.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby fathom » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:06 pm

I'm daughter to an HPD and from firsthand experience, and from many others on the forum: You can't change them. You can change your behavior, but it doesn't force them to do anything to change their behavior. It didn't change anything for my mom except to throw a temper tantrum and further act like a child.
--Daughter of an HPD

--I never want to give the impression that my posts about my mom translate toward those here who are working to make themselves better. My anger stems from her inability to recognize the issues I have with her. I always respect someone who attempts to make positive changes in their life.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby MyWave » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:23 am

newtohpd wrote:II was wondering that if I stopped being the "parent" and treated my X as an "adult", would I have been able to force her to act as an "adult" too, atleast to some degree. So going by the idea that if I changed my behavior (which is what I can do), could I have indirectly influenced her behavior to a certain degree and made her responsible.

Has anyone had any experience with this?


Unfortunately there is no merit to your theory

Changing the behavior of the victim does not change the behavior of the Personality Disorder. Many victims pf HPD become superstitious and feel that they can control the behavior of the Personality Disorder in their life by changing their behavior. This is often a temporary fix, meaning only that you are now meeting the demands of the Personality Disorder. When the Personality Disorder feels justified, they return to their behavior with no concern for changes in the behavior of the victim. Loving shark's doesn’t protect us if we find ourselves dripping blood in a shark tank.

I remember when I first tried to hold my HPD more accountable. It actually lasted less than a week and she had a total meltdown not to mention igniting all of her other destructive behaviors. In fact, anytime you want to evolve the relationship with an HPD you can expect an acceleration in destructive behavior
You feed the fire that burned us all
When you lied
To feel the pain that spurs you on
Black inside
~ Alice in Chains
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby newtohpd » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:41 am

I remember when I first tried to hold my HPD more accountable. It actually lasted less than a week and she had a total meltdown not to mention igniting all of her other destructive behaviors. In fact, anytime you want to evolve the relationship with an HPD you can expect an acceleration in destructive behavior


My wave, I agree with this. Though I did bring up the parent-child model, which I recently learnt about (and had doubts about if it could apply), I knew in my mind that it was not possible in a PD relationship, atleast not with the disingenuous HPD that I was in a relationship with.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby Will5900 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:23 pm

"In fact, anytime you want to evolve the relationship with an HPD you can expect an acceleration in destructive behavior"
newtohpd wrote:
I remember when I first tried to hold my HPD more accountable. It actually lasted less than a week and she had a total meltdown not to mention igniting all of her other destructive behaviors. In fact, anytime you want to evolve the relationship with an HPD you can expect an acceleration in destructive behavior


My wave, I agree with this. Though I did bring up the parent-child model, which I recently learnt about (and had doubts about if it could apply), I knew in my mind that it was not possible in a PD relationship, atleast not with the disingenuous HPD that I was in a relationship with.


This is TRUE. Anytime you say wow it looks like you are "coming around." Or acknowledge good behavior involving the depth of your relationship, you are in for a RUDE awakening.
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Re: Parent-child relationship model

Postby Scarlett1939 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:28 pm

Hey everyone...

I don't think this fits me at all. My husband can be bossy at times ( and feel the need to instruct everyone), but by no means has he ever had to be "my parent" in anything. I was determined before we married of things I needed to accomplish and have done them. yes, he stood by me but he has not done them for me. Perhaps I am not this way because I, myself, had to the be adult with both of my parents acting like children themselves.

I am the one that had to take care of my younger brother and sister, and even to this day my little sister view me more of a mother than she does our mom even though my mom is better now. I am pretty much the one that holds it all together and do not need to be treated like a child, nor do I act like a child, "to get my way".

I am very independent and want to do things myself, although it is nice to do things and work for things with my husband as we are still saving to eventually build a house. We keep our money separate, but knows whose bills are whose when they come in and of course he makes more than I do so if something big occurs he has more of a reserve to pay for it. We both spend a lot on our girls and clothes, school, games, etc. And we don't fight about money. We did early on, but when we decided to keep it separate, our financial problems of arguing ceased to exist. Now that won't work for everyone because if you are a habitual spender and don't take care of your part of the bills and keep getting it from the other, there is no reason to keep it separate, just hand it all over to the more responsible one. :)

Either way.... I have never been in the child role in our marriage or any relationship.

Hope this helps...
S
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